Ramen, chicken and bubble tea, oh my! Several new restaurants are setting up shop in northeast Queens.
Four of the borough’s neighborhoods — Bayside, College Point, Douglaston and Flushing — are gearing up to welcome new eateries over the next few months.
The new restaurants include outposts of established chains Tamashii Ramen, Momo Ashi tea and snack shop and Catherine Bakery, as well as newcomers Smokey’s and Rokstar Chicken.
Check out what’s in store for the northeast Queens food scene.
Tamashii Ramen, 40-09 Bell Blvd.
A new Bayside outpost of the Tamashii Ramen chain is opening up on Bell Boulevard. The original restaurant opened in 2013 and claims to be the first to “bring Japanese ramen to the residents in Astoria.”
The ramen spot will replace the former Mi Tea, which served a unique blend of tea topped with cheese foam, originating from night market stands in Taiwan.
Ramen has grown in popularity over the past few years and shops have popped up all over the borough. According to its website, popular ramen dishes at Tamashii include miso ramen, a soybean-flavored dish, shio ramen made with mineral salt and shoyu ramen made with soy sauce.
In addition to the more traditional ramen flavors, Tamashii also specializes in cold noodle dishes like hikashi chuka, served with soy sauce, vegetables and other toppings, and tsuke-men, a serving of cold noodles with dipping sauce on the side.
The Bayside location will join the original shop in Astoria and a third shop in Forest Hills.
Momo Ashi, 147-05 45th Ave.
The popular Momo Ashi tea and snack shop is opening up its third location in Queens. Owner and Fresh Meadows resident Fiona Cheng opened the whimsical eatery’s first location in Flushing in 2017 and a second location in Bayside in late 2018.
Prior to getting into the food industry, the business owner had a design career in her native Taiwan. Cheng told QNS that she and her business partner worked together on recipe research in creating the snack items and teas.
Momo Ashi is known for its teas and snacks that are popular in Taiwan and Japan. In addition to tea flavors like taro, peach green tea and thai iced tea, the eatery serves handcrafted snacks like Momo Toast, made with thick pieces of white toast covered in custard; Mo-Nigiri, seaweed-covered rice triangles filled with fish or meat; and “WaMochi,” a mashup that combines the texture of crisp waffles and chewy mochi.
The new Flushing location will be just down the block from the original location on Roosevelt Avenue.
Rokstar Chicken, 242-02 61st Ave.
This new Douglaston chicken restaurant is the brainchild of Mark Lee, the creator behind Spot Dessert Bar, which has locations in Flushing and the East Village.
The Bayside resident said the “Rok” in Rokstar stands for “Republic of Korea” as an homage to Lee’s Korean roots. The Korean fried chicken spot was recently named one of Eater’s 15 hottest new Queens restaurants.
“It’s a New York brand with Korean roots,” Lee said. “Our goal is to globalize Korean fried chicken, and continue to introduce and share our culture with the world through the best way possible: food. And what better food than fried chicken?”
Patrons to Rokstar can order bone-in and boneless chicken with their choice of sauces including Korean sweet chili, spicy ranch and soy garlic barbecue. Popular side orders include french fries, truffle fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings.
Catherine Bakery, 22-30 College Point Blvd.
Earlier this year, College Point welcomed this new Asian bakery known for its natural and organic teas, yogurts and smoothies. The new location is located just blocks away from the original Catherine Bakery on 127th Street.
The menu features boba milk teas, fruit teas infused with green tea, health teas, smoothies and drinkable fruit yogurts served in containers shaped like upside-down lightbulbs.
Smokey’s, 126-11 15th Ave.
Members of a local Facebook group posted about the upcoming Smokey’s restaurant, which is set to replace Ole Mexican Grille in College Point. While not much is known about Smokey’s, a sign on the store’s facade reads “burgers, cheesesteak, wings.”
Facebook users lamented the closing of Ole, with many remarking that they were “sad it closed.” The Mexican restaurant opened in 2015 and served up familiar dishes including tacos, taco bowls, burritos, quesadillas and salads.