Another noodle style from China has landed in Rotterdam. You can now eat Lanzhou pulled noodles (拉面Lamian) at Yellow River Lanzhou Noodles. A beautiful dance where the chef elegantly swivels the dough to stretch the noodles.
They serve all kinds of hand-pulled noodles, knife cut noodles and rice dishes. And everything is halal. Lazy Bear and I visited them a few days ago and here is my impression.
The restaurant is located at Mauritsweg, a 12-minute walk from Rotterdam Central Station. The interior is very simple, it feels just like a noodle restaurant in China. You order at the counter. When I ordered, I did not see their menu, but I saw a poster on the wall with different kinds of thickness noodles. I talked in Chinese to the employee and understood that we could pick knife cut noodles 刀削面 or pulled noodles 拉面 with beef soup. Throughout my life I have only eaten a handful times of knife cut noodles, so I was very interested to try this one. Lazy Bear picked the regular hand pulled noodles.
We could also pick a side dish with our noodles. You could choose from five pickled cold veggies. You can load up a small plate with one or more veggies. The taste resembles the taste in China. It was not that exploding (salty, spicy) as it can be in China, but the taste is there. The texture of the cucumber was different than in China, but that is because the ingredients are Dutch. Cucumber in China is way more tasteful and crunchy than the watery cucumbers in the Netherlands. That makes a big texture difference. However I really enjoyed the tastes of both veggies.
The beef noodle soup
The soup was really good! Really similar to the China taste. If I would compare it with China (10/10 taste) then this was a 8/10 taste for the Netherlands. Since I have never had Lanzhou beef noodle soup in the Netherlands (or Europe even). The soup is beefy and has this typical pepper taste. The soup has some coriander, leeks and slices of soft beef.
When they serve your bowl of noodles, they will ask if you want hot oil sauce. I left out the hot oil sauce to taste the neutral soup first. Later I added some hot oil and Chinese vinegar, which are on your table. The hot oil is fragrant and spicy. The Chinese vinegar made the soup a bit sweet/sour and gave it more depth. It was really nice.
My knife cut noodles were very chewy. A bit too thick for me, one bite of noodles is a lot of dough and chewing. Maybe because I am used to thinner pulled noodles. I can’t really compare with other knife cut noodles, but I enjoyed the chewiness of the noodles.
The regular pulled noodles were less chewy than the knife-cut-noodles. Apparently knife cut noodles and biangbiang noodles are two of the most chewy noodles. My favorite kind of noodles. Mikey Chen (Strictly Dumpling) has a nice video about all different kinds noodles. At 4:21 min. he explains about knife cut noodles and Lanzhou lamian.
Here is a bit more information about the Lanzhou noodles. Apparently the hot oil sauce is special, it has Sichuan peppercorn. So the next time I should try the soup with the hot sauce that they offer when they serve the dish.
The restaurant just opened two weeks ago, so not everything on the menu is available yet. They said that in the future there will also be rice dishes on the menu. For now they only serve beef noodle soup. Ask them what they all serve. Next time I will try their dry pulled noodles, cold noodles and other soup tastes.
Type of service
I have to say, even though I have eaten at restaurants in China and I know you have to order at the counter and pay after eating. This kind of service in the Netherlands is still a bit confusing for me. I believe the service-style at Yellow River Noodle is:
- Enter, order food at counter
- Get a drink from the refrigerator and pick your side dishes
- Take a seat (or already take your seat when entering?)
- Get the food when they call you (take chopsticks, spoon and tissue from the counter)
- Go to counter and pay (correct me if I am wrong)
At Cate Dak Chinese Café the service is similar. You also order at the counter, sit down, get served, eat and pay after eating. So many new service ways to get used to and so much new food in the Netherlands. I am only happy that more delicious Chinese food cuisines is coming to the Netherlands. :3
Yellow River Noodles
Mauritsweg 46A, 3012 JV Rotterdam
Every day 12:00-21:00