Sunday, October 25, 2015

Biang Biang Noodles - Noodles with a Chinese Character so Complex, it’s not on your Keyboard’s Unicode yet, but is it ?


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Pronounced:  BIANG

  Some people say this word describes the Biang Biang thumping noise upon Banging the noodles against the table to flatten the noodles, which might just make sense!   Well that’s how they describe it too when anyone ‘Bang’ something else out of sheer excitement.   Okay sorry about the side analogy but I never claimed I wasn’t the kind of Food Reviewer who isn’t comfortable to push limits to abstractly hypothesize and extrapolate first,  before stepping backwards and see if every variable can be proven as such.    To me,  this Biang sound alone in terms of sound frequency complexity does not really justify inventing a super complicated Chinese Character and it is also not officially recognized under Chinese Dictionaries.   It sounds to me more like a Marketing Ploy whether it was by the poor student or the noodle maker himself as the different legends will lead you to believe,  but whichever way it really became,  it definitely highly succeeded as a result but I will always maintain this was contrived unless someone proves me otherwise.   Even this Biang Biang shop in Hong Kong has received a Michelin Guide Recommendation upon inauguration. 

 

 

P1440623_edited Legend has it that one of the Top 10 Strangest inventions in China’s 陕西 Shaanxi Province included this Biang Biang Mian Flat noodles,  especially in Capital City Xi’an - 
BIANG is a non officially recognized Chinese Character measuring up to 58 nominal to 62 strokes thereof, depending on how one calculates Chinese strokes.   Imagine placing your own order at the table and they ask you to pen it out!    Usually it is only written in Calligraphy by hand and then Computerized Vectored or Scanned into a .gif file for printing out even upon Year 2015.   Of course,  many things in life become exaggerated and blurting out a much simpler I want a  油泼扯面 ‘Youpo Chemian’ also describes this dish clearly without ambiguity.  Just depends on the Chili Level then.  


  But it can be good for Marketing Purposes sometimes,  since this noodle has been covered online Internationally and often with slightly wrong recipes,  yet it remains sometimes nearly elusive to find a correct version in Chinese Restaurant menus.   Such is the allurement of Mystique powers even in the Food World.  Many whom happen to be spreading this concept around are not surprisingly,  don’t read too much Chinese.   Or some are more fluent than me in Chinese but spread this concept around like they knew it all along like gospel,  leverage with their Asian Mystique advantage over the Expats.    On the other hand,  what really are the chances of such a complicated Chinese character being created just for describing a Noodles dish, especially when it is not an officially recognizable Chinese Character?   To me,  None.        

 


 

P1440617_edited
5 Spiced Donkey Meat with Biang Biang Chilli Flat Noodles – $50
This was slightly drier than before.  I guess Donkey meat is hard to cook,  and Humans just like to judge without understanding this does differ and how an animal has died for you...  

 

 

P1440621_edited
Donkey Meat - 
This is a rare find in Hong Kong indeed,  no taking away the Michelin Endorsement that has been bestowed upon here for their effort for Regional Chinese Cuisine.  The Donkey meat was a little dry today but seemed a bigger portion than my last visits,  back then this shop was 2 blocks away and more tinier too.  I liked the Noodles,  Veggies and Soup.  The mixing sauce I think was a bit singular in performance but okay  ~ 6.5/10





P1440620_edited
Biang Biang Noodles -  Served with Donkey Meat as shown above
With Chili Oil,  Spring Onions,  Chili Powder,  Sesame,  Lettuce, Garlic, Seaweed,  etc.  
The Mythical and Chinese Character stories aside,  this was simple yet all of the food layerings were implemented well,  better than my previous visits overall.  ~ 8.5/10

 



P1440612_edited
Sesame Chilli Sauce -
Adjustable to upgrade to a higher Chilliness and Sesame taste soon.

 

 

P1440611_edited
陜西 腊汁肉夾饃 – Shaanxi Rou Jia Mo,   Pork Meat Sandwich $20
One of my favourite recipes for a Meat and Bread Bun.  It’s directly related to a Gua Bao 割包 / 刈包 in China,  Taiwan and Japan or the Bao movement spreading International these days actually,  many of them bastardized versions and worst than the originals,  especially the Taiwanese versions.    But somehow this 腊汁肉夾饃 version,  reminds me more of a Venezuelan or Colombian Arepas counter-part than it’s Asian deviation these days somewhat… May be coincidence.

 

 

 

 

Price:   HKD $80
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address:  佐敦渡船街38號建邦商業大廈地下3號舖

Shop 3, G/F, Keybond Commercial Building, 38 Ferry Street, Jordan

Time of Opening:  Closed on Tuesday


 

 

 

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