STEAM Noodle Cafe is a tiny joint with one small round table for 3, counter space for another 8-10 people and two small tables out back in the parking lot. The Thai chef serves up a pan-Asian menu that includes a really great vegan ramen with house made kimchi and a tasty classic sausage and pate Banh Mi, on a not so classic wheat grinder roll. The chef’s husband mans the dumpling station, hand rolling out and stuffing dumplings and fried curry puffs. They have fine selection of Fish, Hoisin, Sambal and yellow and red Sriracha sauces and a refrigerated cooler that stocks to-go containers of dumplings, Curry Puffs, and buns. I really enjoyed STEAM Noodle Cafe and ended up having lunch and dinner there. There is little in the way of vegan food in Great Barrington, but STEAM provides a lot of vegan options and the prices are very reasonable.
The Dumplings: STEAM serves the Thai street food classic, Kaow Grieap Bak Mua which is a rice flour dumpling wrapper folded around sweet radish, peanuts, and sauteed shallots and served in coconut milk and garnished with more peanuts and fried shallots. This dumplings gives you sweet, nutty, savory and crunchy in each bite. This the first time I have had this delicious dumpling and I am surprised I haven’t seen it on more menus.
The vegan gyoza use a wheat flour wrapper and are stuffed with cabbage, shiitake mushroom, scallion, ginger and garlic. They are cooked with a batter, that when fried, links the gyoza together with a crispy lacy crust. The gyoza pie is an order of 12 gyoza, fried together into a large sheet of lace batter. I really enjoyed these gyoza but I found the ginger in the dipping sauce to be harsh and overpowering.
Finally, I tried the fist sized, steamed pork bun, which had beautifully sweat BBQ pork encased in a light fluffy Chinese bun. Their bun selection also includes salted egg yolk custard buns and chicken and mushroom buns. Like several of the other items on the menu, this dish also uses a wheat flour; this is not a good place for those with Celiac disease.
Location: STEAM Noodle Cafe is located on the main commercial strip in Great Barrington, in the Barrington Place and Atrium Shops. The Atrium has a half-dozen small, locally owned restaurants and STEAM is in the back, furthest from the Main street entrance.