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拉面 La Mian World

the quest for the perfect noodle

Tag Archives: bar

When I arrived to the city of Mumbai or Bombay (as you are allowed to say once you get more intimate) there was only one locale to go to in terms of nightlife. Not that it was the only place but it was THE place. In Mumbai life is fast and THE place changes as fast as the tides. Before the sub-suburb crowd finds out about THE place and is allowed in, THE place is filled with the rich, beautiful, famous and, which sometimes is the same, Bollywood stars.

Back then I knew exactly nothing about Bollywood and its stars. Even after several months, still I had difficulties distinguishing the Khan’s, the Kapoor’s, the Bachchan’s and all the others. After chatting with a friendly Indian lady at a bar one night over a drink I  found out the next day (only), that I had been talking to a Bollywood celebrity.

To make it short, THE place at that time was “China House” in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bombay’s Santacruz suburb. Why I am telling this story here is that China House is not only a hotel bar, dance club and celebrity hang-out (these times are long gone, however) but it is also a great Chinese Restaurant one floor up from the club area.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is kind of like in a movie set for a Bollywood style rural China thriller market night scene: sacks filled with all kinds of spices, dark wood and dimmed lights. Adding to the chill is the notoriously freezing air conditioning. The food which is prepared in several open kitchens throughout the restaurant is excellent authentic Chinese. You would have guessed by now, yes, they do have hand-pulled noodles on the menu. Unfortunately there is only one dish and that is Dan Dan Mian. Although they claim in the menu that they are hand-pulled noodles I failed at several occasions to see any chef pulling La Mian there. Nonetheless, when you are craving for a change from the butter chicken fare head to China House for your dose of great Chinese food. Or maybe fancy some dumplings and dim sum, try Royal China in Bandra.

China House, Grand Hyatt Mumbai, Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz East, Mumbai, India

Royal China, 92 Turner Road, Bandra West, Mumbai, India

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Who would think that you could find a La Mian stall in a business hotel on Orchard Road in Singapore?

The Orchard Hotel features the noodles restaurant in one corner of its lobby floor.  It was opened already in May 2012 and is more a bar or bistro than restaurant. I did not take notice of its existence until today.

Recently they hired the new chef Xu Ai Min for noodles from Beijing and put in some advertising effort which successfully reached out to La Mian World. Well, I stumbled over it by coincidence while googling.

I was a bit sceptical about the setting, but it is actually quite nice and bright inside the huge glass facade of the hotel. The place is as simple as it gets with a menu concentrating on the most important La Mian dishes like beef La Mian, Dan Dan Mian, minced pork La Mian and a couple more fancy ones like one with Abalone. Interiorwise noodles features only the bar with the La Mian chef,  one friendly waiter and some bistro tables.

I went to have You Po Mian and my lovely companion ordered the La Mian soup with vegetable and pork dumplings. You have four choices of noodles: either the classic round, super thin, flat or egg noodles. Both dishes were ordered with flat La Mian. The expert chef went to pulling and hitting the dough as I was snapping away at his fast motions. Some perfect La Mian noodles emerged from his hands and submerged into the boiling water.

The meal was served in no time and looked fantastic on nice white china. I must admit that I would have wished my La Mian to be a bit more chewy but in essence both the dishes were excellent.

Which way will the art of La Mian making go? Is it a dying art or will we have La Mian outlets mushrooming up soon at every corner like Starbucks cafes?

noodles, Orchard Hotel Singapore, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879

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