When Amy Pryke first arrived in New York City in 2011, she had zero plans to open a restaurant. Born and raised in Singapore, Pryke came here to study at NYU, which she liked well enough (she still lives in the East Village), but a subsequent, deeply unfulfilling foray into the world of corporate finance forced her to rethink everything. And, thankfully for us, Pryke's big life pivot turned out to involve a lot of really good noodles.

Missing the flavors of home, Pryke started cooking seriously during college, and slowly realized that she could make a life out of preparing and sharing the food that she loves. After learning the restaurant ropes at Daily Provisions, and a successful run at the Queens Night Market in 2019 (where she also met her kitchen partner Josh Medina of the Makana Hawaiin BBQ mini-chain), Native Noodles, a new counter-service restaurant in Washington Heights, was born.

Located on Amsterdam Avenue a couple of blocks from the increasingly sprawling Columbia Presbyterian complex, Native Noodles is a no-frills spot with an appealing menu of Singaporean favorites, updated a bit for the mostly-takeout game. Singaporean Chili Crab, for example, is usually a saucy, shell-y mess of a dish, so Pryke makes hers in dip format, served with four wonderful little buns (warm and soft on the inside, with a slightly-sweet crispy crust), or stirred around a big plate of fettuccine. Either way, it is absolutely delicious.

The Laska at Native Noodles, which the menu calls "our signature dish," has also been made more delivery-friendly. Instead of the usual soup, Pryke's version goes broth-less—but don't worry, the dish is still loaded with flavor thanks to some fiery coconut curry, which mingles well with the fat and slippery rice noodles, the crisp, cool vegetables, the mushy fish cakes, and the lineup of perfectly cooked shrimps.

Wonton Dumpling with pork supplement ($13)

Wonton Dumpling with pork supplement ($13)

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Wonton Dumpling with pork supplement ($13)
Scott Lynch / Gothamist

Another big winner here is the Wonton Dumpling noodle platter, featuring a pile of skinny egg noodles and meaty fried wontons in a soy-based sauce, plus some bok choy and, for a small supplementary price, a whole bunch of first-rate honey roasted pork, which packs a surprising kick. You can also get that same pork served over garlic rice. There are some vegetarian options here as well, including a Satay Peanut number with thick egg noodles, and Pryke's Singapore Noodles, which are wok-fried.

Two other dishes sound intriguing: the Roti John Sandwich, a baguette stuffed with omelette, ground beef, and "spicy ketchup;" and the Popcorn Chicken, which uses the crunchy cereal butter coating that, in Singapore, you would find on fried prawns. Desserts right now are a Pandan Panna Cotta, and a pair of warm and fluffy waffles served with coconut dipping sauce.

Pryke is still waiting for her permit to install an outdoor sign, so if you're swinging by for a bite keep your eyes peeled for those white paneled windows just south of 166th Street. Inside you'll find a couple of stools at a counter looking out the front window, and outdoor diners will have to take their meal to nearby Highbridge Park.

Don't mistake the work-in-progress ambiance with a lack of love in the kitchen, though. The food at Native Noodles is great, Pryke sourced all of her recipes from local chefs on trips back home to Singapore, and the flavor combinations, with their roots in Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese traditions, are striking enough to warrant multiple visits and cravings thereafter. As Pryke says, "There really aren't many other contemporary Singaporean restaurants in the city, especially in Manhattan. It makes me proud to serve the food of my country here."

Native Noodles is located at 2129 Amsterdam Avenue, between 166th and 165th Streets, and is currently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (646-370-6290; nativenoodles.com)