Chongqing Xiao Mien on Kearny

I would be ok with reducing quantity of soup and beef as well, why bother drowning the noodles.

Though to your point about the actual dish of CQXM at CQXM, there’s much less sauce/broth anyways.

You are most likely correct about the food costs being lower for bottom end of the pricing spectrum.

Your answer brings up this point. Since noodles are a cheap ingredient, maybe 20 ~ 30c cost for each order, at most? If they lower the price by $2 for a half order, by leaving out 30c of ingredient, they’re not doing themselves any favors.

However, if they reduce the quantity of beef and soup (as suggested by mzhu) as well, they can discount accordingly.

I returned for a starch-less dinner to try some of the snacks - sweet/sour ribs, mouth-watering chicken, and lamb skewers.

Ribs were served between cold and room temp, not too sweet, a sprinkling of sesame seeds and sliced scallions. Portion is about a dozen riblets - inch wide or so. Texture was a bit stringy as this dish tends to be when served as a cold snack. Not horrible but pretty meh snack, would not order again.

Mouth-watering chicken was much better, about a dozen pieces of poached chicken swimming in a large pool of chili oil, darker than I normally expect but perhaps that’s because the bowl is dark as well. Chicken was tender, though missing some heat. A few peanuts scattered here and there, and everything rested on a bed of bean sprouts. Not a bad deal for $5 given that the other Sichuan joints in the hood charge $8 for this.

Lastly, lamb skewers - some cumin fragrance, a slight whiff of gaminess, just a bit of char on the corners here and there. Pieces were about 3/4" cubes stretched out a bit. Meat was tender, fatties pieces were juicy, not enough cumin or spice unfortunately. At 4 for $10, this was not a great deal in my book given the skewer carts in NY Chinatowns. No need to rehash a SF v. NYC discussion, promise. Just did not hit the right value ratio for me.

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The ambitious menu has been downsized, item by item - some are crossed off now.
I liked my Chongqing Hot Numbing Spicy Noodles and finished the bowl with gusto - with a side order of cooling smashed cucumber salad.

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this place is across the street from my office and i’m going to try what you had, cynsa. sounds excellent to me.

5 posts were split to a new topic: Rhetoric Coffee, Berkeley

Tried the Chongqing xiao mian here with the cucumber salad as well. Cucumbers definitely help cool down the heat. Noodles were very good, broth was good and oily, mala and numbing and a bit medicinal with lots of chili and and a few little chunks of preserved vegetables. A couple of baby bok choy in there as well. I didn’t find the amount of noodles excessive, but I was pretty hungry at the time.


i’m concurring with cynsa and Mr. Happy - just had a take-out bowl of the Chongqing Hot Numbing Spicy Noodles and i’m in love. not being an expert re Sichuan cuisine, by a long shot, having only started eating it in the last 4-5 years, i still have to say that this is probably the best noodle dish i’ve had in that cuisine. plenty of ma la, nice enough heat, really delicious. i ate the whole bowl, swearing i wouldn’t.

i only had to walk across the street but the noodles had stuck together a tad. once dunked in the lovely oily broth they loosened up, and i’d do to-go again. i had lots of ecstatic mmmms to make, and it’s messy for a gringa like me to eat! the place was packed at noon with people waiting, they had the door open and it was really windy/chilly, which is why i took it to go.


My daughter and I walked up for an early dinner. We split the Couple’s Delight and one order of the eponymous noodles, which was plenty for us. Very nice complexity and balance to the spicing, but I could have used more vegetable matter (should have ordered the cucumber salad). Noodles were a little soft, but since I currently sport braces, I appreciated that.

I tried the tan tan noodles today. The sauce is soupy, though I wouldn’t consider it a noodle soup. I usually get tan tan noodles from z&y, but I think I prefer these. I like the thinner noodles as opposed to the thick and rather pasty noodles at z&y. The soupy base made it easier to mix the noodles and eat them. Plus, no need to special request the delicious ground pork and ya cai topping! Z&y cut that corner awhile back, and you have to ask for it, and your server might look at you like you’re making an unreasonable request.

Spicy beef tendons were well cooked and flavorful. I’ll be back soon to try the eponymous noodles. Also curious about the wuhan hot dry and the Guilin rice noodles.

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What comes on the tan tan noodles at Z&Y if there is no pork or ya Kai? I’m no expert on the dish, but when I’ve had it, it seems like those are the main components.

the noodles are served on top of the sauce with some greens for garnish, but no meat. the sauce has a large quantity of finely chopped peanuts, i believe, and there may be some ya cai in it but it’s been some time since i’ve had it.

Finally made it here, 3 PM on a Friday. Excellent.
I ate the Braised Pork Intestine Noodle soup, on the menu the price is $9.95 but they only charged me $7.95 for no apparent reason. Soup was excellent; the intestine was very soft and unctuous, broth rich and deep flavor, excellent level of spice but not so much numbing as I would have liked. An impressive amount of noodles. There were at least three servers, a good number for the small size of the place, so maybe initial reports of subpar service are no longer a worry. All the other patrons were Asian – I was the only person of Caucasian persuasion in the place. I gather this is part of a chain (empire?) of Z&Y-related places; some time ago I ate at a Waverly Place branch and was not impressed.


If you are referring to the original Pot Sticker location at 150 Waverly Place, , it was founded by a renegade chef and server from Z&Y on a shoestring without a lease and no experience in actually running a restaurant. It was, in fact, a weak copy of Z&Y and had no support from, or connection to Z&Y. They’ve since got it together, though, and Chongqing Xiao Mian is one of my favorite noodle joints.

Hello all - i am considering doing a “Ho-down” here, for dinner sometime in the next 3 weeks or so. If i get enough people here interested, I’ll go over and see if i can make myself understood enough to find out if they’ll let me reserve a table. The center long shared table should work, if there are 6 or more of us. How many would be interested? I know #hyperbowler mentioned he would be, but I also know that he may (happily) be out of commission any day now…

“Happily out of commission”? Has he been eating a lot of pickles and ice cream?

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someone in his family has… :slight_smile:

oops, editing to add - i spoke too soon and out of turn! disregard, for now!

I’m interested, depending on my pretty limited availability.

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Thanks Kathy, let’s see if we get some more takers.

Maria, I am just realizing that you and I have some mutual friends (think City Grazing), so we should be able to come up with a group. :slight_smile:

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr