Located just off West Eighth Street and MacDougal Street, South of the Clouds is a Yunnan-style rice noodle restaurant that offers authentic and reasonably-priced food.
Chef and owner Liheng Geng is a Yunnan and Brooklyn native who comes from a family of chefs that have owned restaurants dedicated to Yunnan cuisine. Yunnan is a region in the southwest of China. South of the Cloud is the the literal translation of Yunnan. (云南 )
South of the Clouds aims to offer real food for good prices — a goal that culminates with their $16 lunch special. In this deal, you can get any large plate, excluding the specialty, with any side or dessert. Fast-casual restaurants near campus like Pret A Manger or Sweet Green have similar prices, but South of Clouds differentiates with far higher quality and larg
er portions. With great flexibility in dining experience, South of Clouds is perfect for stopping quickly between classes or for a more intimate dinner with friends. If in a large group, you can share a range of big or small plates between the table. There’s also a convenient seating section for solo diners. The service is quick, so it is up to you how much time you want to spend there.
If you do end up going, here are some recommendations for what to order.
The Signature: Crossing The Bridge Noodle
This dish is a lightly spiced four-hour chicken broth with added ingredients like silkie chicken, bok choy, bean sprouts and cilantro. The broth is both complicated and refreshing. The egg and the meat add depth and richness to the plate that is cut through by the cilantro and scallions with a tang of acidity and herbaceousness. Plentiful noodles maintain a great texture with a hint of bite throughout the dining experience.
This is a well-sized, fresh and spicy side. It has a fresh lime flavor paired with well-cooked and tender chicken, topped off with a decent amount of chili.
Tofu Pudding Rice Noodle:
The dish, a chef’s specialty, consists of fresh noodles with creamy tofu pudding that complements the sweet spicy rich taste of the fermented bean paste pork. The Chinese pickle’s spicy tang of vinegar cuts through the richness of the dish which is balanced by the nuttiness of the peanuts.
Pig On A Stick:
A good sized portion of fairly-well cooked pork with sesame. It’s spicy and a little sweet with a strong kick of cumin.
Milky Rice Pudding:
Warm and creamy with a hint of a light floral favor from the osmanthus flower sprinkled on top. The dish has a sticky, interesting texture as the rice itself is broken down becoming a part of the milk resulting in one really creamy bite.
South of the Clouds graces Greenwich Village with Yunnan cuisine jam-packed with flavor and authenticity, a stunning combo worthy of experiencing.
Email Savannah Guy at [email protected].