A bowl of soup at Fuqing Lanhou Noodles. Megan Elizabeth
Fuqing Lanzhou Noodles
10824 97 Street
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (closed Tuesdays)
Soup is something I live for, so when I saw a new noodle spot in the neighbourhood I quickly became interested. It’s one of the few restaurants north of 107A Avenue on 97 Street, and it’s lively light welcomes you to the block. The sign on the side of the building says, “hand pulled noodles”!
On the inside, the restaurant is small, bright, and relaxed. I have been to this location before in its previous incarnation, which was tucked in next to Dessert Island (open until midnight) under a walk-up apartment. Four long tables line one wall and it’s okay to seat yourself. Most of the bowl options are posted as pictures on the wall in case you need a visual. And, the owners are warm and will let you know what they think you’ll enjoy. There are a number of noodle bowls and most do not have broth, so inquire if you have a preference.
My first time in I had the beef soup. There are two sizes, but I guarantee the single portion will be enough for one. The broth is not at all spicy, but has a thick flavour to it and you can always add chili oil or vinegar to your taste. The slices of beef are one degree down from melt-in-your-mouth – they still offer chewiness with the right amount of tenderness. The combination of greens, berries, and other veggies gives it a delightful crunch and added flavour.
The noodles really are handmade right in the back. On my second visit I was invited to watch the cook turn dough into the long noodles I was about to enjoy in my shrimp and fish ball soup. I have to say these noodles are incredible and the fact that they’re homemade just adds to their wow factor. As I said, these are big portions and I appreciate having a second helping for the next day.
The menu is just two pages, but there are a number of small dishes from which you can choose. So far, I have enjoyed a squid skewer and a lamb skewer spiced with chili flakes and cumin. These too had just the right degree of chew that meat should have. I would have both again, but if I could recommend just one item it would be the tea egg. They are hard-boiled in a dark, savoury liquid and are my new favourite snack. Just peel and eat. So delicious. The noodles and dumpling options range between $9 and $12, while the smaller dishes are $1 to $7.
Megan lives in McCauley.