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蘭州手工拉麵 在紐約但蘭州人不再 (Lanzhou Pulled Noodle in New York without the Lanzhou Noodle Puller

Super Taste (百味蘭州手拉麵). 26 Eldridge St. #N. New York, NY. (photo from http://foodgogo.mobi/
)■百味蘭州手拉麵 (trans. of Chinese Name): One Hundred Flavors Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles.

I have eaten noodle in different parts of China for some time, and have found some really good noodle shops in Chinatown. This one on Eldridge St. claims to be autentic Lanzhou Pulled Noodle: 蘭州手工拉麵.In China, Lanzhou 蘭州 in Gansu Province 甘肅省 is famous for hand pulled noodles, but most of the restaurats in Chinatown NYC claming to be autentic Lanzhou hand pulled noodles are owned and operated by people from Fuzhou: 福州人. Still you can get some great taste in these shops.

It should be noted that many of the hand pulled noodle shops in Lanzhou China are operated by hui 回 people, Chinese Muslims (回族 huizu;) who practice Islam ( 回教 huijiao) .

The 26 Eldridge Street shop is not bad. Its location is nice, and it always has a few customers inside. One menu’s specialty is 岐山麵 (Mount Qi Noodle), and this is an area and mountain in 山西省 or Shanxi Province, which is quite far from northwest province of Gansu: 甘肅省. I actually ate 岐山麵 Mount Qi Noodle, and was satisfied, and highly recommend it. Spicy, with pork and mixed veggies, and nice broth, hot and sour style: 酸辣 (suanla) .

So, are the owners of Super Taste from Gansu 甘肅 where Lan Zhou 蘭州 is located, or are they from Shanxi Province 山西, where Qi Mountain ( 岐山 qi shan) is located? The owners, though I did not ask, my guess is they are : 福州人 people from Fuzhou or Fujinan, and the noodle is far from authentic Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodle, but the noodle IS hand pulled, and the dishes are quite good.

I can tell you that finding 蘭州手工拉麵 Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodle done by a person from Lanzhou here in NYC is not going to happen, unless it is a worker form Lanzhou working for a Fujianese. None the less, hand pulled noodles in these Fuzhou owned shops can be good.

If you want to eat 福州式麵 Fuzhou Style Noodle you need to go to other places and order 拌麵 Banmian (noodle w/ peanut sauce), and this is found easily at the more non-discript Fuzhou eating places for only $2. One is a Fuzhou Restaurant on the corner of Eldridge and Broome I highly recommend visiting. Another is C & L Dumpling House on Chrystie Street just up from Hester. Authentic Fujianese noodles, simple and cheap. These noodles are made fresh nightly for delivery the next day in a factory on Forsythe and Canal and sent around to the restaurants every day. The facory is near the Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, and you can walk by after midnight and see the noodles being churned out, with flour dust all through the first floor.

Well, concerning eating HAND PULLED noodles ( 手工拉麵), on my last visit Super Taste, 26 Eldridge Street, I ordered 山西切削麵 (shanxi knife cut noodles) and though it is on the menu, they no longer offer it. My guess is they now are confined to preparing all the noodle before hand as opposed to by order. I had instead 牛肉拉麵加辣 (Beef hand pulled noodle with extra spicy). The beef slices where exceptionally geneous and very tender and delicous. Th noodle is fresh and delicious, and the broth is to satisfaction. I prefer extreme hot, so I did find their use of spice for their hot (spicy ) dishes to be under spiced, but two different hot sauces, including 紅油 (hong you) spicy oily pepper, are found on all tables.

There are better places for hand pulled noodle 手工拉麵 not too far from this restaurant for about the same price $4-$7, though I found the staff extremely nice, and friendly and helpful, Super Taste is not number one, but does have a diverse selection and delicious 岐山麵 (Mount Qi Noodle), which I recommend.

河南風味 Flavor of Henan, Henan Noodle by Henan people:

And I will tell you a secret, by far the best noodles are found at a Henan 河南 Restaurant on Forsyth opposite the park up from Hester. It has both knife cut and hand pulled noodles: 切削麵 手工拉麵 都有。 The Owners ae from Henan Province河南省, the sign says Henan 河南, and the food is Henan 河南. Henan is known in China to also have great noodles. The restaurant is called 河南風味 Flavor of Henan: 68 B Forsyth St.

See this blog: http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/jw!.FVnBCO...

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Super Taste
26 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

C&L Dumpling House
77 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine
118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

He Nan Flavor
68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. i used to eat at super taste once a week with my old roommate, they are fujian people (they speak to each other in fuzhou hua), i asked the owner once and i believe they actually went to lanzhou for a little while to learn how to make the noodles etc.

    Btw in China, there are 兰州拉面 (lanzhou) places everywhere and most of the time they aren't actually from lanzhou, i read an article about it when i was in china how its basically become sort of a KFC or mcdonald's like product in that you can find it everywhere, here's a picture of a place i ate at in china in shanghai that is one of these places, the workers weren't from lanzhou and they were all actually hui (chinese muslim), you could taste their western chinese influence in the food as everything was spiced completely differently using cumin and stuff like that
    http://www.lauhound.com/2010/11/lan-z...

    i like the ban mian at sogo which is on east broadway between market and catherine, but much closer to market on the south of the street, its got a yellow and green onning and says 正宗台湾采 or something like that even though it's fuzhou food not taiwanese food (no idea why it says that), most of their 福州小吃 is decent, stuff like fishballs etc

    henan fengwei is a branch of a flushing spot that scoopG covered a while back
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/728696

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    Shui Mei Cafe
    67A E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      I imagine that that is the case, promoting with Lan Zhou signs for anything that is hand pulled noodle

      The Muslims in the regions I found myself in were from Qing Hai and many from Xinjaing, and never noticed any usage of the Lan Zhou marketing ploy , but imagine on the East Coast that exists, as well as in other places.\\

      1. re: Lau

        Ban main 拌面 (banmian: noodle w/ peanut sauce) on Eldridge and Broome in a Fuzhou noodle shop I recommend、also C and L up from Hester on Crystie is good。 They all use these yellow thin and slightly wide noodles that are fresh,and if I am correct come from the noodle factory on Forsyth and Canal。

        There are these two Fuzhou noodle shops across from each other on East Broadway,and they are open real late, and get busy real late. They basically have the same thing, a variety of noodles mostly 汤的 (tangda: w/ soup)。 I am not sure about the Fuzhou 店 (dian;shop) posing as a Taiwan 店 on East Braodway. and I do not know Sogo. I will look, Thanks.

        Super Taste is not one of my favorites, but I do like the business friendly attitude of the staff there, and it seems to be filled with people when I hve gone.

