By Regan Elyse Murray
When my soul needs soothing, I head to Yu Kitchen for their chicken noodle soup with mushrooms. Although Yu Kitchen specializes in the cuisine of Northwest China, this soup sparks my nostalgia for brisk rainy days in the American Northeast. Enriched with garlic, soy, and plump mushrooms, the intensely savory broth tastes like the distillation of all of my family’s Sunday roasted chicken dinners into one bowl. The soup abounds with juicy slow-braised chicken thighs that fall from the bone with the mere prod of a chopstick. Beneath the chicken rests a golden nest of wheat noodles. Springy and soaked in the broth, I will take them over the sodden noodles in most canned soups any day.
Sipping and slurping mouthful after salty, meaty mouthful, remembering evenings spent watching football while doing my times tables, I tend to lose myself while eating this soup. I finally have to face reality again when I reach the bottom of the half-basketball-sized bowl. (Yu Kitchen offers a portion size so plentiful that it could cause doting grandmothers to doubt their own generosity.) I may not be able to get my Boston childhood back, but at least I can order this Upper West Side soup whenever I need my heart and stomach warmed.
2656 Broadway (101st Street)
Hours: Every day from 11 am to 9:30 pm
Featured dish: Stewed chicken noodle soup with Chinese dark mushrooms ($9.95)
(Yu Kitchen is temporarily closed. Scheduled to reopen on September 30, 2021, according to Yelp.)
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Coming next Wednesday: Scarlatto’s Homemade Fettuccini with Half Lobster, Clams, Shrimp, and Calamari in an aioli sauce.
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