Hand-pulled and stretched Chinese wheat noodles (SFBA/Norcal)

At China Village now they updated the menu to include a variety of dishes made with hand cut noodles. One of them, hand cut noodles with spicy fish, was one we have been enjoying for a while but wasn’t on the dinner menu (I believe it was on the lunch menu) but we would special order it. It’s really a satisfying dish. The list also includes hand cut noodles with spicy ribs which I am anxious to try.

Try them with the beer-braised duck sometime. That blew me away.

Despite the server telling me before I ordered them but they were hand pulled, Cafe Tibet’s Then Thuk are no longer hand pulled. They’re cut into rhombus shapes.

The server said that customers weren’t so happy with the inconsistent shapes, and it is more laborious to hand pull than slice them. That’s a shame-- the rustic inconsistency carries the sauce better. If the kitchen isn’t too busy, he said they’ll pull them by hand but you’ll have to be insistent.

Try Tashi Delek in El Cerrito. The Thain Thuk there were obviously hand torn when I had them.

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Is anyone else rather disappointed with China Village since the revival after the fire?

I’ve only been two or three times, but my local sources have been grumbling as well.

I thought they were amazing when they first reopened, but then went downhill – lunches are really poor. However, I went back a week ago for dinner and they seem to be trying again and the quality was fairly good…

It’s interesting how difficult consistency seems to be. When King Tsin opened with China Village defectors it was amazing for a few weeks and then just spiraled down and now seems to be out of business.

King Tsin, now Sichuan Styles, is still open. I had an excellent cumin lamb dish for lunch, and there were lots of other people there. A chonquin chicken dish at the next table looked fantastic.

I’ll have to check it out. Any reason why they changed the name? Was there a change of management too?

It’s still the China Village defectors, and I don’t know why they changed the name. I think I’ve read something about certain Chines cuisines having distinct words in their names, like “Village” for Sichuan, “Garden” for Cantonese. It could be that “King” is one of those words–they pivoted away from the decades when King Tsin was one of the best Cantonese places around.

Like many Chinese restaurants (especially those that have changed owners in the past) there is little connection between the Chinese name and the “English” name. King Tsin was 厚德福 (houde fu) in Chinese, which means something like “great blessed kindness.” (It apparently can also mean “thick pavement.”)

This new place in Fremont says they have hand-pulled noodles:

A photo at Bing

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Pretty looking dumplings too!

Adding to the pile:

  • Kung Fu noodle in Milpitas Square has thin and wide hand-pulled noodles
  • QQ Noodles in Milpitas square has spinach hand-pulled noodles.
  • Eden Silk Road has a San Mateo location and laghman
  • Terra Cotta Warrior in SF now lists noodles on their menu as “biang biang”
  • Famous Bao in Berkeley has hand-pulled noodle made off-site

I recall Terra Cotta Warrior’s noodles always being called “Biang biang” noodles.


What is the vintage of your menu? They were not on the original menu (March 2014).

If that’s the current menu, it’s pretty intriguing to me. Not only do I need to check out their Biang Biang noodles, but Guanzhong noodles and Fufeng noodles are new to me. i couldn’t find much about either through Google or Baidu, but Guanzhong and Fufeng are both place names in Shaanxi, so I guess they may be subregional specialties. Looks like I’ll have to pay a visit to David Deng, diet be damned!

I can’t make out the new menu, but other yelp photos show pictures of a noodle that looks lasagna wide. I’ll excerpt below a portion of my original post about TCW’s distinctions:

I’ve noticed that distinction too. Che mian (hand-torn, as opposed to hand-pulled, noodles) can be as wide as (or wider than) the well-known Xi’an famous foods biang biang noodles or as narrow as used in the you po che mian served at Terra Cotta Warrior, Xi’an Famous Foods and my favorite Xi’an joint in Shanghai.

Incidentally, a closeup photo I took of my very first biang biang noodles at XFF’s Golden Mall location in 2008 has been used on more than 270 websites (including some in China) to illustrate biang biang noodles, thanks to Wikimedia Commons.

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Another video with no need to log in

Noodlosophy in San Mateo is a choose your own adventure style noodle shop – – choice of

  • Ramen, thin noodles cranked out of the machine, or wide what they call “biang biang” 扯面 (technically hand ripped noodles)
  • soup or dry
  • toppings
  • level of spiciness

To my knowledge they are the only restaurant on the peninsula that has wide ripped noodle, so I went with the wide noodles with cumin lamb, at the highest level of spice.

The noodle ripper is stationed right next to the cash register, so it is a nice opportunity to observe these things made. Each piece of dough is premeasured into a little brick that looks like a slab of tofu. He rolls each brick into a flat rectangle, does two horizontal slashes with a plastic scraper, Pulls the sheet outward with both arms while flapping his hands up and down, and then rips the 3 1-inchwide noodles apart from each other.

On the plus side, the noodles had a consistent height and were evenly cooked. Although I found them either too thick or dense compared to, say, the ones at terra-cotta warrior, making these can’t be easy and I prefer these to the stiff or undercooked ones I’ve had at Liang’s.

The cumin lamb, even though I ordered it at the highest spice level, could’ve used a jolt of cumin seeds and was neither as fiery nor as fragrant as I was hoping. I did like the presence of onions and jalapeños. Lamb pieces were gristley and some pieces tough from overcooking.

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

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2