        I used to go to this chaozhou 潮州 (chaozhou: west coastal city Guangdong) noodle place on Grand( 潮州a 古城 gucheng: old city, in western 广东 Guangdong 离海边很近 lihaibianhenjin: close to the coast)It is quite good, but lost enthusiasm for it because I wnet there too often. I do recommed it. You can see Chao Zhou on the yellow sign with red writing second block west from Bowery on the north side,next to a 面食 (mianshi: wheat product) shop that sells cheap 萝卜糕 (luobogao: turnip cake) not sweet and good for breakfast

        ) ))

        ( (( /)

        ,-===-//

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        ' '

        \_____/

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        C&L Dumpling House
        77 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

        Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine
        118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

        1. re: jonkyo

          you're probably talking about bo ky's second branch, i wrote a post about it b/c you can get bak chor mee (rou cuo mian) which is a famous teochew (chao zhou) dish that i used to eat all the time in singapore; their lu wei ya (duck) is quite good too. i wish they had more teochew food in NY, its one of my favorite styles of chinese food
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/751160
          http://www.lauhound.com/2010/12/bo-ky...

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          Grand Bo Ky
          216 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: scoopG

          Henan Flushings is a nice review. I knew it was a chain, when I was pulling up Chinese reviews on the Forsyth shop.

          Thoroughly love the food. It took me just a bit to get used to thick consistency of the noodles, for I tended for years to the more thin southern style, thus said, I never had a problem with the Chinese Muslim‘s noodles in China,which were always on the thick side.

          .

          I actually ate the Yang innards soup today, and it was heavenly. Stuck the accompanying bing cake in my bag for breakfast tomorrow.

          I have been so curious about the 麻辣大盤鳮 (mala dapan ji) , and plan to take a freind there to eat it, as it is a dish for a least two people。

          I might add that I stop with the dumplings, as I had the 水饺(shuijiao) and the 面食 (mianshi: see below #1 ) is just to heavy for me。 That is no problem because the noodle dishes, 牛腩 (niu nan: beef brisket/stomach area ) for example sends me straight to some heavenly platue。

          Very good forsythe review。 They get a lot of business from the high school kids。

          # 1 : 面食/麵食: (mianshi) meaning thing made of wheat, predominately the staples of the north as the south is rice 米 mi.

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          He Nan Flavor
          68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

          1. re: jonkyo

            Jonkyo - Could you use Roman letters for those of us not fluent? thanks!

            1. re: fredid

              I certainly could do that. Pardon. I am no star putonghua speaker myself, and I apologize.

              I redid this with pinyin and some explainations for some of the word:

              I actually ate the Yang innards soup today, and it was heavenly. Stuck the accompanying bing cake in my bag for breakfast tomorrow.

              I have been so curious about the 麻辣大盤鳮 (mala dapan ji) , and plan to take a freind there to eat it, as it is a dish for a least two people。

              I might add that I stop with the dumplings, as I had the 水饺(shuijiao) and the 面食 (mianshi: see below #1 ) is just to heavy for me。 That is no problem because the noodle dishes, 牛腩 (niu nan: beef brisket/stomach area ) for example sends me straight to some heavenly platue。

              Very good forsythe review。 They get a lot of business from the high school kids。

              # 1 : 面食/麵食: (mianshi) meaning thing made of wheat, predominately the staples of the north as the south is rice 米 mi.

              -----
              He Nan Flavor
              68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

              1. re: jonkyo

                You can actually go back and edit your post within 2 hours of posting, if this makes easier for you instead of copying and pasting the text again.

                I think it'd be more understandable for a non-Chinese reader if you had, for example, indicated that 麻辣大盤鳮 is Hot/Spicy and Numbing Big Plate Chicken and given the pinyin alongside, instead of just the pinyin. Otherwise, nobody would be able to tell that dish is a chicken dish. :)

                1. re: Cheeryvisage

                  麻辣大盤鳮 (ma la da pan pan ji) large plate of chicken cooked and serve with spicy red pepper with a sauce of one consistency or another.

                  麻辣 mala: spicy hot, rooted in Sichuan cooking style, and uses spices along with red chili, usually dried but not cut. This combinations of spices and red chili tend to give a numbing sensation to the mouth,not unpleasent though. The spices include clove and,I am guessing, star anise, along with others. The spices used could be found on the web.

                  大 'da' Big, Large

                  盤 'pan' plate, dish, flat to eat on

                  鳮 'ji' chicken

                  conjunction 大盤 'dapan' : large plate indicative of large portions add 鳮 'ji' chicken to this conjunction and you can get the delicious picture.

                  A note on 麻辣 Ma La: is often prepared in a Hot Pot (火鍋 huoguo) which is at the center of the table for dining,and ingredients such as meats, and cabbage, are ordered by the guests and brought out raw, for the people dining to slowly put the items in and take them out when they are cooked. Gas either installed under or brought in portable is used to keep the Hot Pot boiling: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

                  麻辣 Ma La spiced food can be found in many manifestations a Legends (Sichuan Restaurant) on 8th Ave, and a newly opened one on Second Ave below 8th on East side of the street, or look here: http://www.asianfusion-mag.com/2011su...

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                  Legend
                  88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  He Nan Flavor
                  68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

        2. Wonderful detailed and educational report and writeup! Thank you.

          13 Replies
          1. re: K K

            Thank you. I am happy that you appreciate my critique of these great independently owned places.

            I ate noodle for years in one city, the noodles they made them fresh in small family owned factories around the city, and a man on a motor cycle would carry the noodles about the city dropping them off at all the small noodle shops, many of no great interior, concrete walls and floors, and tables and chairs of no great fashion, but all offer exceptional dining experiences, and some of these just had no place like them on earth. I scouted out the best Ma Jiang Mian or Sesame Noodle(麻醬麵) in this one location, and it was something I ate daily, for years. That, Ma Jiang Mian (麻醬麵) is a meat and sesame base sauce that takes some time to make, and consists of shallots and other spices. If you get a chance visit southern Taiwan and see what you find. You will be glad you did. http://www.ttv.com.tw/cuisine/Detail....

            I am finding some local delicious specialties in my present location, and glad to share.

            Thank you

            1. re: jonkyo

              oh man i miss stuff like this, i love the food in taiwan so much

              1. re: Lau

                I coud not leave because of the food. My father had to demand I leave, for my masters study. If he did not push me, I'd still be in Taiwan eating 麻醬麵 majiangmian (sesame noodle) near daily, with visits to the chao tofu vendor with tables for a beer and that delicious treat.

              2. re: jonkyo

                Unfortunately the most southern part of Taiwan I've ever reached was Nantou which is actually the central part, and was mostly passing by rather than having had the chance to eat (but I have had excellent mountain boar belly down the hill from Tarako Gorge...)

                Remotely familiar with some noodles from Tainan....have seen multiple food documentaries where the host tries to knead the dough for one type of noodle, and some after making them, put them in large trays to sun dry them on the roof. A few supermarkets in my area carry a brand of dried imported Tainan noodles called Guan Miao, which are not bad for home use...can only imagine how much better they could be fresh.

                The closest to Tainan noodles I've had is a branch of 度小月擔仔麵 in Taipei. The original location has a history (and age) matching that of Katz Pastrami, now down to 4th or 5th generation. These US$1 to 1.50 bowls of noodles kill me. That plus Tainan is like the root of all old style Taiwanese food culture. Still have yet to eat a full multicourse deboned milkfish 虱目魚 at a specialist restaurant, including congee + soup. Only have had the belly grilled (with a lemon wedge on the side), and the fish head in soup with ginger slices (not too much to my liking...tad bit fishy).

                My next question is, how does one tell the difference between Lanzhou style hand pulled noodles versus say Shandong or Shaanxi (do they even hand pull noodles there, or only knife shave?), or even Xi'an (e.g. I've seen pictures online that Xi'an Famous Foods has a type of fresh hand/hand pulled noodle, but it looks more like the knife shaved kind, thicker/wider...or was the pic falsely labeled).

                1. re: K K

                  I had fantastic noodles in both Tainan and Gaoxiong, but didn't really know what I was eating. Is "san bei ji" (3 glass Chicken) from Southern Taiwan? or is it originally from the Mainland?

                  1. re: swannee

                    I just googled 三杯雞来源 (sanbeijilaiyun) where is the origin of san bei ji.

                    I have not really looked extensively but this pulled up: 三杯鸡是江西特色菜 (snbeijishijiangxiteshecia) Sanbeiji is Jaing Xi Provence's Special Dish. Googling the history of San Bie Ji and it 原产地 (yuanchandi) I found this:
                    三杯鸡起源于江西宁都 (sanbeijiqiyuanjaingxiningdu) The origin of San Bei Ji is Ning Du in Jiangxi Province.

                    Full article following here. The article is written from the Mainland about special aspects of Taiwan cuisine 台湾饮食文化( taiwanyingshewenhua): Culture of Chinese food and drink; 海纳百川 (hainebaichuan is a chengyu 成语, a proverb, meaning all rivers run to the sea) “台”味十足 ("tai" weishizu) Basically meaning the flavor of Taiwan Cuisine is full. ):
                    http://guide.fengjing.com/603030/7288...

                    1. re: jonkyo

                      Many thanks for the article on San Bei Ji. My reading of Chinese is limited--especially in simplified characters, but I got the gist of it. I find it hard to believe that there is a full cup of soy sauce--I can taste the booze and the aromatic ginger, but soy is not at all prominent in any version I have eaten. The best I have had in NY, by the way, might be in a hole in the wall in Flushing next to Spicy & Tasty, called in English (I think) something about Family meal, and in Chinese is Nan Bei Wei (North South Taste).

                      1. re: swannee

                        I am sure you could google up articles in English on San Bei Ji.

                        I am curious, for I am not sure of this san bei ji, though know the name, and of course foun articles on it recently.

                        I am sure I have eaten it, but perhaps with table full of food at someone's home, or I have not really taken note. Chicken is not to big with me, so perhaps it never registered.

                        Sorry,

                        the computer I use is in simplified chinese, for typing, and I studied in Taiwan, London and Hunter complex characters for more than 5 years, and when I went off to CHina, I was worried, but within months I was reading simplified, simply becase its everywhere, including text messaging.

                        Today I prefer simplified and dislike the fact that newspapers here in NYC are all in complex characters. It i good to know both.

                        Mine is rusty, due to neglect since being in US. My books are all in storage, so it is difficult to keep up with no resources/

                        I am sure you chinese is quite good though. Don't put yourself down in that respect.

                  2. re: K K

                    If the ingredients are all the same (i.e. high gluten flour) they should be the same. I first tasted knife-cut noodles in Taipei years ago. With the internal migration of people and foods in China dishes spread. Mapo Tofu is now a Hunan dish. Cantonese make a mild version of Gong Bao Chicken. Also marketing plays a role. On a brief trip to Qingdao last year "Taiwanese Hot Dogs" were being sold by street vendors. Nothing Taiwanese about them, just a gimmick to push product.

                    1. re: scoopG

                      Witnessed the gimmicks, many, but there is plenty of hands on street food that is great, an yes these migrate. I prefer Taiwanese Chou Tofu to Guangzhou and Hunan's. The Tiwanese really cultivated that dish to be a sit down with a beer food. Gimmicks, cultures all share this, such as Asian Dog on Kenmar. I just don't get that.

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                      Asiadog
                      66 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

                    2. re: K K

                      I actually went to Xi'an Famous Food below Canal on the east to west street, and I was not impressed at all. I suppose my standards are higher than Anthony Bourdain's and the WSJ and NYT.

                      To answer your question, about noodles in the Shandong and Shaanxi Provinces, I am not to certain, but I used to eat noodles at a local shop on Mainland, owned by people from Shaanxi, and they claimed to be nothing but a shop for noodles and other dishes. They used fresh round softer than spaghetti but about the same size.

                      I would imagine, originally the noodles from those two Provinces were done by knife, and like many styles in the north, thick. I seem to have this vague impression of that, perhaps due to a conversation or visit to a shop with owners from there.

                      I have never been to Lanzhou, but in many areas of southern China I visited and lived there were restaurants owned typically by migrants from Xingzhang Province, who always spoke very poor and some no Mandarin. They were all 回族 (huizu) Chinese muslims, and they pulled their noodles by hand but did not make a big deal about it, and never claimed to sell Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles, and did not have advertsing signs flashing this fact. Wonderful places these were, and always friendly, with sometimes the whole family spending time at their restuarants.

                      I think if you use google image and googled Lanzhou City using chinese characters with also hnd pulled in chinese but use restaurant with it, you might get a photo of authentic Lanzhou Had Pulled Noodles. 兰州手工拉面店在兰州市 (lanzhou shougong lamian zai lanzhoushi)

                      That traslates to "Lanzhou handmade pulled noodle shop in Lanzhou, Gansu Province".

                      If you just google using Chinese or english "lanzhou hand pulled noodles history, you might find some interesting articles and maybe written in a comparative fashion, to noodles in other Chinese regions.

                      This is a good article about original and authenic Lanzhou hand pulled noodles in Chinese with photo: http://www.91ald.com/a/meishiwanwei/m...

                      This article in English talks about Lanzhou La Mian at the bottom half of the article:

                      http://www.chinahighlights.com/travel...

                      And this blog (have not read it) refers to the history of Lanzhou Shougon La Mian: http://noodlefrontity.blogspot.com/20...

                      手工 (shougong)means handmade in a general sense like the English word.

                      I think the difference can also be partly understood or hinted by knowing the noodles found at Henan Flavor 河南风味 (henan fengwei) on Forsythe NYC mentioned in my review at the end above. I also use what I have experienced in talking wth more northern and eastern people who own small food shop in China. The noodles at Henan are thick and I believe just like in Henan. They are delicious but you won't know until you go, that is if it convenient and if you are in the area.

                      I did not answer you questions completely and sorry for my minimal mention of Xi‘an Famous Food. I will add that I did not have any noodle dish there. Check those articles out, I think they might be good.

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                      Xi'an Famous Foods
                      67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

                      1. re: jonkyo

                        Just a quick request -- could we ask that you guys continue this Q&A on noodle types and history in a new thread over on the General Topics board rather than here on Manhattan? It's a little off-topic here, but it seems like a great many people would really appreciate the information, and they'll never find it on this board because they won't be looking for it. You can reply here with a link to the new thread.

                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                          Sure, what a great idea.

                          Show the way, or do we just start a thread on General Topic?

                2. Thanks, Jonkyo, for most informative posting!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: swannee

                    You are welcome. Food has been so important to me much of my adult life, and I gather I am not the only one in that catagory, so it is nice to be here and share and exchange.

                  2. pretty sure the owners of henan on forsythe are fuzhou too. but i like their food a lot

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                    He Nan Flavor
                    68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: AubWah

                      The owner of Henan Flavors, Mr. Wang Qiang (王強) is from Zhengzhou, Henan.

                      1. re: AubWah

                        Well, I spoke to them, and they told me they are from Henan. Their Mandarin does not have that southern sound.

                      2. I don't think it matters. It is about the skill, not about the origin of the person. I don't think it has to be a Lanzhou person to perform Lanzhou hand pulled noodle, nor do I think it has to be a Cantonese person to make Cantonese foods. Otherwise, only the French can make French foods and only the Italians can make Italians.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          I agree. It's all about mastering technique. Nationality or ethnicity of the person doing the cooking is really of no relevance, as long as the skill set is there along with an understanding of any particular dish or regional cuisine.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            I can understand this argument.

                            But, when we are taking about Lanzhou noodles, this name place is really inconsequential, because it is just a marketing ploy, and perhaps its very difficult to find authentic Lanzhou noodles. The point is these people are just using the method of pulling noodles fresh from dough, and the tastes offered in menu selections are generally stemming from a hogpog of regions, or perhaps simply Chinese. Zhe Jiang noodle may be from more northern or eastern regions, but is standard fare, at least in NYC Chinatown.

                            In Taiwan some native, who spent a decade lvng in Argentina returned after his job changed, and he opened an Argentine Steak House in his hometown. I never made it to that steak house, andmy local friends never seemed interested, but I am sure it was an honest effort at recreating what he experineced in Argintine.

                            I have been to a fair number of countries baring South America and the Middle East, and one thing that is my focus is getting to know the down to earth local food and people by visiting local places, even if I enter some place not used to travelers and I get stared at. It is quite something to find what you ate somewhere else in your own country, and it is quite nice to have a dalgoue and exchange if the workers and owners come from that place.

                            Thai cuisine in the USA is horrible. more than 20 years ago, one of the few Thai restaurants at the time was on Mott Street. Thai restaurants wer rare, very limited. Back then (cosed now) this Mott Street Thai restauran was quite good.

                            Now in some or many locations in NYC area, Thai restaurants are like Seven Elevens in Taipei or Tokyo, and they are all so bad, even when run, owned, and staffed by Thailand native. That is a fact, and kind of throws this theory about place and authenticity out the window.

                            1. re: jonkyo

                              Right on mark. Especially the marketing ploy comment.

                              I had a separate thread about the Taipei 2010 beef noodle competition results winners on the China board earlier this year, then I commented about how some candidates tried relying on gimmicks, including using both the name and method of Lanzhou style hand pulled noodle (but did not win any awards). You can get a steller cheap niu rou mian in Taipei w/o eating Lanzhou hand pulled noodles. Or just source fresh Shandong noodles that were never dried. Either customers from TW also see this as a gimmick, or they feel it doesn't add as much pizazz to the mix. The winners and runner ups won mostly because of beef and broth, and style/approach/originality, and in 2009 the same thing. I'm sure the hand pulled noodle shops that serve beef noodles are above average, but certainly are not making huge waves with TW food loving bloggers or the "TW Michelin" raters of the beef noodle competition.

                              Thai food in Taipei tastes better than most Thai restaurants in Northern California.

                              1. re: K K

                                Thai food in Thailand, just limiting ones self to street venders and street table cooking set ups in the evenng, is better than Thai food on 9st or anywhere in NewYork, or west of the Mississippi.

                                Same goes for Taiwan food. I went to a Taiwan restaurant some years back in NYC Chinatown and it failed to do anything then recreated in a mediocre fashion a sampling from Taiwan. For instance, they had Chou Tofu chou (臭豆腐), and that is a food that is always served on the street, with out or without tables set up. This place offered that on the menu, and just did not compare to the finer venders I scouting out in Taipie and the south.

                                Where I lived in Taiwan there was a place, in an open market, that had the best beef noodles in the city, and they were alway open, even late. They used noodles from a local small factory, noodles of which were delivered still fresh made that morning.

                              2. re: jonkyo

                                jonkyo,

                                I think your overall point from your last post is valid. If you really think the person who did the Lanzhou hand pulled noodle was not making real authentic hand pulled noodle and criticized for it -- that is fine.

                                It is also fine to criticize if a person made some rather unfamiliar Italian foods or something. Yet, the title of your original post is narrower. It reads as if you are telling us that Lanzhou noodle shops are not operated by Lanzhou hand pullers, just like telling us that many Italian restaurant chefs are not from Italy. That reads like an ethnic statement. Surely you understand this difference. It is probably more worthwhile if we can direct our criticism at the results of the foods.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  I disagree a bit.

                                  I think it is educational to clearify that the use of the place name Lanzhou on shops in China and NYC is mostly simply a marketing ploy. I have had noodles that were perhaps closer to what original Lazuou hand pulled noodles are in shops owned by Xinzhang and Ningxia Chinese muslims in China.

                                  I judge the food on what the results are, be they manifesting as a mix of Chinese tastes (pig feet noodle; pig intenstine noodle etc), or some new idea. One shop on East Broadway pulling the noodles is good because the noodles end up in dimentions and form similar to the slim noodles I loved in Taiwan. Another shop is good because it represents a more northern approach to 面食 (mian shi) wheat product, meaing thick and hearty. Lanzhou has nothing to do with it.

                                  My point is, if I go to this Uzbek restaurant in the Diamond District of NYC,I will be eating Uzbek food, by Uzbeck people. That is a unique dining experience.

                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                    "azuou hand pulled noodles are in shops owned by Xinzhang and Ningxia Chinese muslims in China."

                                    "if I go to this Uzbek restaurant in the Diamond District of NYC,I will be eating Uzbek food, by Uzbeck people"

                                    :) I think we just have to agree to disagree. In my view, having Uzbeck muslims preparing the hand pull noodle is secondary -- certainly not primary. I don't require my hand pulled noodle to be operated by Lanzhou Uzbek. When I see "Cantonese restaurants", I don't require the chefs to be from Canton.

                                    I have also had hand pulled noodle prepared by chefs born and raised from Lanzhou and a couple of my friends from Lanzhou have confirmed the noodle there is exactly how they remember from Lanzhou. But this is completely beside my point.

                                    As for how the customer perception may be, that is customer expectation and perception. I certainly don't think it is some sort of marketing fraud if the chef is not from Lanzhou. If the food is not prepared correct, sure, but the origin of the person has little to do with it. The expectation that Lanzhou hand pulled noodle should to be made by Uzbeck Muslisms from Lanzhou is not something I require. Otherwise I would be asking Italian foods should be prepared by Italian from Italy and to be Catholic, and I don't.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Imade no reference to requiremnts.

                                      Isimply stated that the use of the word Lanzhou is a way to indicate to people that they pull noodles from dough, it is sort of a marketing ploy. That does not detract from what may be bought and consumed at such a shop, but if such a shop has pig feet noodle soup, it certainly is not of the type of cuisine where Muslim made hand pulled Lanzou noodles are, it just means a noodle is pulled and cooked fresh, and prepare in a fashion that is Chinese, either Tawian, Guangdong, Fujian, Shan Xi, etc.,or northern parts, because pig feet are consumed all over China.

                                      Who is requiring anything? Certainly not me.

                                      I reqiure my Italian food be prepared by Italian chefs from Italy, who have cooked professonaly for a leat 10 years and have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and who cook while listening to a Puccini Opera recording. How is that for requiremnt?

                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                        "Who is requiring anything? Certainly not me"

                                        Jonkyo, I think we can debate what you "require" or what you "prefer" or "approve" or whatever it may be. What is clear is that you have made several past references to the origin of the chefs, so it certainly bear significance to you. This includes the entirety of the title of your post:

                                        "Lanzhou Pulled Noodle in New York without the Lanzhou Noodle Puller" "蘭州手工拉麵在紐約, 但蘭州人不再". These certainly mirror a statement as "Italian restaurants in New York without Chefs from Italy" Needless to say my first response to you was "I don't think it matters. It is about the skill, not about the origin of the person...."

                                        You have also made numerous references in the rest of text:

                                        "but most of the restaurats in Chinatown NYC claming to be autentic Lanzhou hand pulled noodles are owned and operated by people from Fuzhou: 福州人"

                                        "I have had noodles that were perhaps closer to what original Lazuou hand pulled noodles are in shops owned by Xinzhang and Ningxia Chinese muslims in China."

                                        "My point is, if I go to this Uzbek restaurant in the Diamond District of NYC,I will be eating Uzbek food, by Uzbeck people."

                                        and more.

                                        As I have written before: "If you really think the person who did the Lanzhou hand pulled noodle was not making real authentic hand pulled noodle and criticized for it -- that is fine. ...It is probably more worthwhile if we can direct our criticism at the results of the foods."

                                        If you think offering of pig feet noodle is unauthentic for Lanzhou hand pull noodle, then that is a fine criticism and it is something I personally understand. As for your several references of the origin of the chefs, those are something I personally do not share. In my opinion, a chef from Italy can make lousy Italian dishes, and a chef from Spain can prepare good Italian foods. As I have written, we just have to agree to disagree on this specific issue. :)

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          think this is way off course, but entertaining.

                                          I made no thesis stating that the origin of chefs is anyting more then a bit of an interesting delight if the chef and the restaurant owners and the food has a shared continuity, and do not have some personal belief that the origin of chefs is anything other than what I just stated above, in this very sentence .

                                          It just so happens that many of the Japanese sushi restaurants from 10th street and down, in and around soho, and the like, are ownd by Fuzhou people, staffed by Fuzhou people, and the fish is cut by Fuzhou people, for the most part. That fact has never deter me from visiting and eating the food at many of these Fuzhou people owned Sushi restaurants, and having a delightful meal of yes, Japanese food prepared by Fuzhou people, with wonderful results. Check some of them out. There in no ban mian, nor asian hotdog, just great Japanese food.

                                          When Monster Sushi opened, I used to go weekly years ago that is. I loved to go because all the sushi chef were frm China, and I could visit usng chinese with them. I was told that the owner of Monster Sushi was Jewish.

                                          Certainly, my aticle title is nothing more than stating fact, and there is not even any criticsm regarding this fact. I do point out that the dished made by Muslim noodle shops in China are different from what one gets from the restaurants discussed here, and that is something to note, for many people do not know that there are Muslims in China or that they have particular cuisines.

                                          Other than the fact that you can get delicious Chinese style noodle dishes which the noodles are pulled fresh from dough, there is nothing. No theories on origins of chefs, no thesis stating that America's who eat food prepared by Uzbeks preparing Turkish food should be stoned.

                                          Nothing more than the views of an observer and eater, one among many.

                                          I still have yet to find that Italian chef with a Nobel Peace Prize.

                                          I think the pizza chef at the brink over was from Central or South America at Da Nico's where I had Pizza: http://danicoristorante.com/home.php

                                          Da Nico Pizza was not bad but I preferred the Pizza at Novella on Mulberry an Broome, where the wait staff is from Albania, though do not know the origin of the chef.

                                          The Pizza at Novella was the best I had in a long. time:http://photorambles.files.wordpress.c...

                                          Actually the wait staff at Da Nico's is also from Albania, and one waiter at Grotta Azzura Mulberry and Broome is from Albania, and I found out where there is an authentic Albanian cafe, in Brooklyn if your interested. They are the only place, according to the Albanians I know to get Albanian Burek (Börek ). This is an excellent food, that actually has manifestions and varieties in regions of Middle East and some other places. Have yet to read up on it.

