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Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles expanded to Cupertino in April. I had a chance to pick-up take-out when passing through last month. Open for to-go only at this point, there are a couple small tables outside if one prefers to eat take-out on site. While online ordering is available, I placed my order in person, wanting to get a sense of the place first. For each noodle preparation, one also chooses from six options of noodle shapes and sizes. My order of two different dishes was ready within the brief waiting time estimated. Both were still hot enough at my destination 15 minutes later to not need reheating.
Stewed Lamb Noodle Soup, $13.95, ordered with small flat noodles. The dry ingredients were packed separately from the hot lamb stock. The clear stock was remarkably well-skimmed of grease. The slow-cooked lamb was diced into smallish cubes with a little bit of fat and no gristle. Very tender, as well as a touch gamey, all the taste was retained in the meat and not sacrificed to the stock. Topped with sections of Shanghai cabbages (qing cai) and cooked daikon, a small container of housemade medium-hot chili oil accompanied this dish. But I didn’t add any spice because I was enjoying the purity of the lamb stock so much.
Chili Oil Noodles, $11.98, made with the thick belt noodles by default. Not quite as wide as pappardelle nor biang biang noodles at other places, this is a “dry” noodle dish with all the contents in one wide bowl. A vegan offering topped with steamed bean sprouts, Shanghai cabbages and soft chunks of sweet daikon, the intense aroma of the garlic in the chili oil seasoning exploded when the lid was lifted.
Using two forks to mix and dredge up the chili oil from the bottom of the bowl, the noodles were soon stained orange. Not as spicy in heat as the color might suggest, this was a rounder warmth in the mouth, striking the mid-palate then tapering down painlessly. The pungency of the raw garlic was as powerful as the chili spice. The Chili OIl Noodles is a very tasty meatless choice on the menu.
Both noodle shapes were satisfyingly al dente firm, but were not chewy. Maybe the other styles will be have more bouncy Chinese “Q” factor. As take-out the noodles were kind of stuck together, and I find it easiest to use a fork in each hand to untangle them.
We were happy with this first to-go meal. I’ll be returning to try more from the menu.
Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles
10745 S De Anza Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014
Online ordering allows for payment at the time of pick-up
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