Craig LaBan, Restaurant Critic

Updated: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 2:01 AM


1416 Frankford Ave., 267-758-2269;

The hipster noodle fusion works of chef Ben Puchowitz and partner Shawn Darragh has stepped up to the next level with their latest creation, an energetic Fishtown hybrid of their original concepts (Cheu Noodle Bar and Bing Bing Dim Sum) set in a 19th-century carriage house reimagined as a moody Asian night market wrapped in graffiti murals and psychedelic cartoons. The decor's intense artistic energy is matched only by the culinary imaginations of Puchowitz and chef Justin Bacharach, who've refined Cheu's nontraditional riffs on Asian-inspired street foods with wit, finesse, and a distinctive Jewish touch (matzo ball brisket ramen?) In tandem with the fun space, effortlessly sharp service, and impressively fair prices, they have succeeded in making Cheu 2.0 one of Philly's signature restaurants of the moment.

MENU HIGHLIGHTS Beef and kimchi bing; pork belly buns; smoked pork dumplings; beet Rangoon; green curry chicken wontons; tuna poke; bbq duck rolls; black garlic wings; brisket ramen; coconut curry ramen; Riverwards Market salad; miso pork loco moco; Bubbie Chow's sliced beef; Thai tea cheesecake.

DRINKS The cocktails channel tropical moods with tea-based variations and Asian ingredients that can be fun if not necessarily complex. The Beachin' and Oomami were my favorites. The draft beer and sake options, though, are the focus, with steady taps for Tired Hands, Dogfish Head, and Kurant Cider.

WEEKEND NOISE The boisterous vibe, boosted by the soundtrack, hovers in the mid-90 decibels. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)

IF YOU GO Lunch Monday through Friday, noon to 3 p.m. Dinner Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, until 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon-11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.

Plates, $7-$15. Brisket to share: $26.

All major cards.

Reservations suggested (space for walk-ins is still reserved).

Wheelchair accessible.

Street parking only.

Craig LaBan, Restaurant Critic

Read full story: EXCELLENT

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Cheu grows up to its best funky self in new Fishtown location