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New hand pulled noodle shop in ctown (pics included)...maybe better than Super Taste?

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  • Lau Mar 30, 2008 07:27 PM
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So I tried this hand pulled noodle place at 144 East Broadway, it doesn't have an english name and it's called Fu Zhou something in chinese (forgot the rest). It's kind of an interesting area b/c it's further east past all the bustle of the main part of east broadway and there are a bunch of restaurants around there (wonder if any are good?)...there was a fujian seafood place called zheng family something that looked interesting

Anyhow, its a small place with a few tables, it's decor is white rundown walls and nothing else really, there is a small TV playing a chinese variety show on it and there is a metal table where they pull the noodles and a small kitchen where they cook everything and everyone is chinese...just the type of place that makes good food in chinatown.

So, I ordered the following:
- beef noodle soup (niu rou mian) - really excellent...the noodles were of the same quality as Super Taste and they were cooked perfectly (al dente) although they were pulled thinner and I liked the noodles at Super Taste a bit more b/c they are pulled thicker, the soup broth was better than Super Taste (although they don't have the spicy broth) it was slightly richer and just had a better beef flavor to it, the vegetables they use were definitely better and the beef was flavored better although it wasn't high quality beef by any means (all the places use tendon type meat)...all around very good
- boiled dumplings (shui jiao) - very good although the boiled dumplings at Super Taste are better mainly b/c i thought the skins were a little too thick and the filling wasn't quite as even

Overall, this place is excellent and I go to Super Taste weekly, but this place was better (at least on this trip), I need to go a couple more times to see how consistent it is, but I was very pleasantly surprised by this place and it could be my new "go to" noodle shop. Also, I do like that they pull your noodles as soon as you order them

Fyi, they are very english challenged, but they translated maybe 4 or 5 of the main things into english, so you should be able to get by through pointing if you can't speak any chinese

There are also two pics of the beef noodle soup and the boiled dumplings

Here's the yelp:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/lan-zhou-hand...

 
 
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  1. Some other notes here ... http://www.chow.com/digest/2214

    When I stopped in they had business cards with the English name Lan Zhou Handmade Noodle. I think the Fuzhou name on the awning may date from a previous tenant.

    -----
    Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
    144 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

    2 Replies
    1. re: squid kun

      Just checked out the Yelp link, which also uses the name Lan Zhou Handmade Noodle.

      1. re: squid kun

        yeah i saw that, but it doesn't say that anywhere in chinese or english, so im not sure how people got the name

        whatever the name, its quite good

    2. This sounds so mouth-watering! Thanks for the heads-up; another place to try.

      1. awesome heads up lau.

        this may be my weekend mission.

        yes those noodles are very thin & overall the dish looks delicious.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mrnyc

          yeah it was very good and really cheap ($12 for two people, two bowls of noodles, two sodas and an order of dumplings)

          also they have other stuff on their menu in chinese (i couldn't read everything though). Some of the other interesting stuff was the tang yuan (which are small balls of very soft rice dough with sweet filling usually either black sesame paste or peanut paste) served in either hot water or a sweet hot soup (i love it when its made right) and they had some type of dry fried noodle as well.

          1. re: Lau

            I really enjoyed this place Lau. Excellent noodles, plenty of meat, and a tasty broth. Question for you or others: Do you use any of the provided sauces to notch-up your soup? In Japanese noodle soups, they often use Japanese shoyu to give it saltiness and flavor. I sometimes find that straight Chinese broths, especially a beef one like this, have a sort of gaminess- not unpleasant though. I gave my soup a couple of squeezes of the provided soy sauce (probably there for the dumplings) and a squeeze or two of red rooster and was extra happy with the results.

            ...And yes, it's a great value. I tried Ippudo earlier in the week and can't help but feel that my internal chowhound gyroscope was in much better balance after my visit here. Thanks for the post.

