March 30, 2009

I thought finding a cheap meal would be a challenge in Pudong area. Good thing, Lanzhou Lamian (a budget eatery that sits alongside with Lianhua mini mart and some of the small shops), is just a few minutes walk from Eton Hotel.

We wanted to be a bit more adventurous, so we tried Lanzhou's cheap and soul-satisfying meal. The eatery is very simple but tidy, with just 10 tables and a small TV. The menu was written on a large blackboard. What was interesting, all the male servers have those distinctive "high cheek-boned" and "rosy cheek" Tibetan facial features. They're all wearing a white cap, white long sleeve uniform shirt and black pants. They spoke a different language amongst themselves, different from standard Mandarin. I felt like we were in a completely different place and I really thought they're of Tibetan ethnicity. But HB identified them as Muslims from an Ethnic Minority Groups in China. I wanted to take a couple of photos of these servers, but I was afraid I might offend them in a certain way. And so, I dared not try it.

Since pork is forbidden in Islamic faith, they don't serve pork dishes to diners. The menu is very limited. What they have are simple dishes mostly hand-pulled Chinese noodles and a variety of cold foods. We sampled a bowl of hot noodles (perfect for the cold weather), cold beef dish and a cup of steamed rice. The food was pretty good. The spicy tender beef were all thinly sliced topped with a savory garnish. Hb, who has a higher tolerance for spicy foods extremely loved it.

If you're looking for rustic ambiance and good food with a reasonable price in Shanghai, try to visit Lanzhou Lamian and they're open 24 hours a day.

Toodles, until next time,
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AN ASIAN TRAVELER, Exploring Asia!