We were at Wuzhen, waiting for the bus to return to Hangzhou. As most of us had skipped lunch we were more than hungry. Spotting a noodle shop outside the bus terminal (which is just a very small, rund down building), Marc and Joe ordered some food. After 5 minutes of translating the menu, Joe ordered a bowl of noodle.
The guy in the shop proceeded to take out a dough, then separated a small lump from it. Then he started kneading, rolling and pulling at it, to make the ramen (which means literally pulled noodle.) He pulled the dough into a long strand, then brought the ends together, pulled again, and kept repeating, so two strands became four, then eight, then sixteen… until you got a handful of noodles strands.
Joe was practically freaking out. “It’s taking too long… there is no time… we will miss the bus…” (Later Simon asked if we took photos. It would have been graet photo op except that we were all chewing our nails, wondering if it’s too rude to cancel the order when obviously it’s custom made for you…)
As Joe commented, you can really taste that the food is fresher in Hong Kong and China. It’s true that they don’t travel as far as American supermarket food does, and as a result they don’t have to be frozen or treated with chemicals as much. Now watching the noodles being made, I can surely appreciate that!!
Incidentally when I returned to Macau, I went to a noodle shop at the New Lisboa Casino. There I watched the action of making noodles again. This one is not ramen, but knife shredded noodles. The chef, with rapid moment, cut shreds of noodle from the lump of dough he carries.