Monday, 19 October 2009

Shanxi Cut Noodle Restaurant

G/F, Citi Mall, Yuen Long
Visited 18th October 2009

I think noodles have replaced lasagne as my favourite hang-over food; there's nothing better than a bowl of steaming soup or plate of wok tossed noodles to get you back in fighting condition. Sunday morning (yes let's call it morning) we found ourselves in Shanxi Cut Noodle Restaurant looking for the route to recovery. Shanxi is a province in northern China, the name means 'mountain west' and refers to the regions lofty position west of the Taihang Mountains. The area relies heavily on wheat and thus noodles (along with vinegar) dominate their cuisine. This basic little restaurant is located on the side of Yuen Long's Citi Mall and there's another branch on Castle Peak Road.

Though there's no English menu, but there are plenty of pictures so pointing is ordering. We went with pan-fried la mian with chicken, dao xiao mian in soup with braised beef and a helping of pan-fried dumplings. Li main means 'pulled noodles' and here the chef makes each individual serve to order. He deftly pulled and folded to transfer a ball of elastic dough into giant slithering noodles; watching him was an impressive sight, he's a craftsman. When cooked the monstrous plate of these perfectly cooked al dente noodles came with slithers of fresh cucumber, carrot and deliciously moist shredded chicken. For the soup noodles we went with the signature 'knife cut noodles' and these tasty guys came served in a rich broth and topped with tender stewed beef. With the big serves we really didn't need the handmade dumplings, but these were also a winner. Presented crisp and sizzling hot, stuffed with chives and pork, they were a delicious treat.

Maybe I'm just starting to better appreciate the subtleties of China's regional cuisine, but Shanxi Cut Noodle Restaurant got me excited. Sure it's a basic setup, but the quality of the handmade food is obvious. Seeing the chef prepare noodles to order is fantastic and everything we ate was obviously freshly cooked as well as just plain delicious. Our bill for a filling lunch for two came to a very reasonable $112. If you're walking the streets of Yuen Long feeling a little under the weather then Shanxi Cut Noodle Restaurant is the place.

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