                                          I had Burek in Slovenia, prepared by Albanians. It is a food that is also found in parts of Bosnia, and have had it at a Bosnian run restraurant before. Definately this dough basd food has its variations depending on the region. In Slovenia at these Albanian Burek shops they actually deep fried it, or fry it, at least the shop my friends took me to, and for some reason my Slovenian friends found it best to eat Burek after a full night of drinking, early in the morning, which means drinkng till the Burek shop opens.

                                          I will be checking out the Albanan cafe, for some Burek, though most likely I will be sober.

                                          "A Slice. Bombica. Burek Meat. Burek Pie. Burek Roll"

                                          Just as turkish style of preparing coffee is used in the homes of people in Slovenia, seems Burek had been implanted in the region by the history of Ottoman Rule and their attempted conquests that brought them through the Baltic: "Burek or Börek is a dish originating in Turkish cuisine, but very popular in many countries in the Balkan region, probably spread during the Ottoman Empire" http://www.burek.net.au/

                                          1. re: jonkyo

                                            Wow, weird tangent As an Albanian most places I know of are in the Bronx. What Burek place in Bklyn are you referring to?

                                            1. re: MVNYC

                                              The Albanian waiter at Grotta Azura wrote down for me Tuzi Cafe:

                                              TUZI CAFE, 6810 NEW UTRECHT AVENUE, NY

                                              They are on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tuzi-Ca...

                                              Seeing I missed Albania on my last visit to the region, I need to get over there for to check it out, hve some Burek and coffee. As of yet I have not checked it out, but will soon. So, I have no review to offer.

                                              I know of the Bronx Albanian area, according to information, it is an Albanian community.

                            2. Ultimately I think it is a semantic argument, perhaps better left to Chinese discussion boards. It all comes down to good chow. Are they using high gluten flour? How is their stock made? One of the hallmarks of the Chinese cuisines is the great ability to adapt and adopt the foods, ingredients and preparations of the peoples that bordered them and later assimilated. I was just at 28 Forsyth Street only ten days ago when it was still Kuai Le. The new Lao Di Fang has the exact same menu items!

                              24 Replies
                              1. re: scoopG

                                I think this is way off course, but entertaining.

                                I made no thesis stating that the origin of chefs is anyting more then a bit of an interesting delight if the chef and the restaurant owners and the food has a shared continuity, and do not have some personal belief that the origin of chefs is anything other than what I just stated above, in this very sentence .

                                It just so happens that many of the Japanese sushi restaurants from 10th street and down, in and around soho, and the like, are ownd by Fuzhou people, staffed by Fuzhou people, and the fish is cut by Fuzhou people, for the most part. That fact has never deter me from visiting and eating the food at many of these Fuzhou people owned Sushi restaurants, and having a delightful meal of yes, Japanese food prepared by Fuzhou people, with wonderful results. Check some of them out. There in no ban mian, nor asian hotdog, just great Japanese food.

                                When Monster Sushi opened, I used to go weekly years ago that is. I loved to go because all the sushi chef were frm China, and I could visit usng chinese with them. I was told that the owner of Monster Sushi was Jewish.

                                Certainly, my aticle title is nothing more than stating fact, and there is not even any criticsm regarding this fact. I do point out that the dished made by Muslim noodle shops in China are different from what one gets from the restaurants discussed here, and that is something to note, for many people do not know that there are Muslims in China or that they have particular cuisines.

                                Other than the fact that you can get delicious Chinese style noodle dishes which the noodles are pulled fresh from dough, there is nothing. No theories on origins of chefs, no thesis stating that America's who eat food prepared by Uzbeks preparing Turkish food should be stoned.

                                Nothing more than the views of an observer and eater, one among many.

                                I still have yet to find that Italian chef with a Nobel Peace Prize.

                                I think the pizza chef at the brink over was from Central or South America at Da Nico's where I had Pizza: http://danicoristorante.com/home.php

                                Da Nico Pizza was not bad but I preferred the Pizza at Novella on Mulberry an Broome, where the wait staff is from Albania, though do not know the origin of the chef.

                                The Pizza at Novella was the best I had in a long. time:http://photorambles.files.wordpress.c...

                                Actually the wait staff at Da Nico's is also from Albania, and one waiter at Grotta Azzura Mulberry and Broome is from Albania, and I found out where there is an authentic Albanian cafe, in Brooklyn if your interested. They are the only place, according to the Albanians I know to get Albanian Burek (Börek ). This is an excellent food, that actually has manifestions and varieties in regions of Middle East and some other places. Have yet to read up on it.

                                I had Burek in Slovenia, prepared by Albanians. It is a food that is also found in parts of Bosnia, and have had it at a Bosnian run restraurant before. Definately this dough basd food has its variations depending on the region. In Slovenia at these Albanian Burek shops they actually deep fried it, or fry it, at least the shop my friends took me to, and for some reason my Slovenian friends found it best to eat Burek after a full night of drinking, early in the morning, which means drinkng till the Burek shop opens.

                                I will be checking out the Albanan cafe, for some Burek, though most likely I will be sober.

                                "A Slice. Bombica. Burek Meat. Burek Pie. Burek Roll"

                                Just as turkish style of preparing coffee is used in the homes of people in Slovenia, seems Burek had been implanted in the region by the history of Ottoman Rule and their attempted conquests that brought them through the Baltic: "Burek or Börek is a dish originating in Turkish cuisine, but very popular in many countries in the Balkan region, probably spread during the Ottoman Empire" http://www.burek.net.au/

                                1. re: scoopG

                                  Here is a very interestng article on Lanzhou Cuisine, Han Chinese that is in Budapest.

                                  "quote
                                  The Lanzhou serves hard-core, authentic Northern Chinese cuisine, which is a far cry from the Cantonese and Fukien style southern Chinese food that we eat in the US and in Western Europe. The reason is simple: Budapest doesn't have the economy to attract emmigrants from the better off regions of South China. Most of the Chinese here are involved in the export of cheap commercial goods via rail from Beijing and North China, and their cooking reflects the heartier noodle and dumpling traditions of a colder region. In most Budapest Chinese restaurants you might find all those classic Chinese dishes, but they are being cooked by Northerners, which is like ordering Sicilian food in a Norwegian resturant. Not a good idea. The Lanzhou, however, is one of those special "the Chinese eat there" eateries, and the cooks actually are trained in food and come from northern China." end quote
                                  http://horinca.blogspot.com/2008/04/l...

                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                    Thanks jonkyo - that is a blog post, not an article! To any Cantonese person "northern Chinese" denotes anything outside Guangdong province!

