Buckwheat noodles at Everyday Beijing (San Mateo)

There’s a new menu, and a younger guy is now the chef (owner?). According to the liquor license, the ownership changed at the end of 2015. Has anyone else been recently?

It’s not on menu, but I learned that they now make buckwheat noodles in house and they can be added to any of the soup noodle dishes. I got them in the spicy beef noodle soup, which had lovely cubes of tendon and cubes of a stringy cut of beef (brisket?). The chef confirmed for me that the noodles were extruded, which is how they achieved long lengths and a thick round shape, like thick spaghetti. The noodles have a strong nutty flavor and a crumbly texture, which suggests to me that these were 100% buckwheat, and not mixed with wheat flour. By themselves, I didn’t care for the texture of the noodles, but glass noodles at the bottom of the bowl added a thin, slippery, and flexible counterpart that made them enjoyable. The chef said the different noodle types help promote healthiness, and I’ll infer there’s a lesson about yin and yang in the bowl too.

If anyone has tried the buckwheat round noodles at Xiang Xiang in Sunnyvale, I’d appreciate a comparison.

Some other noodle items caught my attention, and not realizing the ownership change, I didn’t think to ask whether they changed from excellent machine made wheat noodles to handpulled. But I did learn that they make chao ge da, stir-fried dough cubes made from wheat flour and cornmeal (these are elsewhere called ‘flour balls’. They also have ge da tang, free form noodles created by tossing tiny pieces of a dough directly into soup, kind of like how eggs firm up in egg drop soup or spaetzle (see also noodle primer).

There are a few weekend only items, including Jian Bing guo zi (see also Jian Bing discussion)

I returned for a few more items.

No. 16 Wasabi sauce bean gel : The shape, and bumpy texture of the shrimp-shaped, hand-formed, curls of bean gel provided lots of places for the soy and sesame paste dressing to adhere. Fun texture and much easier to pick up than the type of mung bean gel strips depicted in the menu photos. Wasabi was too far in the background for my taste, but YMMV.

No. 45 shredded pork with bean sauce : the combo of pork shreds, sweet bean sauce (tianmianjiang, not to be confused with red bean paste), green onion shreds, and flour pancakes is kind of like a cross between mu shu pork and Peking duck. Overall, I liked it but a portion of the pork shreds were overcooked and mealy, and the green onions sat in a pool of oil underneath the pork.

No. 21 stir fried wheat and cornmeal biscuit : The “biscuits” ( chao ge da), elsewhere called “flour balls”, were firm and chewy dough cubes— I’d like to learn to make these at home. While I appreciated the use of fresh zucchini and carrots, unlike frozen vegetables at other places selling this dish, I found the knife work sloppy, with unevenly cut pieces, and the dish unnecessarily oily.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo