Lunch Today: Dumplings and Dry Noodles with Minced Pork Sauce at Lam Zhou
We have a long and in-depth post about why hand-pulled soup noodles might taste best without the soup. The TL;DR—the broth usually isn't very good, and if you don't slurp fast, your noodles get overcooked. Which is why I'm so drawn to the Dry Noodles with Minced Pork Sauce ($4.50) at Lam Zhou on East Broadway—it's everything you want from good hand-pulled noodles, and nothing you don't.
The noodles are softer than the best hand-pulled noodle joints in Chinatown, but they retain a slight snap to keep you interested. As for the minced pork sauce, it's a cornstarch-thickened glaze with soft nubs of pork and a mild savoriness. It's nothing profound, but it does its job of supporting the noodles without overwhelming them. Leaves of bok choy that come along for the ride are a nice touch.
This heaping bowl of noodles is enough for any lunch, but I have a hard time going to Lam Zhou and not ordering the Dumplings ($2 for 8, $3 for 12), which are some of my favorites in Chinatown. Their skins are delicate, and the soy sauce-enhanced pork and chive filling, if a little compact, is porky and rich with juice. You'd do best to order them boiled, not fried. The fried crusts aren't that substantial, and the skins sometimes rupture, spilling out that precious juice.
You won't find much English spoken at Lam Zhou, so be prepared to order by number and make very clear what dish you're after. If you do, you'll be rewarded with noodles that won't lose the spring in their step, and dumplings to make any lunch feel special.
144 East Broadway, New York NY 10002 (map)