                                    1. re: scoopG

                                      Yes, to Cantonese, anything north of Canton is Northern China.

                                    1. re: scoopG

                                      " I was just at 28 Forsyth Street only ten days ago when it was still Kuai Le. The new Lao Di Fang has the exact same menu items!"

                                      That is exactly what the staff person told me, that though the menu says in English "Grand Opening" they actually just did some 改装修 redecorating。

                                      There menu actually needs to be further made clear, for instance, at Lao Di Fang there is something called 客式 (keshi) and if you are familiar with ethic demographics or cultural diversity of China, you know that that is related to 客家人 (kejiaren) Hakka People, Guest People or 客家 文化 (kejia wenhua) Hakka Culture. So, 客式 hakka style is worth a try。

                                      客式炖罐 (keshidunguan), number 46 on the menu is a in English called "Casserole in Any Style", could be really good. I know this type of soup / stew called dun 炖, and shall inquire about it. Lao Di Fang's 客式炖罐, it could be quite interesting, as it states "any style"

                                      I did state elsewhere that Lao Di Fang will stir fry any of the choices of hand pulled noodles for about a dollar more. That is something that the East Broadway place, at 144 Eas Broadway, does not really do so if you don't want soup you're stuck with one choice Zha Jiang Mian. (http://www.nychinatown.org/storefront...).

                                      Most shops in China and amny in Chinatown will ask you 要干的还是汤的 (yao gan de hai shi tang de), "Do you want your noodles with soup or dry?" and usually when dry you get a smaller bowl of empty clear soup, that you can drink or add to the noodles to you preferred desire. That is called 清汤 qing tang clear soup, but perhaps you know all this.

                                      This aspect, I think is on offer, as is the option costing a dollar more then menu price to have the noodle of choice stir fried. This makes this shop more accomodating to the wishes of customers, and make food options more.

                                      The inclusion of Hakka style is something that might be unique, as I have not really seen it appear on other menues. Thus said some dishes in some places may infact be Hakka style jut not indicated.

                                      Hakka is an interesting culture, and do have some representation on Taiwan, as they migrated there, if I remember what I read, from Guangdong Province in lat ming but definately Qi Dy. They are a minority compared to Hokklo on Taiwan.

                                      Taiwan Hakka in years past, it has been in articles, have been losing their language. Quite facinating. I knew of a Hakka community north of 高雄 (gaoxiong) Taiwan。

                                      On Mainland Hakka housing is something quite unique and wonderful to see:

                                      http://www.panoramio.com/photo/52388141

                                      http://inhabitat.com/chinese-hakka-ho...

                                      Here is a paper I wrote for my MA study in London, I lost the blog password and all and now have another blog with just a bit of my academic writing. This paper gives one an idea of the diversity of ethnicity on Taiwan:

                                      http://culturedomain.wordpress.com/20...

                                      I recommed writing a blog for yourself. A good way to get your review out.

                                      Can't say that my reviews are great, and I lack photos of my own, photos make some of these food blogs so much better. Here is my attempt: http://wodejingyan.wordpress.com

                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                        Thanks for posting your paper - but as was noted: it would have been better to have cited source material.

                                        Not sure that mainland Chinese were ever "invited to Taiwan" by the Dutch or native aboriginal people. Taiwan only became “Chinese” after the Dutch colonized it. The Dutch set up base on Taiwan in 1620 (Java being too far from China) in order to compete with the Spanish who were using the deep water port of Manila as their base for trading with China. Only then did mainland Chinese come to the island as farmers and hunters.

                                        All this in Timothy Brook's "The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Empires." Harvard University Press; Cambridge, 2010.

                                        1. re: scoopG

                                          I have that, on disc. as the source marterial is noted with foots, but since I los the account, could not go back. That was early in my experince with blogs.
                                          I am familiar with Brooks. Thanks.

                                          1. re: scoopG

                                            "Taiwan only became “Chinese” after the Dutch colonized it"

                                            Yes.... but I would phrase it slightly different. The Dutch went to Taiwan to setup post and colonization farms before China. The Chinese has some unofficial present in Taiwan before that, but not until Zheng Jing (鄭經) overran the Dutch, only then there is a a strong Chinese presence in Taiwan.

                                            "Not sure that mainland Chinese were ever "invited to Taiwan""

                                            I doubt it. More like war.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              was that not 成功 cheng gong sent by Ming dy to kick the Dutch out?

                                              I have not been reading this subject in years, but I just recall.

                                              Thanks.

                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                Yes, and no on 成功. His rule in Taiwan was short and he didn't really establish a real base there. So yes, technically he the one who defected the Dutches, but he won't be the one who establish a large Chinese population and culture there.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  By the time the Japanese took over rule of Taiwan, due to the signing of the tready of Shiminoski (spelling?) in 1895, there was a signifcant number of CHinese on the island.

                                                  I wrote a paper on this years ago for a history class, and I have not read it for a long time, and have been divorced from material and reseach in this area for years now, but I remember some of what I was engaged in.

                                                  The camphor trade was big, as was fishing.

                                                  And if I look back on that paper, I think the sources I used stated in the 1700s began many migrants, but earlier even the Ming Dy had at times tried to halt the flow of these people, who would still attempt to migrate. The 满族 manzu of Qing dy also had problems of controlling the flow.

                                                  Taiwan during the Qing Dy was considered a renegade place, and many pirates inhabited there, and this did not sit well with industrializing Japan, so Japan was determined to take it from Qing dy, for Qing Dy never maintained a powerful rule over Taiwan.

                                                  Cheng Gong if I remember correctly kept the established capital at Tainan, and it remained there until the Japanese moved it to the north.

                                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                                    The Treaty of Shiminoski or known as Treaty of Maguan was signed between Li Hongzhi (李鴻章) and Ito Hirobumi (伊藤博文). Yes, there was a significant population of Chinese at the time, and Taiwan has been "Chineseized". My early point to scoopG was that Taiwan wasn't heavily influenced by Chinese until Zheng Jing (鄭經). I think my point is clear. His father did not conquer and govern the entire Taiwan.

                                                    "Cheng Gong if I remember correctly kept the established capital at Tainan"

                                                    A capital of the east there, not the capital of his entire rule. Of course, he set it up at Tainan. He didn't have another choice. He died shortly after defeating the Dutch.

                                                    "was that not 成功 cheng gong sent by Ming dy to kick the Dutch out? "

                                                    Definitely not. 鄭成功 attacked the Dutches in Tawian 18 years after Ming dynasty had been eliminated. He died shortly after and did not have a strong presence in Taiwan. His son did.