            1. re: Silverjay

              i use chili oil and the pickled vegetables (suan cai) on the table...i think that combo goes really well without killing the beef flavor of the broth; i generally think chinese broths usually have plenty of salt in them, so im hesitant to put soy sauce in it, the broth can be more delicate in a japanese ramen type place and soy sauce can go well with it

              while i think sriracha sauce is potentially one of the best sauces ever created, but i think its flavor is too strong for beef noodle soup (although i always put it in pho, but thats a difference story)

              1. re: Silverjay

                Hi Silverjay,

                Unlike Japanese, Chinese do not put soy sauce into soup or soup noodle (though in the process of making the soup base they may). If they want to add saltiness, they simply put salt. They do put other condiments like vinegar, pickled / preserved vegetables, chili oil, etc. to add more complexity to the soup (and it usually varies by personal preference)

          2. so i went back tonight and it was just as good as before and we ordered more, in addition of the stuff I got on my original post, we also got:
            - pan fried dumplings (guo tie): these were great, the pan frying makes them soooo much better, highly recommend
            - tang yuan: i dont know what these are called in english, but they are soft rice dough balls filled with sweet filling usually either black sesame, red bean or peanut. These rice dough balls are then put in either hot water or a sweet soup. Here they serve it with peanut filling and in hot water. I'm pretty sure they are hand made. I liked these alot and they're a great dessert

            very happy it was consistent and again highly recommend this place

            1. went back here tonight and it was great, but ive only mentioning it b/c i think these might be the best chinese dumplings in manhattan, better than prosperity, dumpling house etc etc

              they are thinner skins than all the $1 dumplings, they have steamed and fried ones, but you need to get the fried ones. they fry them on the bottom and steam them just like a gyoza...unlike the $1 dumpling place (which i like) these aren't at all greasy or heavy, just really really good. they've got a great pork and chive filling, that is nice and finely chopped with no stops of weird stuff. Plus the order is huge, its a ton of food.

              highly recommend trying them if u havent

              also it is now called lanzhou handmade noodles, doesnt say it on the sign, but i saw cards they have and thats what it says

              1. This stuff looks awesome, great work Lau

                1. I was just there earlier today and I tried the Beef Noodle Soup. I must say that it was very good. I didn't get a chance to stick around for the pan-fried dumplings, but I did order some to go. I would have to agree with Lau that these are probably by far the best I've had all around Chinatown. Regardless of what else you order, these dumplings are a must-try!

                  While enjoying my noodles, I noticed how the wrappers they used for their dumplings. The reason they're so thin is because they use wonton wrappers. For those chefs at home, I noticed they used the Twin Marquis brand white round wrapper (as opposed to the square yellow wrappers for wontons that you'd typically find in Chinatown).

                  1. Finally made a stop here - and I have to agree with you Lau that their pan fried dumplings (鍋貼 Guo Tie) are superior. They make them to order from their boiled or steamed ones so you have to wait a couple of minutes. Very light and not oily. Also had their Hand-Pulled Beef Noodle Soup and Za Jiang Mian 雜醬麪. $11 in total for two of us. Their Za Jiang Mian meat sauce was the best I've had so far here. One small caveat though: I found that in both noodle dishes their proportion of noodles to the rest of the ingredients in the dishes is off. In other words I could have done with a bit less noodle, more soup and/or sauce. I find that balance better accomplished at Super Taste, Eastern Noodles or Sheng Wang.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: scoopG

                      interesting, glad u posted this, i did see they had zha jiang mian, but forgot about it...ill def have to give it a try, im really like the chinese version of it (as opposed to the korean-chinese version) and i havent had a decent version in in ny

                      i agree with you about the amt of noodles (they give you a ridiculous amt of noodles...the bowl is pretty damn big), but i think the broth, vegetables and beef are all superior enough to make it better than the other places although the noodles at all these places are quite good.

                      1. re: Lau

                        will preface by saying my goto place is supertaste.

                        I tried the lamb noodle soup. noodles are a little thinner than my preference, but had exactly the "chewiness" (i can't really describe what i'm trying to say) i wish supertaste had. The lamb broth was delicious - fragrant but not too lamby - unlike most places which simple drop some lamb into their basic beef broth. I also tried my wife's beef noodle soup and enjoyed that immensely as well. i can't say it's better than supertaste, it's different and just as enjoyable.

                        the dumplings are almost identical to supertastes, but without the odd aftertaste taht has always bothered me about supertastes dumplings. I think i still prefer this thinner type skin for steamed dumplings, but much prefer the meatier wrapper on the prosperity dumplings for guo tie.

                        one final note: the guy whacking noodles on the countertop is out of control. it really detracts from the eating experience. i appreciate the freshness of the noodles and it's great and all to know that 5 seconds ago your noodles were being handmade, but its nervewracking when that dough hits the metal countertop. that's probably the biggest reason i wouldn't go back.

                        -----
                        Super Taste
                        26 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                        1. re: FattyDumplin

                          I forgot about that at 144 East Broadway - you're slurping away and whack whack whack! Guess they don't have enough room in the back kitchen or don't have a softer (i.e. wooden instead of stainless steel) counter top. Try the broth at a relatively new hand-pulled noodle spot at 2 East Broadway - bits of garlic and ginger floating in my last bowlful.

