(dreamy indie rock music) – We are here in Chinatown
in New York City, and I’m about to take you
somewhere extremely special and close to my heart, Spicy Village. ♫ I’m so in love – People in the food world like this place. Mark Bittman from the New York Times, he wrote a piece on it. He said he really enjoyed it. Chef Danny Bowien has openly admitted that he has taken some recipes from here. – I ate here 20 times. We honestly totally knocked off a few of their dishes ’cause
they’re so delicious. – They’re known for their hand-pulled noodles, which are super delicious and
definitely hard to make well. Their fans are so intense
that they even created t-shirts for the restaurant
on their own dime. ♫ I’m so in love with you – I went and talked to
Spicy Village’s owner, Wendy Lian about what it’s been like for her tiny restaurant
to grow such a fan base. (speaking in foreign language) (moves into bouncy funky dance music) (mmm) A lotta young people, yeah. (speaking in foreign language) Well, it seems like you’re doing well! (speaking in foreign language) It’s done right! It’s amazing! It’s really good, brings joy! Brings joy to her, brings joy to me. And now I’m gonna go frickin’ eat some, ’cause I’m obsessed with it! Let’s go see. (speaking in foreign language) So this is the main event. This is, da pan ji which is literally big tray of chicken. So what you do is you order
it with these noodles, which is kind of their hallmark thing, and you let the noodles
soak in all these juices. So all that spicy goodness
is coating each noodle. Every bite, (mmm) (mmm) so good, so, so, good! It’s pieces of these fried
chicken in the sauce. And there’s also pieces of potato, which have also been just
soaking in the sauce. Let the potatoes sit
there for a little bit. So at the end, you get all
those juices in the potato. That’s the hot tip! One thing people also ask me is “Is this gonna be too spicy for me?” I’m like “No!” This is the perfect amount of spice! You’re gonna get a
little bit of the tingle, but not too much! You’re gonna have just enough where you’re gonna want to keep eating. I’ve ordered da pan ji at other restaurants, and let me tell you, they are not as good as they are here. This is why this place has
a fricking cult following, is the da pan ji with these noodles. So coming here, the main event is the big tray of spicy chicken, but we kind of have to have
a vegetable on the table. So we usually get cucumber,
which is a cold dish. It’s cool, it’s light, it’s refreshing. You do see a little bit a chili on there, but it’s not gonna be overwhelming. (mmm) So another big thing
they have is a pork pancake. This is one of their
signature dishes as well. It’s not like the American
pancake that you would think of, that you have for breakfast,
that’s really sweet. This dough, it’s called a
pancake, but in Chinese, it’s a mo. So it’s almost like a griddled bun, but it’s flat and it’s
crispy on the outside. So the texture inside, it’s quite fluffy. So that’s pork in there,
kind of a savory sauce on it, and a little bit of cilantro,
just a nice, savory treat. All those juices in there
just makes it, (mmm) (smack) it’s good. This is it! Egg and tomato, classic
homemade Chinese dish. It’s made just at home. This is something my mom
would make, for example, when, you know, she doesn’t
wanna think too much about what she’s gonna cook. It’s really warming and homey. (mmm) Ooh yeah, hits the spot! I mean, the noodles are perfect. Hand-pulled noodles like these are extremely difficult to make. I know because my mom used
to make them really well, and I tried to do it, and
it was a frickin’ disaster! Basically, they’re flour-based noodles. And they’re perfect because they’re thick and they have a bite to them, but they’re also really
slippery and chewy. It’s just an amazing texture
that is so hard to do at home! So it’s a reason to come here. They do it well. It’s super affordable. New York, it’s this city
where sometimes it’s hard to find a place where you’re a regular. And for me, even before I started working in food, this was my place. If you like this, click here
to watch more Cult Following. – Alright, and you can definitely
tell that it’s homemade and that this is not
an industrial product. – [Host] (laughing) You should go for it! – [Guest] I’m doin’ it!
(funky dance music) So good. (bright music)