[Cupertino] Hankow Cuisine -- Wuhan food and its hot dry noodle

Continuing @hyperbowler’s discussion about Hankow Cuisine:

Went with a Hubei cuisine pro today, who handled the ordering and also conferred with a gentleman from Hubei sitting next to the door, who commented that the hot dry noodle should be ordered ‘drier’.

Hankow is part of Wuhan city, and Wuhan is part of Hubei. Hubei (North of Lake Dongting) is a province in central China, next to Hunan (South of Lake Dongting) and Sichuan. The food at this restaurant, as its name suggests, covers the food from Wuhan (which has differences from the rest of Hubei.)

Had

  • hot dry noodle 热干面 x2
  • duck neck skewer
  • chicken feet skewer
  • lamb skewer
  • Dou pi
  • green bean soup (more like a drink)
  • osmanthus paste

Hot dry noodle, Hubei province’s dish.

Both bowls: she confirmed, despite ordered ‘drier’ both times, weren’t dry enough. The ratio between the peanut sauce+ pickled green beans to noodle was a bit low.

2nd bowl: a bit heavy on the peanut sauce and lower on the pickled green beans
Despite that, she said its a pretty decent rendition. I guess so, as she sat there and pretty much ate most of the first bowl while I watched despite what was supposedly to be a sharing arrangement. So a second bowl was needed. For me, I’d agree that it needed less of the peanut sauce and more of the pickled stuff and the additional layer of complexity its flavor imparts on the noodle. I enjoyed the dish.

The Hubei gentleman before we sat down: every time he ordered the hot dry noodle its a little bit different.

Also the hubei gentleman: the best hot dry noodle around is at Sizzling Pot King in Sunnyvale. I looked it up and its called the Wuhan Sesame Noodle there.

Onto other dishes: Enjoyed the duck neck quite a lot. Only stopped once I filled up on the noodle. More meat than chicken neck, and they were deliciously marinated and coated with a layer of cumin/ spice. Most of the lamb cubes were a bit chewy. Chicken feet didn’t stand out. Stick with the neck. Was ok about the dou pi. It tasted fine, though perhaps too familiar.

The drinks were perfect for a warm day. Slightly sweet, refreshing, and in the case of the osmanthus paste, floral-aromatic from the dried osmanthus petals. The paste was thickened with lotus root powder.

The former news anchor of KTSF Chen Jie (sic) sat at the next table.

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Never mind the dry comment. She said that its drier than a typical hot dry noodle in Hubei.

The rendition at Sizzling Pot King in Sunnyvale was deemed more traditional. No heat- as it is in Wuhan. A bit more wet-saucy. But the comment was that its less flavorful than Hankow’s version. I’d agree with the flavor comment.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold