Fresh: Yum Yum Noodle Bar

Left to right: Erica Mahlkuch, Luc Moeys and Nina Paturel.

Luc and Nina are at it again. Woodstock residents Luc Moeys and Nina Paturel, that is. With their newest venture, Yum Yum Noodle Bar, the duo behind Cafe With Love and Oriole9 are now joining forces with chef Erica A. Mahlkuch, a recent alum of Rhinebeck's Sabroso.

Open since Thursday, Yum Yum is already Woodstock's go-to place for an inexpensive, fresh, healthy and quick Asian-style meal. There’s a basic menu plus many daily specials. As always, Luc and Nina are committed to using as many local ingredients as possible. Prices are $10 and under – and you design your dishes using noodles, broth, protein, vegetables, mushrooms and egg. And a special treat: Longtime Woodstock locals, if you're still missing Misty's for the homemade strawberry mint lemonade, you'll be delighted to know Yum Yum has it on the menu.

We stopped by the other night for a sample as Luc and Nina were preparing for their grand opening on Thursday, July 22nd. Yum Yum has the same warm and inviting interior vibe we find at Oriole9 – deep crimson walls, simple but elegant décor, eclectic jammy tunes and service with a smile. There's a large patio facing the green, perfect for watching what’s happening in Woodstock (like, for instance, a movie set on location) and washing it down with a beer or sake. And above all, the food is fresh, with intense but never overpowering flavor.

Watershed Post: Hey lovebirds! Why noodles?

Nina: We were listening to what people wanted; what they kept asking for and wishing for.

Luc: I loved the idea of a sort of izakaya, a Japanese-style tapas/pub food place where working people stop for a snack and drink before going home. That idea turned into what you see here. Low cost, healthy food served quickly. The maximum price for an entrée is $10.

Happy meal: A kid-size bento box of miso soup, chicken satay, broccoli and rice.

WP: We see lots of kids here! Tell moms and dads what to expect if they bring the family to Yum Yum.

Nina: Noodles. Kids love noodles. They may not know it yet, but they also love bento boxes. It’s like a Happy Meal for conscientious parents. With no dessert. (Don’t tell them that though.)

Luc:  And we have a “family bowl” for $34 that serves four. We thought a lot about what we like when we go out as a family, and tried to offer that. Yum yum: A family awaits noodly goodness.

WP: Tell us about Erica. What’s it like to have a new person in the mix?

Nina: We all share a common sensibility, and that works well when bouncing ideas around. And for tiebreaking.

Luc: We knew from eating at Sabroso that our hearts were in the same place as Erica’s when it came to how to run a restaurant. I called her as soon as I heard she was free. We didn’t have a plan then, but we gradually formed this one.

WP: What is it about you guys and new projects?

We love new things and the process of creating them. We also love a challenge and a risk. We have that in common.

Homemade lemonade: Did we mention it's full of fresh strawberries and mint?WP: So, how does this work? You close Oriole9 and dash to Yum Yum? How will your days stack up?

Luc: The beginning will be very busy and yes, look just like that. The plan is that in the next month or so Yum Yum will be running itself; it’s set up with that idea in mind.

WP: Your restaurants serve delicious homemade beverages – like Yum Yum’s ginger ale and strawberry mint lemonade.  Where does your genius for refreshment come from?

Nina: Strawberry lemonade was something I had as a kid and never forgot. The ginger ale just made sense with the Asian theme. Drinks are fun and easy to come up with, and it makes it more interesting to offer things that no one else has.

WP: How does Yum Yum differ from your other two restaurants?

Nina: This theme is a complete departure. It’s fast, which we do not promote at Café With Love or Oriole9. With this type of food it’s about busy people grabbing a quick, healthy, and inexpensive bite.

Yum Yum Noodle Bar is located at: 4 Rock City Rd. Woodstock,  845-679-7992 .Check out their website for a menu preview, or find them on Facebook. Hours are 4:30-11 pm Thurs-Mon.