Lanzhou beef noodle soup at Kungfu Ramen

There was something about the words “Kungfu” and “Ramen” that didn’t track. Chinese martial artists selling Japanese noodle soup? I circled around the parking lot for a closer look at the colorful food photos posted on the front window of the Tempe restaurant. In between xiaolongbao soup dumplings and a chile glazed platter of cumin beef, there was photo after photo of glistening Chinese soups showing epic noodle pulls.

“Hand-pulled ramen. Famous chef from DC,” the sign outside Kungfu Ramen read.

A man wearing a white chef’s cap was pictured in front of another restaurant, Lanzhou Hand Pull Noodle, located in a Maryland suburb of Washington DC In 2019, the restaurant was written up in the Washington Post for its faithful renditions of a Muslim Chinese noodle soup , ubiquitous across China but relatively unknown in the United States. “The yellow noodles were hothouse flowers, soft and retreating. They almost dissolved on contact with the tongue …” the article by Tim Carman read.

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