My first run-in with Privatecame just after the restaurant, helmed by Top Chef alum Tiffany Derry released its lunch menu. I noticed the noodles right away. Leslie Brenner and I had been begging Dallas for a proper Japanese noodle house, but it has never materialized. Perhaps a decent hot bowl of ramen for lunch would make for a decent consultation prize?
Noodles are serious business in Japan. There’s ramen, the long, thin noodles made from wheat flour; udon, which are thick and plump; darker soba noodles, made from buckwheat flour; and others, too. Cooks stage for months just to get the chance to work with noodle masters, and then only work with a certain type. There’s a compelling scene in David Chang’s Momofuko cookbook where the young chef travels to Japan to learn ramen but accidentally ends up in a soba noodle house. Chang asks if he could also learn other noodles and the request drew the master’s ire. “There is only soba,” Chang is told. And then he’s shown the door.