The usual bowls of Dan Dan Noodles served in Hong Kong aren't exactly awe-inspiring right? Most of their soup base is so Hong Kongnised and just made from off-the-shelf, syrupy & viscous sesame oil which (and they look dark brown, translucent and reminds you of sesame oil than sesame paste) is then mixed with something resembling peanut butter. Its hard to explain on paper how they're made, if you haven't seen it. I COULDN'T BELIEVE MY EYES, IF I DIDN'T SEE THEM BEING SCOOPED IN WITH MY OWN EYES!
Where is the creamy grinded Sesame Paste they promised, and which the original Sichuan recipe calls for?
is not something unfamiliar as I've eaten some of their Sichuan dishes over the years, but on a quest to find a more Authentic Sichuan Dan Dan Mian, I was happy to find something remotely Sichuan Authentic like ~ finally!
That's not to say I don't like the Shanghainese~Hong Kong~Singaporeanised versions, as I've had a few good ones at these following places:
1) 鄧媽媽過橋水餃: http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=22607
2) 翡翠拉麵小籠包: http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=18758
3) 詠藜園四川擔擔麵: http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=7773
Original 四川擔擔麵 has proven elusive to locate in Hong Kong so far! You see, even within Sichuan itself, there are a variety of interpretations of the same noodles dish apparently. The most traditional Dan Dan Mian version in Sichuan, as sold in the older street stalls, actually allows the customers to choose their own selection of toppings
! Kind of like the Taiwanese noodles. These might include pickled bean sprouts, beef or pork mince, herbs, nuts, chilli and a variety of things. Nowdays however, modernised Sichuan Dan Dan's have evolved over time. They used to have less soup and were more of a dry mixed noodles, but these days they are mostly half covered in a red oily soup, with sesame base at the bottom and often served with minced meat. Although this soup shouldn't cover more than half the noodles, unlike the Hong Kong submerged soupy versions.
The one served here can definitely be considered an authentic enough version! The soup base is both hot and sour with sesame taste. Made of real Sesame Paste (not only sesame thick oil), Soy Sauce, Dried Ji Tin Chiu Chili (for numbness factor), Chili Oil, Chili Beans Paste, Vinegar and Sugar, etc. This is known as a Sichuan 怪味 base, more or less a mother sauce in Sichuan cooking. There are also some braised peanuts, dry crushed peanuts on top and some herbs. The only thing missing from this version is a pickled Bean Sprouts used in Sichuan, which the chef here said are unavailable in Hong Kong. There are also no meats in this version and you cannot choose the level of spiciness. It wasn't very spicy here though.
*********************UNFORTUNATELY, good and authentic Sichuan Dan Dan Mian are hard to come by... The one here is pretty close to authentic, but I wish it has more Optional Add Ons for us to choose from. The Noodles themselves aren't very Sichuan like, but its a compromise that is understandable...
Need a Beer to Cool me down..
Nearly Authentic Enough. Just look at the Red Oil!
This has Red Chili and Sesame Taste. For once !
Spending per head: Approximately HKD25Other Ratings:
Value for Money 4