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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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        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.