A new addition to Southside Berkeley’s Sather Lane, Noody offers a fresh take on the classic college meal – instant noodles.
Customers can choose from 20 different noodle packages, nine proteins and 11 vegetables when building their own bowl or select one of many pre-set menu items. According to Noody’s owner Aya Amornpan, the 20 noodle options are regularly rotated to incorporate a variety of instant noodles from around the world.
The build your own noodle option is $12 per dish, but pre-made options range from $13-14 and include things like BBQ pork ramen, spicy chicken instant noodles, and fried Buldak.
“The idea behind Noody is that we want to be the trend for making instant noodles and making them in a fun way,” Amornpan said. “Like we make carbonara, we make pad thai see ew, we make masala like an Indian curry. It is a variety of instant noodles and a variety of flavors.
Several customers said the options were unique and they enjoyed the food. Francis Chiang, a UC Berkeley student, said he found the concept interesting because he didn’t know of any other instant noodle restaurants in Berkeley.
Amornpan also pointed out that her concept included making instant noodles in a healthy way, as she noted that instant noodles have a reputation for being unhealthy.
Recent guests have expressed on online platforms, such as Yelp, that the location is a “cool place” to gather with friends. Some pointed to the proximity to the campus.
Amornpan said the restaurant’s name came from the abbreviation of “noodles” in “noodles” and was “trendy” for young people.
Many customers were also drawn to the colorful ambience, with a brightly colored mural, neon sign and wall installation showcasing 16 types of instant noodles from across Asia.
“Displaying these ramen is great because it can catch your attention, and it made me feel like there are many options for eating,” said Haeun Lee, a visiting student from South Korea.
Chiang said he felt the restaurant’s interior was particularly photo-worthy and the unique decor choices could be geared towards influencers. Meanwhile, other diners said it reminded them of their childhood.
To promote their introduction to the Southside restaurant pool, Noody is offering free Thai iced tea to customers, according to Chiang.
“I just want to have fun with it,” Amornpan said. “It gives a fun atmosphere for (students), with a friend, with lunch, with dinner, you know and come and do your homework in the restaurant or chat with friends.”
Contact Ratul Mangal at [email protected]and follow him on Twitter at @mangalratul.