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拉面 La Mian World

the quest for the perfect noodle

Tag Archives: Uighur

Pingyao 平遥 is a UNESCO world heritage city in the province of Shanxi. It is a superpopular tourist destination for the Chinese and to some extent also with foreign visitors. Its historic centre is well-preserved and lies surrounded by the ancient city wall. You can leisurely walk around in its streets and imagine yourself as part of a Chinese historic soap opera.

A friend and I arrived one day in Pingyao at its typical Peoples Republic concrete style train station. From there it is a short walk to one of the city gates to enter the historic centre. Just past the gate I found the right place for breakfast: a La Mian shop!

Its Uighur owners became our best friends in Pingyao. Everyday of our stay in the city we would visit their open kitchen at least once for a bowl of freshly prepared noodles.

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One early evening in Singapore I walked from Outram MRT station towards the main drag of China Town. Strolling past the busy Pearls Centre I suddenly saw a familiar face. The Balestier La Mian guy! After weeks and months of struggling to find the best La Mian in Singapore I was about to make a new discovery.

The closure of the Jin Fu Rong Shi Fu restaurant in Balestier Road had sparked the start of the La Mian World blog. I had found out a lot about La Mian in Singapore: From being disappointed by well-known and well written about Lan Zhou La Mian in Smith Street to my so far favorite Ju Hao La Mian Xiao Long Bao in Lavender Food Square.

Now, the hole-in-the-wall like restaurant in Pearls Centre gives a real feel of  mainland China.  Small stools on a white tile floor, quite a bit messy and people bending down deep over their noodle soup bowls. The menu is super simple and the prices cheap, but the freshly and skillfully pulled noodles are the best I could find in Singapore so far. The broth was very tasty and slightly spicy with a real north-western Uighur flair. The La Mian were perfectly even, pulled to noodles almost like Spaghetti bought in the supermarket.

At my second visit I felt like trying the You Po Mian:  Three centimeter wide Pappardelle style noodles hand pulled one at a time, two per dish. They come in a mildly spicy sauce and are just delicious.

This is for sure not a high-end restaurant but it is, from my point of view, as close as it gets to the mainland original taste. The ex-Balestier now Pearls Centre guy is doing a great job.

Xi An Xiao Chi Zhuan Mai Dian, Pearls Centre, 100 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore

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In late 2008 we had to spend 22 hours in Xining 西宁, waiting for our train ride to Lhasa. With the Tibet-Permit in our pocket we explored this typical modern city in the Chinese province. Pretty boring, except for the Xidan-Market in the city centre.

The highlight was the Uigurian noodle stall “Yan Ge La Mian” which provided us with one of the most tasteful hand pulled noodle experiences in China. I can highly recommend it!

The rest of the day we spent in the Kumbum Monastery, almost 30 km from Xining and definitively a lot more interesting than the city itself. But in the evening we came back to fill our bellies again with these delightful noodles. It was the best preparation for our Tibetan adventure.

Yan Ge La Mian, Changjiang Road, Xining, P.R. China  中国 青海省西宁市城中区长江路

(C) Mr Walder – thanks to Mr Walder for this guest article and photo

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