i've heard people say too many times that "pasta tastes like the sauce on it". no one ever says that a hot, griddle pancake tastes like a frozen, toaster pancake. thus, it was good to see a restaurant in phillys chinatown advertising hand-make noodle, which is much easier to find in nyc's flushing chinatown.
in less than a minute, the gloved, noodle chef turns a handful of dough into a soup bowls worth of noodles. after he stretches and folds the dough a few times, the dough is hurled downwards, creating a 95 decibel firecracker-like snap as it crashes into the table. following this, the noodles are pulled into final shape.
the menu has a section of soups with the hand-make noodle. two items are listed in us english the same, "Handmade Beef Noodle". the only difference is price. one costs 4.50. the other costs 4.75. the first has slices of beef, and the second has chunks. the slices are a little bit gritty, but the chunks are fall-off-the chopstick tender. it is worth the extra money. the soup itself is flavorful but in a plain way. it is mainly noodle and beef, and a little bit of vegetable, and the fainest hint of heat. there is chile-oil provided if more heat is needed. the hand-make noodles are tasty, but i would not call them "best in class". still, compared to the average pre-make noodles, there is no competition.
one appetizer that is listed is "Dumpling (meat) Soup". when they are bitten into, they should make a sound like the dough crashing into the table, because they are the tastiest dumplings i have had in philly. they are very thin-skinned, and the size of a swedish meatball. they are served floating in a dish. (someone i know calls dumplings served this way "dumplings in potable water").
additionally, the rest of the menu is "fu zhou friendly", having a high percentage of fu zhou-style dishes. fu zhou has been in philly but off the radar map. now, there appears to be at least 4 restaurants featuring fu zhou dishes that have opened in the past few months. if you are interested in fu zhou-style, at least 2 servers there speak us english well. note, they did not have li chee pork on the menu, but they offered to buy the ingredients and make it.
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