Liu Tang Men - formally known as Liu Dao Men - is Sichuan noodles done right. This might sound like a big claim, but as far as noodles go in Shanghai, they really don’t get much better. Especially at this price point.
The dan dan mian, a Sichuan classic, is delicious – toothsome noodles covered with spiced minced pork, chili oil, and crushed peanuts – but it’s snack size. You should get them, but you can also grab a plate of Yibin Burning Noodles for a full-size portion of something pretty similar. The Chongqing Advanced Noodles (or wanza mian) are also a treat, and a little less dry, coming through with a topping of minced pork and chickpeas. Mix it up and its magic, the chickpeas disintegrating and creating a thick, almost creamy sauce. Most options will set you back between RMB 25 and RMB 40, can come vegetarian if requested, and have customizable spice levels. They're also often available either dry or with soup.
There are a few side dishes available, like crispy fried pork, sauteed green veggies, and wontons. Good for if you're going for a bit of a bigger meal.
It helps a lot that the atmosphere matches the food. It’s a laidback spot with an interesting music selection. On sunny days, the owner – who Smart Shanghai themselves call “an aging rocker from Chengdu” - is likely to be sat outside the entrance with his dog, banging on a hang drum. Good vibes.
This a great regular option if you’re in the neighborhood, but these noodles are also worth travelling for. If you have any interest at all in Sichuan cuisine, or just noodles in general, you really should stop by.
Price: RMB 30 – RMB 60 per person
Summary: A smart neighborhood noodle spot serving up classic Sichuan noodles as well as a selection of side dishes. Friendly owners, laidback café vibes, and killer noodles. Good either for a quick lunch or more languorous dinner.
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