Restaurants in Manila: Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles

A friend recommended that my wife and I try Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles while we were in Timog, Quezon City. This restaurant is legit! I watched them make the noodles they made for us. The meal we had was around 200 PHP (Around 4USD). They had meals that started at 90 PHP (Less than 2USD)! Yet they served you like any sit down restaurant. The noodles are made from scratch. No processed foods here. The food is delicious! This restaurant became an instant favorite.

Kanzhu is an unusual name. According to Pinyin, the romanization of Chinese, “Kanzhu” should be pronounced “Kan-ju” which doesn’t mean anything in Chinese. However, as I looked closely at the logo, I noticed the characters, “甘肃” which is actually Gansu or Kansu. Gansu is a province in Northwest China. Lanzhou is the capital Gansu, and has it’s own style of hand pulled noodles, or Lanzhou Lamian which this restaurant serves. In the word Lamien, lā, (拉) means to pull or stretch, while miàn (麵) means noodle. It is where we get the Japanese word Ramen.

Local lore says that a Hui Chinese man named Ma Baozi from Lanzhou created Lanzhou beef noodles in 1915. The Hui are historically practitioners of Islam. As such, Ma Bao Zi created a meal using halal meat such as beef with a clear broth.

Many Hui people migrated to Sichuan, where they incorporated local flairs to the dish which include garlic, chili oil, five-spice (Star Anise, Clove, Cassia, Fennel, Sichuan Pepper) and soy sauce. Eventually, this dish made its way to Taiwan, when Kuamintang veterans that fled to Taiwan from mainland China, which evolved into today’s Taiwanese beef noodle soup.

Kanzhu Hand-Pulled noodles offers all types of noodles and other Chinese dishes at very affordable prices. It is a nice sit down restaurant. I am still in shock on how affordable these meals are!

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