This is a review of 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle in Burwood NSW, and certainly not a review of the similarly named 1915 Lanzhou Beef Noodles, around 100 metres up the road.
There always seems to be a line outside 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle, and on our visit last weekend the waiting time happened to be around 15 minutes for a seat. I wonder if the bulk of the waiting time is due to patrons only deciding on what they want once they get into the restaurant, which is a bit silly as they have a very limited and focused menu, easily visible from the outside.
Forever a fan of the classics, I chose the Lanzhou Beef Noodles ($12.80 in small) with the thinner noodle option. I really enjoyed this bowl, and I can see how this simple noodle dish has become a staple not just in Lanzhou, but across China and Chinese diasporas. The clear noodle soup, flavoured with radish, coriander, and a little bit of chilli sauce just felt so clean and wholesome, not weighed down by any soy or fattiness. The lean beef had a light but aromatic flavour to them. The noodles were hand pulled in the store window, but to be honest were not more than a caloric vehicle for the rest of the bowl. I regret only getting a small size, as it seems that the extra $1 for the large gives you a lot more soup, which is truly the star of the show.
My dining partner and also romantic partner, forever the non-classic fool, ordered the Special Dry Beef Noodle ($13.80 in small) with wide noodles. This was probably just fine but didn’t live up to the standards set by their soup noodles. It had a bit of tomato flavour to it and a bit of stewed beef flavour as well. What ultimately brought it down was the fact that the sauce did not quite coat the noodles as a pasta sauce should, even though it kind of ate more as a pasta than a Chinese noodle dish. This meant that at a certain point you were kind of just eating really wide unflavoured pasta.
These pork and cabbage steamed dumplings (4 for $4.80) were alright.
1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle Burwood
117 Burwood Rd, Burwood NSW 2134
0499 041 919