                          1. re: scoopG

                            I made a second trip recently. Thought about the pork chop soup but went for the beef again. Very nice. I also like the boiled dumplings. They are very good. Not too garlicy or gingery. More green onion taste than either of those- in a good way. However, I ordered the za jiang mian to go, ate it a short time later, and it was lousy. Probably better in house as the noodles didn't take kindly to being packed up. Not much sauce though. I've got no problems with the noodle to soup ratio though. In Japanese they call this "omori"- just large noodle portion......I don't mind the whacking. He seems to do it intermittently between crimping the gyoza. I guess he's letting the dough settle.

                            There's a couple menu items I can't read. I"m going to take a photo next time to see if you all can translate here.

                          2. re: FattyDumplin

                            FattyDumplin, I thought I was the only one who has experienced that "odd aftertaste" of Super Taste's dumplings. What do you think it is? It really turned me off to their dumplings and now I just mainly get the pork bone or the spicy beef noodle soup.

                            1. re: gloriousfood

                              i can't figure it out. it's somewhat sweet and artifical tasting - reminds me of the taste of some of teh frozen dumplings you can be and all the associated preservatives. yet, i assume they make them fresh, so i'm baffled.

                        2. re: scoopG

                          Went last night and had zha jiang mian. The noodles were good but a little over cooked and the sauce didn't have enough flavour, I think it needed more salt or something and I wish there was bean curd in it and more cucumber. I kinda wish the noodles were a little thicker too, guess it's what I'm used to at home. Overall pretty good but I like my mum's better. However I really liked the guo tie, the pork and chives were really good and I liked how there wasn't too much pork. Where else can I get zha jiang mian? I'm really obsessed with it right now.

                        3. I was at Dumpling, or maybe it's called Fried Dumpling, at 25B Henry St. I didn't see the noodles get pulled, but the ones in my beef noodle soup sure tasted like they had been. The dumplings were great too. It's a total dive, complete with a side door that opens directly into the hallway of the tenement it occupies, but you can't beat the flavor or the prices.

                          1. went there last night and I gotta say, somewhat disappointed. we had the beef noodle soup, the lamb noodle soup and the boiled dumplings. total is $12.50. the boiled dumplings were nice, a nice filling and similarly rich/fatty like prosperity's fried, but very nice for boiled; the skin is actually not super-thin and I liked it, perfectly cooked. I like the dumpling sauce (sweetened) that they had on the table and actually, loved that there were about a half-dozen condiments available. the noise from the noodle-thwacking was out of control.

                            portions were generous for both, the quality of both the beef and the lamb were excellent, the greens were nice but somehow, the broth lacked flavor. there was no richness, none of the deepness that I'm used to (my favorite beef noodle place, aside from my mom's and any random bowl in taiwan, will always be the now defunct Szechuan Gourmet which was on Roosevelt Ave in queens, and closed about 5 years ago; they made the move to 40th road but didn't last, I'll miss not just their beef noodle soup with the thick chewy noodles but their fan-tuan, their xian-dou-jiang, their shredded turnip pastries and their hot bean curd carp) and the richness and flavor; didn't taste any anise and there weren't any "spare" parts in the soup either like the gelatinous tendons or other random meat which is usually tastier. the lamb noodle soup was also dull; just not the rich rich flavor of mutton I was craving and the meat itself was nice, but definitely tasted cooked out, like all the flavor of the lamb got cooked into the broth but was way diluted. the noodles themselves were nice although a bit overdone by maybe 10 seconds. I wanted to love the place, I did, but I couldn't.

                            I saw a woman get a pork-bone noodle soup which looked awesome, basically, a huge pile of the pork shoulder bone that was probably the base of one of the stocks they use. suitable for a large dog with all sorts of delicious meat hanging off of it. looked yum.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bigjeff

                              My boyfriend and I popped in for a visit on Sunday afternoon for a late lunch. We had never had hand pulled noodles before let alone the Super Taste comparison. We found the noodles to be of a nice chewy texture, decent tasting broth and a some good shanghai bok choi thrown in-a very tasty cheap lunch all in all. We also split an order of fried dumplings that were delicious, nice scallion flavour and we appreciated the selection of condiments on the tables for the soup and dumplings from the sirracha sauce to the pickled vegetables. Hope to hit Super Taste or one of the others some time for a comparison.

