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Great homemade noodles at Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House

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Great homemade noodles at Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House

joypirate | Oct 1, 2004 12:37 PM

927 Race Street.

Had some mighty tasty shaved noodles here. I think it’s fair to say that these guys are making the best noodles in Chinatown, at least with regard to soup noodles (David’s Mai Lai Wak might be best fried noodles, haven’t eaten there often enough yet to decide). You can either get hand-drawn or shaved, you have to ask for shaved (take out menu doesn't mention shaved as an option, but I believe the one in the restaurant DID mention it, in either case, they definitely have them). BOTH are made in house (you can see the guy whipping the noodle dough for the hand drawn in back). I’ve had shaved noodles elsewhere and these were much better. I believe the process for the shaved is to get a big ball of noodle dough and literally shave off noodles using this metal-whacker thing that resembles a planer, or maybe a narrow cheese-slicer. The great thing about shaved noodles is the wide variance in the size/texture because they’re from a guy whacking a blade, not a machine. The variance makes for some of the smaller noodles really steeped in the flavor of the broth, or, some of the larger noodles just having the homey noodle-goodness. Word.

I ordered the ox-tail and the meat itself was a bit disappointing. I was hoping for it to be tender and a broth somewhat thickened by the gelatin of the oxtail but no dice. The oxtail might have been browned or maybe roasted, then thrown in the soup, instead of being braised till fall-apart tender as I prefer. There was a still a fair amount of fat on the tail which to me suggests that it wasn’t cooked especially slowly. But man, even though it wasn’t as tender as I like, ox-tail just has so much flavor to it that it was still a fine bowl of soup. It came with Chinese broccoli, and some small pieces of pickled cabbage that added a nice zip to your spoonful now and then. Some onion squares too, the whole thing topped w/some cilantro.

On the menu there’s also the option of fried egg or marinated egg, which I assume you can just add to your soup (or maybe it’s on the side, I’ve seen preserved egg in soup plenty of times so I was assuming ‘in’ but maybe it’s up to you). I’ve actually seen these for sale individually at the Sidewalk Sweet House at 148 N. 10th.

Coming back I’d probably try the clam noodle or maybe the lamb noodle. You can’t really go looking for something with strong flavors, this is more a rainy-day soul-nourishing kind of thing for me.

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