When you get a good tip sometimes it's urgent to run don't walk. Such was the case today when a cold Thursday in March led to late lunch over to Brighton Center at MDM Noodles, just 14 days old. Since then 1000s of bowls of "Traditional Chinese Noodles and Authentic Soup" have been lip smacked and though I usually prefer holding off til the soft opening shakes it down, in this case not so much. I did however get in after the busy lunch rush and was lucky enough to share a a table with Owner/Manager Sam Ho. Sam's having a second career with MDM which is an acronym for "Noodles Facing Noodles" or "Noodles on Noodles" 面对面条面条 Miàn duì miàn. Either way they are all about the Noodles. Sam's been in the States for 37 years and after a high tech career he has returned to his Henan, Shaanxi and Hong Kong roots. Both Henan and Shaanxi cuisine are noted for complex lamb n' mutton dishes. The strong savoury sour and spicy, salty taste of there is now here. Wider, thicker, longer Shaanxi noodles as well as Henan rice or potato mian are found and in both cuisines steam, lamb and spice are the keys. MDM Noodle's bright modern room with some two tops and a fun high table down the middle still perked in the late afternoon with the happy sound of excited students as well as older couples all in their comfort food zone.
I ordered on the reccs of a very reliable source and got a Lamb Mala Skewer 麻辣串
to start. Sam travels to Flushing weekly to get the Lamb and bones that are the lamb backbone of this biz. Later on other varieties of skewer are coming to the menu but each reflects the trinity used in MDM's kitchen; salt, red chilies, and the essential cumin (孜然). Some don't take a shine to its reminiscent of "ripe" aroma but on this occasion the high quality Lamb was done to a T and tickled the nose then tongue. This is Chinese drinking food and it's easy to imagine a liquor license here with Beer and MaoTai or at least BYOB. Bubble Tea is still in the works so bottled drinks, water and tea are what's working to wash it all down. Palate cleansed next came Spicy Hot Oil Hand-Pulled Noodle (孜然羊肉拌面) with generous heat and garlic, crunchy fat bean sprouts all under a dusting of scallions and bright red chili powder
Chili jam, black vinegar and white pepper are in the condiment carousel. I ordered medium heat and embellished at will.
Apparently I also required the Beef Mala Soup 牛肉/羊肉麻辣烫 with 牛肉/羊肉、粉丝、白菜、土豆、豆腐皮、油豆腐、豆芽、海带、上海苗 Beef, Rice Noodle, Napa Cabbage, Potato, Tofu Skin, Tofu Puff, Bean Sprout, Seaweed, Baby Shanghai Bok Choy. Sam was happy to customize my bowl with tripe as well. Spicy meaty crispy veggie glowing super soup and glasslike noodles which in any language is good food.
The talented experienced cooks of MDM know their noodles and WonTons but wait there's more. The Chefs also offer;
Hanzhong Liangpi 汉中凉皮 the"cold skin" noodleish specialty dish is perfect all year but super for a chilly day with it's spicy nutty sweet n'tangy herbal garlicy embrace.
Yangrou Pao Mo, braised lamb eaten with shredded mo pancake.
Mala Pot where you pick out your meats the veggies from a pristine showcase out front then the kitchen cooks it up in a fiery broth (shared by two it seems)
Here's the best bit for last. Sam and Company are so very proud of and highly recommend their Lamb Meal Noodle that it adorns the entire right wall.
LAMB MEAL NOODLE