                              1. re: bigjeff

                                i always avoid lamb noodle at all these places b/c its usually fairly mediocre

                                as far as the broth goes, u are right that it isn't great, that said i haven't had a really good broth in NY anywhere (flushing or manhattan)...for some reason it is really difficult to find here (it is the most difficult part to make though), alot of the places can get the noodles right, but no one here gets the broth right. that said i find their broth to be the best out of the manhattan noodle places, but u have to kick it up with chili oil and pickled vegetables

                              2. I was there tonight. The beef brisket soup was wonderful and the dumplings were stupendous. 3 of us ate for $25 including tip. Thankfully, I don't drink coffee, because Starbucks would have cost more than dinner :-)

                                I highly recommend this, although it is absolutely about the food as there is no ambience.

                                 
                                 
                                1. Just chiming in to report another datapoint: last Sunday, the 144 East Broadway joint was empty except for a few staff at 11:30 AM, so we went over to Supertaste. It was half full, which we took to be a good sign and went in. We ordered the spicy beef, and the pork with pickled turnip, each of which had a font in a different color from the other 19 options so we took that to indicate a specialty of the restaurant.

                                  Noodles and broth were great in both cases; I can't compare to the other noodle joint, but these were extremely satisfying bowls of noodles for under $5 each, and the robust central air conditioning would be worth the price of admission alone on hot sweaty days. The beef was a bargain basement cut with lots of partially melted connective tissue, not a surprise for under $5 but it might put some people off. Flavor was great.

                                  We didn't hear any loud slapping of noodle dough, but the girl taking the orders was like a carnival barker as she huskily screamed out every order to the kitchen, which was more entertaining than annoying.

                                  By the time we got our food, every table had filled up and there were a few people waiting in line. We were the only non-Chinese in the restaurant, so read what you will about the relative preferences of neighborhood residents for Supertaste versus 144 East Broadway.

                                  A note on the vegetables: Supertaste didn't have pickled veggies available on the table, and we would have liked more. A guy who was clearly a regular brought his own in from a nearby shop. The crates of veggies stacked next to our table didn't look great, but I chalked it up to east coast produce--I'm from California--rather than a sourcing issue, but maybe I was too harsh on the east coast and not critical enough of Supertaste.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: SteveG

                                    Actually you can get pickled vegetables at Super Taste (i'm so regular they don't even ask what i want anymore), they used to have them on the table, but they took them off, but if u ask they'll give u a package of them (they don't make there own, i dont think any of the noodle shops in manhattan do)

                                    the spicy broth is the main reason why i go to super taste. the beef and vegetables are better at 144 e bway. Noodles are a toss up, i think the quality is the same at both places, but i do like that they pull them a little thicker at super taste. I actually think the broth is better at 144 e bway as its a bit more complex, but they don't have the spicy version (not sure why super taste is the only one with the spicy version), i usually just load mine up with chili oil. If i were to do a taste test of the straight (non-spicy) broth at 144 e bway vs super taste, 144 e bway would win.

                                    also super taste is the nicest place (which is not saying much) out of the bunch and they are probably the most english friendly as the main staff can speak ok english. If you go to 144 e bway, its less english friendly and ive never seen a non-chinese there (i regularly see non-chinese at super taste)

                                    1. re: SteveG

                                      I dug Lan Zhou Handmade Noodle...

                                      The soup was good and dirt cheap, and while I won't ever sit next to the noodle-slapping table again, I thought it added to the charm a little bit.

                                      That said, flavorwise, Super Taste wins for me.

                                      --------------------------
                                      http://foodstalker.com

                                    2. just ate here tonight and, very disappointed! eaten here a couple times in the past and thought it was pretty good (just re-read my post above from last year!) but tonight, we got the beef noodle soup and pork bone noodle soup, extra $2 tendon in the beef noodle soup and order of boiled dumplings (8 for $2). the dumplings were excellent, a little heavy on the chives but boiled perfectly; the filling was greasy and yummy, pretty dark for a pork dumpling (lotta soy?). the noodles in both soups were really good, perfect texture and ingredients were good (excellent texture and flavor on beef slices and beef tendon, vegetables really good, pork bone soup is def. not the best choice but if you like chewing the meat off bones, this is your pick) and thank god for all the condiments on the tables (sriracha, vinegar, pickled vegetable, chili oil) because the BROTH in both soups were mega-bland with no flavor. the beef one in particular was watery, no anise, no depth of flavor, nothing, and the pork, which should be relatively clear anyway, just had no flavor.

