2 handpulled noodle reviews: Lanzhou Handpulled Noodles (21 division) and Food Sing
So I've been meaning to post this for a little while, but i've been kind of busy. I've been meaning to try the newer lanzhou handpulled noodle places outside of the normal ones i go to (super taste and 144 e bway), so this was part of accomplishing that mission. This time i tried one new one and one that i need to re-try as people seem to like it.
Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles (i believe its called bai wei lan zhou la mian in chinese...meaning 100 flavor lan zhou hand pulled noodles): This place is on division street. I was immediately skeptical of the place as they advertised also that they serve banh mi (its such a fad now haha). It is run by fujian people just like the other places. It's much nicer than my normal spots as it kind of reminds you of a Hong Kong Station type interior, everything was new and generally looked cleanier. The crowd was mainly young fujian people (talking like high school / college age). The service was fine, normal and sort of brisk albeit there was less yelling than super taste and its much quieter than 144 e bway (smacking of dough). Anyhow, onto the food:
- niu rou la mian (beef noodle soup): I just got the standard beef noodle soup. Not good, this place was like a very mediocre version of super taste. The broth was sorta of watery and not very flavorful, the beef was tough and the noodles were overcooked. Not much more to say about it other than that, i tried dosing it with chili oil and suan cai (preserved vegetables), but it could only do so much.
- yu wan (fish balls): these weren't good either, they tasted like they were probably frozed and reheated...again not good
Overall, I'd avoid this place as I think its the worst hand pulled noodle place in the city
Food Sing: I'd been here once before, but i haven't been here in a long time and some people really seem to like it on chowhound, so i decided to try it again. Food Sing is also much nicer than SP or 144, everything is nice and new and quiet and clean. The people were pretty nice and speak good english (heard them speaking to someone). On to the food:
- niu rou la mian (beef noodle soup): this was pretty good, the broth is pretty clean tasting, however it does have quite a bit of star anise (more so than any of the other places) and there is quite a bit of MSG in it (more so than the other place I think). The beef was pretty decent, probably better than super taste, but not as good as 144 (reasonably tender). The noodles were good although they were so perfect and symetrical that I almost think they might've been machine cut. They were a bit thinner than I like, while they were good I think SP and 144 have better noodles. Overall, I think this place is pretty good and I can see why people like it.
There is still that new place on Doyers, but I think I'll stick to my normal places based on what i've had so far although I do think Food Sing is pretty decent.
not to hijack the thread (thanks lau for your vigilance); ever had the house special noodle at super taste? just read about it, sounds different (not the usual beef noodle soup). and I'm with you on the need to dry the doyers spot, will check it out. the warning on the MSG-laden broth for 88 Food Sing is helpful tho.
surprisingly i have not had it given how many times ive been to that place, early on i tried most of the noodle soups, but i never got around to house special, but my feeling was that it probably had a bunch of seafood in it and i found their seafood to be subpar (and that would be the same for all of the other noodle soup places)
Thanks Lau for this review. I've not tried the place on Division but have found the broth to be superior at Food Sing - evidence of star anise and just more flavorful IMO. But I've not been there in a couple of months...