It's a short story, but I had a bit of a fall at home last night. Mainly bruised my dignity, but also have battered and bruised my lower back. OK! My backside. And I have a cartoon lump on my head. I woke up feeling miserable and in a lot of pain, but it has worn off a bit as the day progressed, The quack says I will live and only time can work its spell.
But I probably won't be doing much cooking. I did make some banana bread this morning, but several times thought I would have to abandon the attempt part way through as I felt dizzy and about to faint. Got there in the end, then went to hospital.
Tonight, I remembered that I had spotted a new, small restaurant about 5 minutes from home.
Their sign reads "正宗兰州拉面 - zhèng zōng lán zhōu lā miàn" The first two characters together mean "orthodox", then we have Lanzhou", the capital of Gansu province in China's NW, and finally "lā miàn" or "hand pulled noodles".
Yes, Lanzhou is noodle central, home to both "hand-pulled noodles" and "knife cut noodles" among others. There are theories that the Japanese "ramen" originated here, but then veered off in its own direction.
The "orthodox" refers to it being a Muslim restaurant, Gansu being one of China's most Muslim areas. The two characters at the top "清真 - qīng zhēn" simply mean "Muslim". So, no pork.
The place is fairly small and seemed only to have two staff.
The cook is in the white jacket behind the glass partition and his wife(?) is front of house (and cleaner). She is seated behind the people to the right.
The table card immediately above is half the menu and lists noodle dishes on the left and stir fry type dishes on the right.
Edited to note, I have translated this menu over here.
The table also features a bottle of vinegar, a bowl of chili sauce (with the coloured spots), some toothpicks and the menu.
So, I chose the first item on the list. As with many small restaurants in China, you make your choice and pay before the food comes. I like this system - saves hanging around for and then arguing over, the bill.
"牛肉拉面 - niú ròu lā miàn" - beef hand-pulled noodles. Young man hand pulled them as I watched, then quickly served them up. I added a bit of chilli sauce and slurped away. Then limped home. Early night, I think.