lamb noodle soup + other northern chinese @ chang's noodle on coptic street
not sure what this dish is traditionally called, apparently its from henan province according to this blog post - http://philwbass.posterous.com/changs... - that i found after googling it once i got home. anyway! really good, broth was nice & milky looking, at first i thought it was a little underseasoned but the kelp (or whatever it was) helped with that after i'd got about half way through the bowl. so yeah people should check this place out.
Alright I managed to try this place twice in the last two days.
Pretty much everything I've had has been really good. The first meal allowed me to try the pork burger, the yangrou hui mian (house noodle soup) and the yangrou paomo which is listed as "pita bread soaked in lamb soup." Probably the strangest translation of this dish I have yet seen.
The house noodle or hui mian was really good. Broth on par with what I get in New York with superior lamb. Excellent hand pulled noodles and all in all one of the best money for value Chinese noodle soups in London at 6.50 a bowl. My portion lacked the goji berries I expected from the previous review's accompanying blog post (and from other versions in NYC) but I think they may have just been out. Really good.
Yangrou paomo used the exact same broth base as the above dish with no adaptation whatsoever. This is technically incorrect, but it worked alright. The biggest issue was the tiny amount of bean thread noodles. Generous amounts of bread, but the real deal should have more noodles. Also, they do not provide the traditional pickled garlic accompaniment that one would expect with yangrou paomo. Still, this is a hard to find dish in London.
The burger was alright. Acceptable Chinese bread, though thinner and smaller than usual. Very nice roast pork filling, though it was not exactly packed to bursting. A bit steep at 2.50 given the size (I was thinking something the size of what I'd get in NYC or China, so roughly twice the size of their version.)
Today I had a follow up lunch of "Xinjiang chao mian." This was basically Xinjiang la mian though it was done in an exceptionally Chinese manner. The noodles were not hand pulled and the stir frying did not render the somewhat watery, but tomato heavy sauce that one expects of the Uighur (or even Xinjiang Han Chinese) version of the dish. Really tasty though. Quality lamb, a lot of cumin and perfectly cooked noodles.
This place is exciting and the menu has a lot of other interesting Western Chinese dishes. For example, it is one of the only places I have seen big plate chicken in London outside of Silk Road (it is listed as something like special Xinjiang chicken.) Definitely worth a few repeat visits and a real meal.
I think it is a different hui. Typically it is written 羊肉会面 - yáng ròu huì miàn. The 会 here means assemble, get together or party. This 回 huí typically refers to the ethnic Hui people.
With 100 million people, Henan is China’s most populated province. Henan cuisine is also called Yucai cuisine (豫菜 – yù cài). Henan kind say their style is “not east, not west, not south and not north.” It is also not sweet, salty, nor spicy. It is known for seasonal use of ingredients that feature lots of lamb and mutton soups, meat-stuffed buns, fried mung bean jelly, vermicelli, meatball soups and fresh dumplings; steamed or boiled and much more of course. Henan province is subdivided into four culinary "precincts": North (Anyang), South (Xinyang), East (Kaifeng) and West (Luoyang.)
I don't see you much now that I'm never on Outer Boroughs. That was the exact post we needed. I remembered a post in the Uncle Zhou or Henan Feng Wei thread which gave the same breakdown as we initially assumed the Hui referred to Henan's massive Hui minority.
Also I'm 99% sure that the characters on the menu for Xinjiang stir fried chicken are big plate chicken.
I tried this place yesterday lunchtime, really impressed by how friendly and relaxed it was. I had the house lamb noodle soup, which as everyone else has said was delicious with a very complex broth. Also tried the ox heart, tongue, tripe in chili dish, which was cold with cucumber. The different parts complimented each other well, one of the nicest cold offal dishes I've had, although it's not a big list. The solid meatiness of the tongue mixed with the much softer tripe worked well.
Always good to find interesting places around that area, you could easily walk past Chang's 100 times without giving it a second glance, can't wait to go back to dig into some of the other options