Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lam Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles in Chinatown

Lam Zhou's Beef Brisket Noodle Soup
(note: below is video of how la mian is made)

The Beef Brisket Noodle soup can be found at Lam Zhou Hand Made Noodle & Dumpling, a small Chinatown shop located on 144 E. Broadway, famous for its hand pulled noodles. As you enter Lam Zhou, you'll notice there are only four workers: one making the La Mian (or Lai Mein in Cantonese) one cooking the noodles, and two doing miscellaneous things such as making dumplings and collecting the money. As you find a seat, you'll immediately notice the different languages spoken here-- Mandarin, Cantonese, Fukianese and also English (yes, I am not the first Asian American to stumble upon this place).... Unfortunately for the Cantonese speaker like myself, the workers only speak Mandarin (the noodle chef) and Fukianese (cooks)... but thank goodness for the English menu that is posted in the restaurant.

Since hand-pulled noodles is one of Lam Zhou's specialty, I wanted to compare this to the other hand pulled noodle place I've visited. In my opinion, the hand pulled noodles at Lam Zhou were very similar to those at Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles (refer to previous posting). The consistency, texture and tastes were similar, which may not be surprising since the fundamental ingredients are likely to be the same. So what, then, differentiates this place? The soup, the toppings, the price and the decor.

Soup. The soup is very flavorful and if it doesn't meet your standards of spicy-ness or flavor, they offer four different spices that you can top your dish off (think of it like all the condiments you add to your french fries like ketchup and mayonnaise). From left to right, Fish Sauce, Vinegar, Spicy Sauce Flakes, a Homemade Sweet Soy Sauce, and preserved vegetables (salty and is traditional in pork chop over rice dishes and minced meat over noodle dishes). Note: Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles offered similar condiments, with the exception of the preserved vegetables.

This place has 16 different ways to top off the hand pulled noodles - beef brisket, tendon, tripe, ox tail, deep fried pork chop, fish ball, vegetables and the list goes on (comparable to Tasty Hand Pulled Noodle with 15 different toppings). For those who like deep fried pork chops, this place offers it! I on the other hand wanted to be consistent so I ordered the brisket (nee-ro-mien), and I think it was the first place that actually gave me "true" brisket (yes, in the photo on the right, you'll notice the thick cube of meat!). Another nice surprise was the "healthy" amount of vegetables included in the dish -- they added many pieces of bok choy, a definite plus in my eyes! When compared to Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles, the meat was superior here (or truer to what the dish should be made of) and the hearty vegetable additions was an unexpected bonus!

Price. Items on the menu range from $4.50 to $5.00. The food is considered cheap when compared to other cuisines; however, prices were cheaper or on par when compared to similar local eateries like this one. Recall, Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles dishes ranged from $4.00 to $6.50 for noodle soups and more for stir-fried noodle dishes.

Decor. Don't expect anything fancy, after all you are eating a bowl of noodles for five dollars or less! There are two counter top sitting areas and two bigger tables that can fit up to four and that's it. If you want something to drink, the refreshments are located in the refrigerator outside the restaurant (self-serve).

Though I have many positives to say about this restaurant, the one negative would be location. Its located on 144 E. Broadway Street, far east of central Chinatown. You can reach this location by the F trains (exit East Broadway towards Canal St and Division St - right on Rutgers and Right on East Broadway) or take the M15 South Ferry bus (exit Allen and Canal St., Walk South towards Pike, Left on E. Broadway), or walk east on E. Broadway from Confucius Plaza for about 10 minutes. Additionally, Lam Zhou's sign is in Chinese, so make sure you pay attention to the number (photo above). And yes, the restaurant is called "Lam" instead of "Lan" Zhou like all the other typical hand pulled noodles; recall, lan zhou is an area in china where these noodles originated (refer to my first hand pulled noodle posting to get more info on noodle origination)

Overall, I like the place and would say it warrants another visit. I already know what I want to eat next time -- the deep fried pork chop noodle soup and minced meat sauce over noodles! Who doesn't love a good hole in the wall type place -- that's where all the goooooood stuff is at!

Since I've shown photos of how "hand pulled noodles" are made in my previous post, I wanted to switch it up with a video. I caught the tail end of him making the noodle... but the funny thing about the video was he's talking about how a lot of people come to Lam Zhou to take photos and he seemed very annoyed with the idea - WHOOPS. I showed him the video later, and of course he couldn't hear his words, but he giggled afterwards.

Address: Lam Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles, 144 E. Broadway,
(212) 566-6933

1 comment:

Jeff Hui said...

Love this place!!! Makes me hungry just looking at it

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