Sunday, July 24, 2011
The best noodle shop in China
Twice we went to a Chinese halal restaurant. Halal restaurants are Muslim run and known for following Muslim dietary guidelines. They are also known for their noodles and their cleanliness.
This one was a family affair. The father and son wore little white caps, the father taking orders, the son delivering them. Every once in awhile the mother, head covered but wearing makeup and a smile, would pop out of the kitchen to shout words of encouragement.
The walls were covered with a picture-menu of the food. However, the pictures weren't necessarily of the food available; if you tried ordering something from the wall it may or may not be available. And it might contain slightly different ingredients, which they felt obligated to tell you about. This made ordering a lot harder for someone with a limited Chinese vocabulary than it needed to be; fortunately we had a translator.
Our translator was great. Not only did she tell us she thought the food was "so-so", when she saw my co-worker picking at the food she asked why he was so fat since he ate so little. She was hilarious.
This was a soup they served as an appetizer. It consisted of chicken stock with bits of beef, a few mushrooms, and a few bits of Napa cabbage. Floating on top was a sprinkling of cilantro and green onion:
An individual meal. Some beef over noodles, with red onions and green pepper. Seasoned with cumin and hot pepper:
A group meal (we all ate from the same platter). Chicken (with bones) served with potatoes, carrots, and celery over thick noodles. Seasoned with coriander and star anise:
It was all delicious!