Friday, June 09, 2006

★★★ 大腸面 (DaChang Mian) - Shanghai

DaChang Mian is one of the best noodles places in Shanghai, at least that's what my native Shanghai friends say so I had to give them a try. Once I was at the restaurant I knew that I had to muster up quite a bit of courage just to eat this ramen. The restaurant, to my expectation, was sanitarily challenged. The floors were sticky, garbage bags were placed right next to the tables, and the kitchen was fortunately very dark so I couldn't see what it was really like. So I ordered the most popular dish 大腸面 which literally means, "big intestine noodles", there's no need for fancy product naming in China I guess.

The Soup - was simply the broth that they used to stew the meat, and intestines. The taste was very simple, a sweet soysauce flavor that was surprisingly good. Okay, after what I saw from the store I must say that my expectations were low, but the soup was a pleasant surprise.

The Noodles - were straight, plain white noodles that were actually cooked very FIRM, what a surprise! After all the years of eating soft, mushy, overcooked noodles in Chinese restaurants in the US I began to think that all Chinese noodles were like that. Guess we can only blame it on the Americanization of Chinese food on that one.

The Toppings - pig intestines, and nothing else. No jokes here, they were actually really good. The sweet soysauce stew is a common flavor for stewing meat in Chinese home cooking, I've just never had it with intestines before. The toppings are cooked to just the right firmness and chewiness.

Overall - try at your own risk. Actually, you know what, don't try this ramen; I would like to report that it's been 2 weeks since I tried the intestine noodle and my health is normal, but I've trained my immune system in the foodstands of Asia since I was 8 years old. I don't think I want to jeapordize your health if you've been raised in a more sanitized country.

I actually enjoyed this ramen and would return for their other items on the menu. They have another popular dish called
辣肉面 (spicy meat noodle) that I will definitely try if I ever come near this area again.


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