The Quietly Expanding Taiwanese Mini-Chain No One Is Talking About

Image: Four Four South Village

Considering Four Four South Village‘s stated ambition — “to become the No. 1 beef noodles in the hearts of overseas Chinese people around the world” — you’d think it would have gotten more play in the press. But even as the chain, which began in Toronto, has grown to encompass three New York locations, not so much as a whisper about it has made the pages of the New York Times or any other major food media outlet.

Yet, even as it remains New York’s best-kept secret, the chain’s beef noodle soup has cultivated a loyal and growing following. What accounts for the humble dish’s mass appeal? One is its intoxicating soup base, a distillation of beef bones, aromatics, and much else, simmered slowly and methodically for hours. The process coaxes every iota of flavor from the component ingredients, converting them into an organic whole.

Despite its ongoing relative obscurity, Four Four South Village has plans to open locations all over North America.

The restaurants’ name, which is properly read as “Forty-Four South Village,” is borrowed from the address of the housing development established in Taiwan in the late 1940s to provide homes for military dependents. The dish is believed to have originated there.

Four Four South Village, 38-06 Prince Street, Flushing, Queens, 718-886-5001; 368 W. 46th Street, New York, 917-675-6538; 11 E. 7th Street, New York, 917-675-7999.