Lanzhou Mazilu Beef Lamian Debuts in Japan
On August 22, 2017, Lanzhou Mazilu Beef Lamian, reputed to be the most famous lamian brand in China, formally opened its first branch in Japan, which was located in Tokyo’s Jimbocho. Having heard of its tremendous popularity among the locals, I anticipated a long line before the restaurant to wait for trying its delicacies.
History and Style of Lanzhou Beef Lamian
Being representative of Chinese lamian, Lanzhou beef lamian has a long history. The first Lanzhou lamian restaurant was allegedly established in the early years of the Qing Dynasty. In 1915, MA Baozi, a Hui, defined a universal standard on lanzhou beef lamian, which should feature five colors, namely clearness, white, red, green and yellow.
Standard of “Five Colors”
- Clearness (broth)
- White (radish)
- Green (cilantro & garlic leaves)
- Red (chili oil)
- Yellow (noodles)
Mazilu Beef Lamian, a Century Old Brand
Mazilu Beef Lamian, my destination, was said to have a history of more than 100 years and was an immensely popular Chinese time-honored lamian brand.
As the restaurant would open at 11 am, I set off early lest I would have a long wait, and it was 10:30 when I arrived at Jimbocho Station. The restaurant was within 5-minute walk from Exit A7 of the station and beside a bookstore on Jimbocho, which, known to be a street of used-book stores, of course, was lined with such stores.
An Extremely Long Line!
I walked for only 1 minute from the station before I already came in sight of a fairly long line.
Initially, I could not believe my eyes and had thought it was a line for buses as the signature of the restaurant was barely visible. (Photos could prove my words ^^).
I waited in line for about 10 minutes before I saw the billboard bearing the characters of Lanzhou Lamian from afar.
A waiter would hand a menu to the customer near the door, who was expected to pass the menu to the next customer behind after reading the menu.
The simple menu offers lanzhou lamian as the only main dish and cilantro (120 yen) or beef (200 yen) as toppings. Customers cannot select bowl size.
But they can choose thin, regular or triangle noodles.
Customers not partial to spiciness or cilantro are expected to tell waiters beforehand.
After buying dish tickets on a vending machine, I was waiting to be served. Actually, my arrival time was 10:30, but it was 11:45 already when I entered the restaurant! (_)
By the way, I was once unsuccessful in using the vending machine and it seemed that the one coming to fix the minor fault was Takeru Seino, who was a Japanese and the manager of this restaurant! (^^♪)
The restaurant, which seated about 40 customers, was not crowded.
As the kitchen was opposite the door, I could see the hand-making process of lamian and I felt as if I were visiting Lanzhou in China. ♪
Delicious Beef Lamian!
After I had sat before the table for about 10 minutes, a bowl of beef lamian was finally served! What I ordered were triangle noodles.
The clear broth was topped with white daikon, green cilantro, red chili oil and appetizing braised beef slices. It also boasted pleasant smells of flour and meat, which Japanese ramen didn’t have. Word failed me, yet it was really mouth-watering. ♪
Not unexpectedly, the hand-made noodles were not of uniform thickness, but all tasted great!
Braised beef slices were also awesome! They were not only soft but very savory.
What bowled me over was the flavorful soup and I almost drank up it. (´∀｀)
Lastly, having feasted on the dish by China’s most famous beef lamian brand in Japan, I would like to recommend this delicacy to you!
Basic information on Mazilu Beef Lamian
- Name in Japanese
- Lanzhou Mazilu Ramen
- 1-3-18, Jimbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo
- 3-minute walk from Exit A7 of Jimbocho Station (Toei Mita Line, Toei Shinjuku Line,Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line)
- Opening hours
- 11:00 to the time when soup sells out