After seeing Tony Bourdain's visit to Noodle Loft, I was keen to visit this restaurant. My Chinese colleagues weren't so enthusuastic, but they wanted to respectfully accommodate their visiting American colleague and agreed to join me there for dinner. Even they agreed that despite the humble food, it was an exceptional restaurant.
The restaurant features an open kitchen where the chefs make a wide variety of noodles. You can watch them rolling out meters-long strands of green noodles (colored with spinach), or stretching long strands, or artistically cutting them with scissors and making the pieces arc across the air into pots of water. There must be a dozen different techniques, all rendered with dramatic panache. The noodles are served with your choice of sauce. We tried several and all were good. My favorite was spicy eggplant and pork sauce.
In addition to noodles, we also had a plate of pickled tofu and a plate of mixed veggies featuring lotus root, fungus, eggplant, and cucumber. I'm not usually the person who goes for seconds and thirds on the veggies, but these were absolutely fabulous.
For dinner we had some kind of starchy root (maybe manioc?) that had been doused with freshly made carmel. It was served in a pile with a cup of ice water on the side. The object is to quickly eat the stuff before it turns to a solid mass. You grab a piece with your chopsticks, dunk it in the cold water, harden the candy shell, put the piece on your plate, and then repeat the exercise until you have a plate full. The melted sugar is so hot that the individual pieces stay warm quite awhile. yum.
No. 20 Dawang Road, Chaoyang District
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