A Niang’s Noodle Shop 阿娘面馆

A Niang’s Noodle Shop (literally Grandma’s noodle shop) is where you come to eat yellow fish noodles, originally from neighboring Ningbo. This place is invisible to foreigners but is known all over China. A rumor has even spread that the noodle shop is one of the few that survived the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.

Once you have ordered and then paid (20 RMB, around $3.20), try to find a seat in the always packed canteen style interior where you will hover over someone who is almost finished with their meal and sit down to strangers during the mouthfuls of noodles you shove into your mouth. There are no second chances, no napkins, no drinks, just chopsticks and chili from a communal tub on each wooden table.

Each customer is given a number and once called you shout at the waitress (and wave your hands up in the air) to come to where you are sitting. Miss your calling and you will be stuck hungry while someone else steals your bowl. Intense concentration is needed; being starving beforehand does not help.

Once the bowl enters your sigh you fall into another world. The steam comes out of the noodles as if stuck in a cloud and the fillets of fish sits atop the glistening noodles. Eat the noodles like your neighbor by raising a hank with your wooden chopsticks and slurping them in noisily. The best part still comes; tipping the bowl with both hands and drinking the soup from the edge. Heaven.

No wonder they survived for so long. The simplicity yet authenticity and prime tasting noodles they sell is what brings customers in; this is especially true for their huang yu mian – yellow fish noodles.

Alongside the fish noodles, you can order a variety of side dishes:

Salted winter vegetables with minced pork

Spiced potatoes with pork and dried tofu

Stir-fried sliced eel with grandma’s secret sauce

One advice: Head over early as they are usually sold out of stock by 5pm. And don’t bother trying to make reservations. They’re so small they don’t even have a phone.

A Niang Noodles
36 Sinan Lu, near Huai Hai Lu in the French Concession
Subway: Nanjing E. Road
One Response to “A Niang’s Noodle Shop 阿娘面馆”
  1. Roberto says:

    Omg! I could dive in that noodle! Hahhahahahhahaha lov it!

    Can’t wait to try it !


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