Yesterday I had an appointment in the far East Bay. It's been a couple years since I was last near the Delta and it was fun to check out some new places. My lunch stop was Skyview Noodle & Tea in Pittsburg's Old Town. It's housed in the Victorian-era Liberty Hotel building. Here's more about the venue in an article about the previous restaurant occupant. http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2008/06/2...
Standing outside to snap this shot, a departing customer strode through the doors and said to me, "The noodles are outstanding. You have to eat here." OK, that's good enough for me. In truth I had this spot in mind after reading hyperbowler's post about Anhui noodles. https://www.hungryonion.org/t/skyview...
The door catches a bit and did not shut completely behind me. A robo voice called out, "Close the door!" Despite this weird welcome, I poked further inside to find a vintage hotel lobby desk set-up for the restaurant's cashier counter.
Anhui beef plate noodle soup (spicy), $9.95, for me. I had asked about the knife cut noodles available for a $1 supplement, however, I was told that this dish was better with the traditional wide noodles. "Plate" in the name refers to the type of noodle, which should actually be twice the width of what is used here but they have not been able to find a supplier yet. The thin textured stock with a modest grease slick tasted much more robust, complex and intense than the body would suggest with a medium-hot spiciness that was easy to enjoy.
The braised beef shank pieces featured tender, almost jelly-like veins of thoroughly softened cartilage and succulent, not stringy meat. Iceberg lettuce subbed for the Shanghai cabbage shown in the illustration. Scallions, preserved mustard greens, dried red chile pepper pods, and aromatic cilantro adorned separate quadrants of the bowl's surface. A very addictive dish.
The order of lamb and cilantro shui jiao came out next, $9.95 for 12. Freshly made, these were full of natural juices and delectable ground lamb seasoned with a touch of cumin, garlic, cilantro and other mysteries. Nice snap to the chewy wrappers, and the dipping sauce of spicy bean paste, garlic, soy sauce and vinegar was perfectly balanced for my palate.
Skyview also offers boba drinks. I ordered a coconut milk tea that someone forgot to put the tea in. Service is a bit scattered, but well-meaning, even though there were few customers in house at that hour.
The restaurant is two-months old. The family that operates Skyview are from the Shandong area and the chef is from Dongbei. I asked why Anhui noodles found a spot on their menu, and I was told that this dish is popular all over China.
This is their first restaurant experience. To their credit, they are proud that they have a small menu now and no Americanized Chinese dishes. They will be adding more dishes as they build up clientele and experience. I noted that the other customers eating there or who came in for take-out all seemed to be satisfied repeaters and none were Chinese. So I have some hope that Skyview will be a success in Pittsburg. If it were close to me, I'd be there all the time.
Skyview Noodle & Tea
200 E 3rd St
Pittsburg, CA 94565