                                                    "自海上用兵以來,朝廷屢下招撫令,而議終不成。皆由封疆諸臣執泥削髮登岸,彼此齟齬; 台灣本非中國版籍,足下父子自闢荊榛,且睠懷勝國,未嘗如吳三桂之僣妄。本朝亦何惜海外一彈丸地,不聽田橫壯士逍遙其間乎! 
                                                    今三藩殄滅,中外一家,豪傑識時,必不復思噓已灰之焰,毒瘡痍之民。若能保境息民,則從此不必登岸,不必薙髮,不必易衣冠,稱臣入貢可也,不稱臣入貢亦可也。以台灣為箕子朝鮮,為徐氏之日本,於世無患,於人無爭,而沿海生靈求永息塗炭。惟足下圖之"

                                          2. re: jonkyo

                                            Hakka Taiwanese are all over Taiwan, including parts of Taipei...but if we are talking about Hakka heartland in Taiwan where there are large numbers of population, I would say the vast majority would be in 新竹 area (where 新竹米粉 is very famous) although some say it is the next county over at Miaoli 苗栗, where they are famous there for growing a particular type of mustard green to be salted + pickled for Hakkanese cooking called Fu tsai 福菜 where it could be homonym for 覆菜, in which the mustard greens are sun dried, salted then stuffed into glass bottles for about 30 days.....(although I have seen people stuff them in plastic water bottles outside this Hakka restaurant around Shihmen area of Taoyuen county).

                                            There is a smaller presence of Hakka Taiwanese in Pintung countyto the south as well, which happens to be the birthplace of a local delicacy 萬巒豬腳 (named after the village where it originated), although the interesting fact is that the inventor of the dish is a man with Fuzhou origins...but the village population is/was predominately Hakka.

                                            1. re: K K

                                              Thank you for that ethnographic culinary information, very informative.

                                              I have been to 屏东县 ping dong county, but do not know that dish specifically. And what an interesting account of Hakka pickling.

                                              Actually, speaking of Hakka, the former president of Taiwan was actaully Hakka. I mean Lee Deng Hui: 李登辉.

                                              quote「客家人的李登輝: http://bbs.nsysu.edu.tw/txtVersion/tr...

                                              .

                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                I stand corrected... 萬巒 is actually a township, not a village (perhaps it was back in 1698. It is said that some farmers were herding cows one day, and they ran off somewhere to take a drink in a nearby stream. Upon locating the cows and the stream, they found a plethora of eels inside, and the town was renamed to what it is today. One surviving famous pig feet specialist restaurants in the area is claiming the establishment was visited by former President Chiang Ching-kuo who loved the food to bits (well he loved lots of things, including Tai Kee Won Ton in Hualien)

                                                Which begs the question....is there any form of Hakka 客家 food, Canto or Fuzhou form or variant, in NY?

                                                1. re: K K

                                                  hakka 客家 food is pretty hard to find even in asia since they don't really have some home state to go to

                                                  yong tau foo 釀豆腐 (niang dou fu) is actually hakka in origin. most of the malaysian places have it as its a staple in malaysia / singapore since there is a reasonable sized hakka population although much smaller than the teochew, hokkien and cantonese that dominate the food scene and population

                                                  also i think 梅菜扣肉 pork belly with preserved vegetables is originally a hakka dish

                                                  although with either of these dishes i have no idea whether the form that ive eaten it in is "authentic" meaning true to its original form, ive only met a few hakka people ever and most of them were in singapore and even they said to get true hakka food they had to eat with their families at home

                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                    There used to be a wonderful hakka restaurant in Honolulu, Dong Kong Lau (I think--it was East River House in Chinese). They had the niang dou fu and the mei cai dish, but also lots of innards and unusual fish dishes, often with pickled vegetables. They moved to Seattle and re-opened there but have become basically a generic Chinese restaurant of little interest.

                                                    1. re: swannee

                                                      yah i believe they eat alot of organ meats

                                                      i looked at this singapore blog that i follow and they've got a few interesting hakka dishes
                                                      http://ieatishootipost.sg/search/labe...

                                                      also i looked up this pretty well known hakka restaurants in hong kong that i've been meaning to try out for a while
                                                      http://www.openrice.com/english/resta...

                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                        Organ meat is so good.

                                                        内脏 nei zang: organ.

                                                        I used to eat the gizzards and livers of the chickens and turkey my mother would by as a kid, so of course when I am in Asia or even Eastern Europe and of course Portugal, I am in delight when in need of food.

                                                        I had an awesome beef tongue at a Russian Bath House just last week. Served not hot it was so good.

                                                        The 苗族 miao zu (Mioa Minority) of Guizhou have something called dog penis wine. My Miao friend who ran a 狗肉火锅店 gourou huo guo dian, Dog Meat Hot Pot restaurant, told me that this dog penis wine is very special to the Mioa of Guizhou and often drank. It was quite good the times I had it. The distill the wine with dog penis in it.

                                                    2. re: Lau

                                                      Well there is actually a Sichuan/Chongqing variant of braised pork belly with salted/pickled veg called 重慶燒白.

                                                      釀豆腐, salted baked chicken 鹽焗雞 and 梅菜扣肉 do have Cantonese roots, in Huizhou (Guangdong province). However 釀豆腐 and 鹽焗雞 do not exist at all in Hakka Taiwanese cooking (at least in the restaurants that I'm aware of) for some reason that I've never been able to figure out. Then again, once a population migrates to a different geographical area where the crops, produce, and livestock are different on how they grow/are raised, the end result of the cuisine and how they choose to prepare it will evolve anyway.

                                                      I agree that it may be a bit more challenging finding Hakka restaurants in metropolitan areas, but if you go to the rural counties in Taiwan, they are all over the place. The best ones are in the less accessible by public transport locations. It is not difficult to find Hakka Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong, or at least the restaurants whose chefs are skilled in preparing a subset of Hakka Cantonese dishes.

                                                      I had not thought about Hakka presence in Malaysia and Singapore, but I'm sure their versions of Hakka cooking is excellent.

                                                      1. re: K K

                                                        yah the main people are hokkien, teochew and cantonese in that order, but there were a decent amount of hainanese and hakka as well

                                                        actually i guessed right, i just looked up the actual #s, check it out (remember singapore's population is like 5mm):
                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_...

                                                        1. re: K K

                                                          Excellent, 不错, what a great explanation regarding farming and food.

                                                          And I had heard that out of the way regions had some Hakka.

                                                          1. re: K K

                                                            And this is a great book.
                                                            Food in Chinese Culture: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives [Hardcover]
                                                            K. C. Chang (Editor)

                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Food-Chinese-Cu...