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lamb noodle soup + other northern chinese @ chang's noodle on coptic street

t
t_g Jan 14, 2013 08:13 AM

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.

  1. j
    JFores Jan 15, 2013 01:17 PM

    I'll try this place ASAP. Looks good, I'm around there often and I love Henan food.

    The dish is yangrou hui mian or lamb hui mian. I used to think the Hui referred to Chinese Muslims, but apparently the tone is different. I can't remember the actual meaning. Limster? Pinyin help?

    1 Reply
    1. re: JFores
      t
      t_g Jan 16, 2013 04:00 AM

      cool man, looking fwd to hearing what you think. they had quite a few other interesting things on the menu but the noodle soup seemed to be what everyone was ordering

    2. j
      JFores Jan 17, 2013 05:46 AM

      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.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JFores
        zuriga1 Jan 17, 2013 07:24 AM

        Looks like a good choice for anyone visiting the British Museum.

        1. re: JFores
          t
          t_g Feb 3, 2013 06:07 AM

          went to the british museum today w/ my gf so we had to stop off here... got the big plate chicken for 2 + a plate of the pork dumplings. chicken was delicious, a lot more highly seasoned than (my memory) of the silk road version. would definitely recommend

        2. j
          JFores Jan 17, 2013 06:01 AM

          Pics in order of the above writing

           
           
           
           
          1 Reply
          1. re: JFores
            t
            t_g Jan 18, 2013 03:38 AM

            good write up! yeah i didnt get goji berries in my soup either. & was also curious whether the xinjiang chicken = big plate chicken

          2. scoopG Jan 18, 2013 04:28 AM

            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.)

            2 Replies
            1. re: scoopG
              j
              JFores Jan 18, 2013 05:38 AM

              Hey ScoopG,

              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.

              1. re: JFores
                scoopG Jan 18, 2013 12:52 PM

                Hi Justin!

                Perhaps the Big Plate Chicken looks something like the one below - from Henan Feng Wei!

                 
            2. t
              themaneats Jan 22, 2013 03:13 AM

              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

              1. h
                Haverfoodie Jan 25, 2013 02:37 AM

                I went there last night and will be going again. Almost every customer in there was having the lamb noodle soup. I'll just add to the chorus of voices calling it delicious. Porky broth, hunks of real (maybe pre-roasted?) lamb, interesting vegetables, and some of those goji berries that JFores lacked. I wasn't raging with thirst afterwards either, so either they don't use MSG or it's used judiciously. Am excellent find. Thanks, t_g.

                1. s
                  Sharmila Feb 5, 2013 02:16 AM

                  I'm off here on Thursday night. In terms of decoding the menu, is it relatively simple? And are the staff fine in terms of helping out?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sharmila
                    t
                    t_g Feb 5, 2013 03:10 AM

                    i would say yes & yes. everythings been translated (sometimes in an unusual way) & the staff have been nice the 2 times i've been there

                    1. re: Sharmila
                      j
                      JFores Feb 5, 2013 04:43 PM

                      Agreed with broken. The level of English is not amazing, but its all very do-able. The translation of big plate chicken is so strange that I would have missed it if it wasn't one of a handful of dishes that I memorized the characters for, but pretty much everything else is really straight forward.

                      I had the Shan Xi Yo Po noodles the other day and it is yet another (literally all) noodle dish that is excellent at this place. Picture attached before mixing. Delicious house made spiced beef which is thinly sliced.

                       
                    2. f
                      Foodie94 Apr 6, 2013 10:55 AM

                      Thanks for this tip. My husband & I tried it today and liked the Shan Xi Yo Po noodles a lot - deliciously flavoured and tender beef, although not enough - and enjoyed the lamb noodle soup too, although the lamb seemed there more for flavour, as it was tough, and I got all of 2 goji berries. Does anyone know if this kind of food is related to Xi'anese cuisine, as the texture of the noodles and use of lamb suggests? I was back in NYC last month and went to Xi'an Famous Foods - http://www.xianfoods.com/ - a new mini-chain that is getting lots of good reviews. I tried the Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles - delicious, as was the vinegar-sauced Concubine's Chicken Hand-Ripped Noodles and Stewed Pork Burger. Does anyone know where else one can get Xi'an food in London? Does that Silk Road place have it? I can't find a menu online. Thanks!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Foodie94
                        scoopG Apr 6, 2013 03:11 PM

                        Xian is some 375 km west of Henan. The food you ate at Xian Famous Foods in NYC is Xian night market or street-stall type food.

                        Henan cuisine is also called Yucai cuisine(豫菜 – Yu4 Cai4.) 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.

                        1. re: Foodie94
                          Paprikaboy Apr 7, 2013 05:28 AM

                          I went a couple of weeks ago and had the lamb noodle soup.
                          I agree the lamb was tough and I thought the broth was quite bland definitely under seasoned. Wasn't too enamoured with texture of the noodles either, though that's probably a personal preference thing. Some seemed very pasty.
                          I got there at 12 and was the only person there by 12:15 they were full, so must be doing something right.
                          Will go back and try something else.
                          How was the lamb in the Spicy Cumin Lamb noodles?

                        2. f
                          FooDiY Apr 7, 2013 05:07 AM

                          They also serve rou4jia2mo2 (肉夹馍) here. It was my first time trying this dish, but found it to be nicely packed with flavorful pork. I enjoyed this even more than the lamb noodle soup. This place only takes cash and lunch ends at 2:30pm (sharp), when they close for some hours before dinner. I have been too late for lunch more than once here.

                          1. t
                            t_g Mar 10, 2014 11:41 AM

                            fyi this has now moved round the corner to bigger premises

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