Video: Shanghai's ultimate kung fu noodle maker
Video of the kung fu noodle performance at Hai Di Lao: one more reason to hit hotpot in Shanghai.
Po, the kung fu panda, has nothing on Shanghai's kung fu noodle makers, who regularly practice their skills in Shanghai hotpot restaurants, creating kung fu noodles on a nightly basis.
Found in Hai Di Lao, a China-wide Sichuan hotpot chain restaurant, this performance dish combines three Chinese cultural icons: kung fu, hand-pulled noodles (la mian) and hotpot. It's one of the most popular dishes at the newest Hai Di Lao, which opened last July in Xujiahui.
"I learned how to make kung fu noodles because it looks cool," says Xiao Man, a 21-year-old kung fu noodle "fighter."
"In summer," she adds, "the performance is more challenging because the dough is soggier than in the winter."
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Just RMB 6 buys a 75-gram portion of noodles, and more importantly, the show that goes with them. Customers get to watch as the noodles are made right in front of them: a 20-centimeter-long piece of dough is turned into a three-meter long noodle. The performance often ends with customers ducking as the noodles fly over their heads.
How do the noodles taste after being manhandled?
All the pulling and stretching makes the wide and flat noodles soft, thin and easy to boil -- exactly what hotpot calls for, allowing the noodles to absorb your soup.
The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, and no advance booking is required for kung fu noodles, making them one of the more entertaining ways to satisfy your late-night munchies.
Hai Di Lao Hot Pot (Dapu chain)
4/F, No. 1 Dapu Lu, near Xujiahui Lu
tel: +86 21 5396 0357, +86 21 5396 0367