Rice Roll Roundup
I loved Yin Ji Chang Fen so much that I ate three meals there in two days. There is no shortage of rice noodle rolls in Chinatown, but Yin Ji Chang Fen’s beef-and-shrimp might be my favorite of them all. Filled with scads of chives, it’s served as one big morass rather than cut into bite-sized pieces; though its competitors may exceed it in one aspect or two, I think it’s more than the sum of its parts.
The competitors I’ve tried recently:
- Joe’s Steam Rice Roll, at Canal Street Market, has a thinner noodle and brighter-tasting shrimp.
- Yi Ji Shi Mo’s rice noodles are stretchier, chewier, more glutinous. Plus, you get to watch them make the roll in front of you.
- Tonii’s Fresh Rice Noodle, just a few doors down Bayard Street from Yin Ji Chang Fen, is just meh.
If you’re going with a friend and want to order more than one dish at Yin Ji Chang Fen, I’d recommend the dough stick rice roll, which has fried dough as its filling. Imagine a toast sandwich. I also like an otherwise mellow pork congee that has bits of salty, preserved egg.