If you’re wondering what the hype around Lanzhou beef noodles, also known as Lanzhou Lamian, is all about, look no further.
This hearty dish originated in Lanzhou, China and has since reached such heights that organisations like NPR estimate that there’s at least 50,000 beef noodle stalls in existence in the mainland alone.
Its creation is attributed to members of the Hui ethnic group — a 23 million strong population with at least 1,200 years of history. As Muslims in China, the Hui people have come up with their own variation of Chinese cuisine that still adheres to Islamic laws, thus giving rise to dishes like Lanzhou beef noodles and lamb kebabs.
A good bowl of Lanzhou beef noodles has to contain five major components: Yi Qing, Er Bai, San Hong, Si Lu and Wu Huang. Roughly translated, these form the colours of the dish — the clear soup broth, the white radish, the red chilli oil, the green herbs and the yellow pulled noodles respectively. Without any one of these ingredients, one cannot claim to be serving authentic Lanzhou beef noodles.
The dish’s presence in Singapore is a unique one, for it sits in the cross section of a Venn diagram where a Chinese culinary identity overlaps with the beliefs of one of Singapore’s largest religious communities.
Intrigued? We’ve pulled together a list of eateries in Singapore that are either halal-certified or Muslim-owned that serve up some mouth-watering bowls of Lanzhou beef noodles.
Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles
One of the most authentic spots in town, Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles hails all the way from China to serve this special dish on our sunny shores. An accredited member of the official Lanzhou Lamian Association, the noodle chain currently holds multiple awards and is home to over 300 outlets across China. Each bowl is filled to the brim with a generous portion of freshly hand-pulled noodles and the richness of its broth then elevated with its house-made chilli oil. Here, choose between eight different types of noodles to slurp up, and be sure to get some sides to share.
Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles, 133, #01-43 New Bridge Rd, Chinatown Point, 059413
Niu Zou La Mian
This humble stall only opened its doors to customers last year, but it has quickly gained a loyal fanbase. Every bowl of beef noodles is pulled-to-order, meaning you get the fresh, springy noodles each time. Besides the signature Beef La Mian, Niu Zou La Mian is also home to a dish called the Dry Noodles with Cumin Lamb, a smoky, sweet option for those who are a fan of gamey meat flavours.
Niu Zou La Mian, Blk 325 Ubi Avenue 1, Food Point Food Court, Singapore 400325
There are only three noodle options at this modest establishment: Signature Beef La Mian, the dry Cool Mixed Beef La Mian and Seafood La Mian, so you won’t have to spend time scouring through an extensive menu whilst hungry. Each heaping portion of its Signature Beef La Mian comes with a liberal amount of noodles, beef slices and radish, laying the foundation for a smattering of scallions and chilli oil on top. If you’re looking for a dry option, the Cool Mixed Beef La Mian comes with cucumbers, tomatoes and beancurd for a fresh, clean taste that cuts through its soy-sesame sauce.
Núodle, 10 Eunos Rd 8, #01-136 Singpost Centre, Singapore 408600
Yi Zun Beef Noodle
For those who need a little more variety, head to Yi Zun Beef Noodle. Besides their aromatic Hand-pulled Beef Noodles, Yi Zun Beef Noodle also has options like the Tomato and Beef Noodles, the Gold Beef Soup and Yizun Noodle With Minced Meat, all of which are crowd favourites as well. The broth may be what most diners seek, but we have to say that the star of the show at Yi Zun Beef Noodle is the noodles themselves. Each strand is delightfully smooth, and it soaks up the broth beautifully while still being firm to the bite.
Yi Zun Beef Noodle, 45 Sam Leong Road, Singapore 207935
(Hero image credit: @nuodle.asia via Instagram)