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May 16, 2009 02:41 PM

Noodle place on Cranbourne Street, Leicester Sq, London - anyone been?

Saw a claim of "authentic Lanzhou style hand pulled noodles" in their window. And Lanzhou is indeed ground zero for hand pulled noodles. Apologies as I forgot the name - it sounded like ramn bar or noodle bar, something simple like that... More or less across the street from the Leicester Sq tube exit on Cranbourne Street.

If anyone has been, love to hear about it. Will check it out myself soon.

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  1. The name of the place is Noodle Bar and it does make genuine and excellent Lanzhou style hand pulled noodles, cooked to the right level of softness and springy-ness. The broth was ok, had a pleasant star anise aroma, but the major attraction is the noodle.

    7 Replies
    1. re: limster

      Happened to get noodles at Inn Noodle in Bayswater today, and Noodle Bar's rendition is indeed more even and finer in terms of the thickness of the noodles.

      1. re: limster

        What should one order? I am planning my trip to London and your posts have been fantastic.

        1. re: Brfoodie

          I've only had one noodle dish, so I can't say with any authority. Ask for the hand pulled noodles, and if you want something from the source, they have a lanzhou style beef noodle soup. But don't let that stop you from trying other stuff -- afterall, your taste is as good as mine, and that's how we figure out which one's better, by making empirical comparisons.

          1. re: limster

            I went there yesterday. It's one of those ubiquitous chinese places (sloppy sweet and sour and chow mein piled high) from the outside, but once inside, the proper noodle bar set up got me optimistic.

            The waitress' command of english was very poor, and she had difficultly understanding my questions. Opted for the pork rib soup noodles in the end, which was simply bits of wok fried sliced pork on noodles with a token piece of bok Choi..

            Unfortunately i found it quite underwhelming. I'm pretty sure the noodles I chose were not hand pulled (although the waitresss had told me they were when I had asked before) they were very thin ones and sadly over cooked. The pork on top was nice, but the soup lacked any depth and was simply OK. No star anise flavour .

            Might have to return for what Limster had one of these days. I won't dismiss ithe place quite yet, as I guess i ordered the wrong thing..

            1. re: foreignmuck

              The noodles I had were hand pulled and tossed into the hot water right away (you can see the chef hand pulling it -- best view from the table against the wall near the counter). If it helps, the term for the hand pulled noodles is "la mian" or say ramen with an "l" (la-men").

              1. re: limster

                yeah,there was no hand pulling going on, so the noodles must have been pre-made.

                I wouldn't have missed it as I was the only one in the joint..

                will try again..

                1. re: foreignmuck

                  Do try again. I also went yesterday, and as per Limster's post watched as my noodles were kneeded, tossed and spun into boiling water, where they rested for a few seconds before being dumped in a large bowl of soup, topped with spring onions and shredded beef and placed in front of me. This was the shredded beef la mien soup, cost six pounds, and was pretty great all things considered. Obviously the external appearance is offputting, and the staff were more interested in watching a portable dvd player than clearing the trays left on the table next to me, but the noodles were great, so who cares? They were also pretty friendly when I asked which noodles to order and stuff, so maybe you just caught them at a bad moment? There was the waitress and two male chefs, one who pulled the noodles and one who attended to the soup, which was not without merit by any means. Had the dishwatery appearance of a good rich unclarified stock, like the kind I make at home, but a lot beefier and with nice quiet spicing. I pepped it up with some of the decent chilli oil provided on the table. Seriously, I wouldn't rate this as a hidden gem, but it was cheap, great, and pretty amusing, so while I don't intend to stray beyond the short selection of la mien soups I'll definitely return. Nice work Limster.