Hai Wan Ju (Hǎiwǎnjū)
Hai Wan Ju (Hǎiwǎnjū) Review
Haiwan means "a bowl as deep as the sea," fitting for this eatery that specializes in crockery filled with hand-pulled noodles. The interior is simple, with traditional wooden tables and benches. A xiao er (a "young brother" in a white mandarin-collar shirt and black pants) greets you with a shout, which is then echoed in a thundering chorus by the rest of the staff. The clanking dishes and constant greetings re-create the busy atmosphere of an old teahouse. There are two types of noodles here: guoshui, noodles that have been rinsed and cooled; and guotiao, meaning "straight out of the pot," ideal for winter days. Vegetables, including diced celery, radish, green beans, bean sprouts, cucumber, and scallions, are placed on individual small dishes. Nothing tastes as good as a hand-pulled noodle: it's doughy and chewy, a texture that can only be achieved by strong hands repeatedly stretching the dough.