Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
Every expat has that neighborhood hole-in-the wall they hit up at least several times a week. It may not serve the best noodles in the city, or even rank in the top 20, but damn it, it’s cheap, nearby, and you’re not about to trek across Shanghai and wait half-a-day in a Disneyland-long line of sweaty, fedorah’d tourists for the supposed “best noodles in Shanghai.”
Our neighborhood dive is Henan La Mian Guan, a tiny noodle shop near Xintiandi specializing in hand-pulled noodles Henan style. When you walk in, the owner’s splitting a boulder-sized ball of dough into manageable hunks before stretching them into whip-like sections and snapping them aggressively like a belt before a flogging.
We always order the niurou chao mian dao xiao (10RMB), thick noodles shaved from the dough boulder into the bowl and tossed with bean sprouts and beef. Cooked, they become slick with oil and when slurped, they coat your lips in a delicious film of beefy grease. The noodles are actually quite unevenly sliced, but their chewiness makes it excusable.
Who knows if they’re the best niurou chao mian dao xiao in Shanghai, but they’re the best we’ve had, and if you live in or are passing through the neighborhood, they’re definitely worth a slurp.
Henan La Mian Guan – across the street from 262 Danshui Lu, near Fuxing Lu (淡水路262号, 近复兴中路).
Last time on Dish of the Day: Roast chicken @ the wet market
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
Have a recommendation for Dish of the Day? Let Shanghaiist’s food editor Benjamin Cost know at [email protected]!