Small and unassuming, you probably wouldn’t think much of this little joint from the outside. But behold ye stomach, pillowy little clouds of dumplings and pulled noodles await thee!
This little noodle house is located in the Binondo district or as the Filipinos so proudly claim, the oldest Chinatown in ze world!
Having requested for some authentic Filipino food, my dad protested for his local favourite, Lan Zhou Lamien instead (“You can’t get this in Malaysia,” he cries! Translation: I want to go to there).
And there, we went.
Lan Zhou is the capital of Gansu Province in the northwest of China. This is where some Noodle Master/Genius/God created la mian.
Americans have their New York bagels, the Belgians “french fries” (sorry, Frenchies!), and the Chinese from the Gansu Province of China created Lan Zhou la mian.
‘La’ in mandarin means pulled and ‘mian’ as you can guess, noodle. La mian can either be knife-cut noodles or thin hand-pulled noodles.
At Lan Zhou Lamien, the noodles are freshly made, stretched, twisted, and pulled daily. You can even watch the cooks perform live, in all of their action packed, noodle-pulling glory!
Fours year ago, I slurped up these tasty, pulled noodles during my first trip to Manila. I can confirm that they are just as good after all these years!
A simple restaurant with basic furniture and mediocre ambiance, a Michelin star restaurant this is not. Nevertheless, you will still leave a happy camper with barely a dent in your wallet 😛
We ordered the Kan Pan Lamien, Knife Mien, Beef Wanton Lamien, fried dumplings and soup dumplings.
My brother ordered the Kan Pan Lamien, dry noodles with savoury minced pork sauce and bok choy. The noodles were the perfect combination of tender and springy.
The Beef Wanton Lamien that my Dad ordered was definitely my favourite — oomph! Bouncy noodle strands that were swimming in a delicious, subtle broth. The noodles were topped off with chunks of well-marinated beef, bok choy and soup dumplings.
Oh those soup dumplings. Oh. Ma. Gawd. I reiterate, they tasted like pillowy clouds.
This is how it went down in my mouth :
Enter pillowy clouds > Gates of pillowy cloud heaven open > Arrive in food heaven.
Pillowy clouds of pork dumplings that send you to food heaven, but I digress! These dumplings taste so good, you don’t even need the chili oil!
I had the Knife Mien which were the knife-cut noodles. Sadly, they were pretty average as the noodles were cut too thick.
The fried dumplings were pretty forgettable. Hence, why I forgot to photograph them ???? Stick to the pillowy clouds, folks!
Non-fussy, simple, cheap, good food. And pillowy clouds. That’s what you’ll get at Lan Zhou Lamien in Binondo. Salamat po, Manila!
Till our next meal together,
Location : 1354, Masangkay Street, Benavidez St, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila, Philippines.
Opening hours : Monday to Sunday, 8am to 9pm.
Tip: Servings are big, one bowl of noodles can be shared by 2 people.