On a visit to Causeway Bay with a friend, he proudly took me to an eatery that specializes in Qian (Guizhou) cuisine, which he assumed I was unlikely to have tried before.
Well, he underestimated me slightly.
As early as 1980, when China was just beginning to open its doors to the outside world, a few of my classmates and I shouldered our backpacks and set off to the mainland by train and coach.
Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, was one of our stops, where we stayed for two days. It was just another less-developed Chinese town.
What made an impression on me that lingers to this day was the beancurd snack sold in the streets.
It was the roughest of street foods ever but was rich in soybeans.
Unfortunately, I really have no memories of Guiyang’s beef noodles.
That is the main dish Emma’s Noodle at 379-389 Jaffe Rd. offers, though it comes in several different forms.
I ordered a bowl of stewed assorted beef noodles (HK$98).
I was told the soup base was prepared with premium beef and pickled vegetables.
Given that Guizhou and Sichuan province are next-door neighbors, Guiyang beef noodles have a distinct Sichuan influence.
It yields a strong mix of flavors — star anise, cinnamon, garlic, Welsh onion, coriander and, most importantly, Sichuan pepper, of which you are free to add as much as you like.
To me, however, it doesn’t really matter if the noodles are Guiyang- or Sichuan-style, as long as they are tasty.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 18.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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