A taste of China in Manila: Authentic hand pulled noodles by Lan Zhou La Mien

HANDPULLED NOODLES. Freshly made and preservative free. (Photo: Hannah Torregoza)

HANDPULLED NOODLES. Freshly made and preservative free. (Photo: Hannah Torregoza)

Since I’ve tried Lan Zhou La Mien’s handpulled noodles in 2008, it has become a favorite of mine. Not only are the noodles flavorful but the servings and the price are really affordable. I’ve been meaning to blog about it for some time now, and even wrote a feature about it when I was still working for a major daily but I lost the pictures we took on file and a post about it would not be the same without photos.

NEW MALL NEW BRANCH. The San Guo La Mien's menu is still affordable despite its location in a shiny new mall in Binondo. Something which patrons surely appreciate. (Photo: Hannah Torregoza)

NEW MALL NEW BRANCH. The San Guo La Mien’s menu is still affordable despite its location in a shiny new mall in Binondo. Something which patrons surely appreciate. (Photo: Hannah Torregoza)

This Chinese New Year, my friends and I decided to spend the day in Binondo, particularly in Lucky Chinatown where we stumbled upon this restaurant called San Guo La Mien with a similar concept. Handpulled noodles, ku tsai dumplings, and the price is just about the same.

YUM. Flavorful and fresh, each serving can actually feed two people. (Photo: Hannah Torregoza)

YUM. Flavorful and fresh, each serving can actually feed two people. (Photo: Hannah Torregoza)

Lo and behold, the staff were wearing Lan Zhou La Mien uniforms! As luck would have it, I was able to kick off the Lunar New Year with a taste of my favorite ku tsai dumplings. Yum!

One thing in particular, that I am truly grateful for, is the fact that proprietors did not take advantage of hiking up the price despite the fact that their rent is decidedly more costly inside a mall, a good business practice for sure.

KU TSAI. Healthy and delicious, my favorite part of the menu! (Hannah Torregoza)

KU TSAI. Healthy and delicious, my favorite part of the menu! (Hannah Torregoza)

About Lan Zhou La Mien

(Photo: zomato.com)

(Photo: zomato.com)

The Tan sisters, who opened up the Lan Zhou La Mien noodle house in Benavidez Street in 2005, now has branches in Masangkay, San Fernando and Tomas Mapua Streets, 168 Mall and the latest, is the one in Lucky Chinatown.

Specializing in traditional Chinese noodles and steamed dumplings, the siblings make their all natural noodles with only flour, egg and salt — no preservatives, no machines.

“It is a sight to behold,” one of the restaurant’s patrons said as he watched  Che Che Tan mold and toss flour again and again to finally emerge with some of the noodles he was eating. “And the portions and flavor is excellent, considering its affordability.”

“The art of noodle making is a Chinese tradition from Lan Zhou province in China, all the master cooks and noodle makers are Chinese but we have an all Filipino staff ,” Michelle Tan, the proprietor said in Mandarin.

“Business is good here, we have a small restaurant and we serve only beef and chicken noodles; and dumplings which are all preservative-free,” she said. “But people wait outside all the time to wait until a table is free so they can eat our noodles.”

The broth, Michelle said, is sourced from boiled beef bones, and their dumplings are made entirely in ku tsai and beef.

Overall, my experiences with this noodle house have all been excellent. All of the staff are pleasant and efficient, the food is superb and the establishments have always been clean despite always being busy. Definitely a must try when you are in the Binondo area. I have definitely have no qualms about recommending this restaurant to anyone.

 

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