This was my first meal after a long quarantine in Shanghai. I opted for something simple yet delicious.
The original shop of Yuxing Noodles Restaurant 裕兴记 in Suzhou was opened in Qing dynasty。 It was featured in the popular TV documentary 舌尖上的中国 2 “Taste of China 2” which made it immensely popular and soon branches started to pop up all around the country.
As one of the market leader in Suzhou’s 奥灶面 “dirty stove” noodle scene, Yuxing Noodle Restaurant has a loyal following for the shop’s seasonal specials – 三虾面 three shrimp noodles in spring, 枫镇大肉面 Fengzhen-style braised pork belly noodles in summer, 秃黄油面 hairy crab roe noodles in autumn, and 冻鸡面 cold chicken noodles in winter.
Typical setup in the shop, square wooden tables with benches on all four sides. After you placed the order, you wait for the noodles to be ready and collect it from the noodle counter. Because of the pandemic, you do not need to self-service, just order, sit back and enjoy.
The SOP is to choose a noodle and a topping 浇头, or two or three…. there are three types of noodles and two soup base. The red soup is made from the braising liquid and the white soup is made from pork bone stock.
To save me the trouble of choosing, I ordered the season’s special – 梭子蟹粉面套餐 blue swimmer crab noodles set.
All crabs were dismantled by hand by in-store workers, and they were made fresh every day. Only crabs taken on the same day were served to the customers and nothing was left never overnight, so as to ensure the taste of the food to be the freshest and purest.
The set came with a dry noodle cooked al dente, a swimmer crab topping, some appetisers and a bowl of clear soup.
The best way to eat it was to pour the topping onto the noodles and mixed them up well. The trick was to put the topping scoop by scoop and not all at once.
Every mouthful was coated with the umami and sweetness of the swimmer crab topping. I liked this topping more than their hairy crab roe topping as it was not as heavy and the sweetness of the crab was more pronounced.
Of course in Shanghai, one has to order the pork soup dumpling 小笼包. Their version is slightly bigger than the ones from Dingtaifeng or Nanxiang.
But it was still a really good eat, full of soup and quite substantial. The skin of the dumpling was a bit too thick though.
Overall a simple eating place, nothing to shout about the service or environment. But at USD 10 or less you can get a really good meal. Recommended to make detour if you are staying around the Nanjing Pedestrian Street.
Yuxing Noodles Restaurant 裕興記面馆（人民广场店）
Date visited : Dec 2021