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Ox 9 Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles

By Ella Polak Dec. 15, 2022

Founded in 2017 by David Liu, who studied the art of hand-pulled noodles in China, Ox 9 Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles has garnered a reputation for its authentic Chinese noodles and traditional dishes. The restaurant serves dry noodle bowls and noodle soups, with six different options for noodle thickness and shape. At the Cupertino location, I ordered the Spicy Ground Pork Dry Noodles with large flat noodles, sides of basil popcorn chicken and cucumber with garlic sauce.

As I walked into the restaurant, my eyes were drawn to a large window through which I could see the chef rolling and stretching out dough by hand. I arrived around 1:00 p.m. but had to wait 20 minutes to be seated due to the small number of tables.

After sitting down, I placed my order through a QR code to a website. The long and narrow dining area was loud with lunchtime chatter, and soft music played through speakers in the background. Servers bustled in and out of the kitchen, delivering food quietly and promptly. All my dishes arrived just two to three minutes after I ordered them.

First, I dove into the garlic cucumbers; they were perfectly fresh with a delightful crunch, and the vinegar-garlic sauce gave them a pleasant burst of acidity.

I tried the popcorn chicken next, dipping it in chili oil and savoring its juiciness and crispy fried crust. The chicken itself would be reason enough to come back to the restaurant.

After sampling the sides, I focused on the noodle bowl. The dish was simple—it only had ground pork, a few pieces of bok choy and a sizable portion of flat noodles.

Eating the bok choy, I was put off; it was warm on one side and cool on the other from lying on top of the hot noodles. It had a slightly watery taste, but because there were only three pieces, the flavor did not disturb the cohesion of the dish.

The noodles became sticky from sitting for a few minutes, so I loosened them by mixing them with the ground pork. Trying the noodles and pork together, I was instantly hit by the shock of Sichuan pepper from the pork, which numbed my tongue. The spice level was unique in its variability—it moved in waves, initially setting my tongue on fire, but lessening as I got accustomed to it and eventually compounding as I kept eating.

The pepper gave the otherwise simple dish complexity in flavor. The pork itself was fairly sweet,; acting as a garnish to complement the noodles.

The dish’s strength lies in its simplicity. The noodles exceeded my expectations, and the acidic cucumber tied the entire meal together. The wait time for a table during rush hour was unfavorable, but could likely be avoided; at 2:00 p.m., when I left, the restaurant was nearly empty. Despite its limited space, Ox 9 Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles is, without a doubt, my new go-to restaurant for authentic hand-pulled noodles and Chinese dishes.


About the Contributor

Ella Polak

staff writer

Ella Polak is a sophomore at Leland High School and a staff writer for The Charger Account. She enjoys reading, volunteering, and gardening in her free time.

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