Thursday, June 16, 2016
A Namesake Bowl From Newly Opened Chongqing Xiao Mian Brings Quality And Quantity
Chongqing Xiao Mian is the sixth effort by the ex-Z&Y pair that began by transforming The Pot Sticker into (now defunct) "Ma La Yi Pin" and later took over the venerable Uncle's Cafe (now Spicy King) down the street on Waverly Place. They also operate Spicy Queen in the Richmond, as well as outposts in San Mateo and Newark. Unlike the other venues, Ma La Yi Pin #6, as its menu dubs it, is from the mian guan (noodle house) mold, focused on noodles and accompanying appetizers and side dishes As such, it is a more inviting place for people like me who fly solo and are just looking for noodles and a nosh without the guilt of occupying a space at a full-service restaurant promoting more elaborate and profitable dishes. In this respect, the Chinese mian guan is really the prototype of the ramen-ya.
Like some of the group's other branches, Chongqing Xiao Mian offers a whole range of regional noodle styles, including Guilin mi fen, Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles, liang fen, etc. along with other Sichuan classics. With such a range, one tends to be skeptical, but since this branch is a noodle-focused enterprise I'm hopeful the chef knows what he's doing.
Where Slurped: Chong Qing Xiao Mian, 915 Kearny St., San Francisco