Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Fresh, Lanzhou style hand pulled noodles in aromatic beef broth topped with slices of meat and vegetables was one of our first local breakfasts in China. These usually halal noodle shops are found all over town and most serve some northwestern or Xinjiang-style dishes as well as the noodles. We’ve found that most new expats in town seem to find a favourite Lanzhou noodle place within a few weeks of arriving. We think this is because Lanzhou noodle shops are some of the most forgiving places to take one’s first steps ordering food in Chinese – orders like ‘la mian’ and ‘ban mian’ are tough to mispronounce even if you are still getting the basics of pinyin down.
There has been a Lanzhou pulled noodle shop by the Moziqiao bridge, where Kehua North Road crosses the first ring, for as long as we can remember. However, the current noodle shop, which was recently expanded and renovated, has no connection with the previous one. Their menu is rather basic with just a few kinds of beef noodles offered: traditional beef noodle soup; red-cooked beef noodles, or beef and pickled veg noodles. You can choose the thickness of noodle you want, from ‘hair-thin’ to wide noodles. They do a few fried rice plates and a ‘tao can’, or set meal, of noodles, sliced beef, mixed cold veg, and an egg. The ordering process is the same as at most snack shops: make your order and pay at the till, then take your receipt to the kitchen so they can prepare your food and call your order out.
The dining room and open kitchen are both clean and the dining room has mahogany stools and tables and photos of old Lanzhou on the walls. They also have hung a few of the brass award placards that signify a restaurant with some history. We are happy we can still get good noodles in this spot. Customers can expect to pay 11-18RMB for noodles or fried rice, 2-10RMB for side dishes, or 23-25RMB for the set meal.