                                      so sad! what is the state of the hand-pull noodle in chinatown? any new favorites? walked around east broadway and division and saw a couple of places (there was a basement place but it was closed) and also a few more places with absolutely no english in sight) but, there must be some new places; a little tired of super taste, sheng wang and the eldridge places.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: bigjeff

                                        the fact of the matter is that none of the places in ctown do a real solid broth, ive sort of given in that there are very few places in ctown that will do chinese food correctly...sounds sort of pessimistic, but its true

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          144 East Broadway is my least favorite of the 5-6 hand-pulled noodle shops. Food Sing 88 Corp. at 2 East Broadway has the best broth of any of the hand-pulled noodle shops - you can really taste the star anise in theirs. New Chao Chow has great broth for their soups.

                                          -----
                                          Food Sing 88
                                          2 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

                                          1. re: scoopG

                                            walked past food sing 88 last night after our meal and peeped the prices (About 50 cents more expensive on most of the items) but if the broth is much better then well worth it. fancy digs too! any recs besides the beef noodle soup? lamb noodle soup maybe? planning to go next week to redeem last night's bad broth.

                                            1. re: bigjeff

                                              Has anyone noticed that Supper Taste, at least upon occasion, uses a pasta machine instead of making completely hand pulled noodles?

                                              1. re: wew

                                                Some one did comment on this some time ago, in the past 5-6 months. Not sure on what thread...

                                                1. re: scoopG

                                                  Might have been me on a thread transferred to the general chow board.

                                              2. re: bigjeff

                                                I usually just get the Beef Hand Pulled Noodles.

                                        2. I've eaten at Super Taste many times, plus Shen Wang for both peel and pulled noodles, and I've tracked down Mr. Gao at Eastern Noodle. The latter was my favorite until tonight. I stopped by Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles on 1 Doyers. It's by far the most centrally located, right off Chatham Square. I expected it to be something of a compromise. Boy was I wrong.

                                          First, it's clean. Far cleaner than any of the other noodle places. Second, it's friendly. I got a smile and a hello from everyone. I ordered hand-pulled noodles with vegetable and egg. A worried conference ensued in the kitchen and I was approached by a youngish girl. She made very sure that I knew that the broth was made with beef bones and was not vegetarian. I let her know that I was not vegetarian, but just like noodles with vegetables and egg.

                                          The sound of dough slapping on the counter--no show here, but I assume you can stand in the doorway if you want to watch--and in three minutes I had my dish. I've eaten at Super Taste many times and their broth has always been my least favorite part. It has that dishwater feel to it. The broth here was hearty, the noodles toothsome and fine. I can't speak for the beef, as I had only veg and egg, but she told me they braise it for four hours every morning.

                                          I asked a few questions, and when she could see I was interested, brought over a picture menu of their offerings. They serve Cantonese and Fujianese fish balls. In addition to the vermicelli-sized hand-pulled, they do a thicker version, plus knife-peeled noodles, plus about five other kinds of noodles, all of which I look forward to trying. She also made a point of saying they put Chinese medicine in their broth so that it's "good for the body."

                                          Really, I was just so impressed with this place. The broth, the noodles, the friendly and informative staff. And on top of everything, it's very clean. I hate to harp on this, but last time I took a friend to Shen Wang, we had to leave halfway through because of the stench from the bathroom. Not good. And really a heart-breaker for me, as I thought Shen Wang had the best noodles, and offered knife-peeled noodles to boot! I had resigned myself to just trying the other hand-pulled places and finding a favorite, leaving knife-peeled noodles behind. When she told me about them, I asked if they did them stir-fried with shrimp. She sensed my excitement and really got excited along with me! It's just wonderful to find a place with such passion.

                                          I look forward to patronizing this place, and to bringing along my less-adventurous friends. Aficionados are particular about their noodles, so I don't expect this place will appeal to everyone, but it's got everything I need and I hope they can make a go of it. Stop by and give them your business.

                                          p.s., In the dining room, there were two dudes from Seattle who had just wandered in off the street. Beginner's luck.

                                          -----
                                          Sheng Wang
                                          27 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                                          Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
                                          1 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: richarmstrong

                                            thanks, sounds great, will check it out.

                                            1. re: bigjeff

                                              yeah been meaning to check it out as well

                                            2. re: richarmstrong

                                              Thanks for the tip. I've only gone by when it was closed and thought it was a noodle factory, not a restaurant.