Unlike with Japanese ramen and Vietnamese pho, places that serve hand-pulled Chinese noodles are not as ubiquitous in Vancouver.
Known as lamian, noodles stretched by hand are said to have a silky and chewy texture.
Restaurant broker Jean Seguin observes that there are only a few spots in Vancouver where Chinese noodles are made by hand.
“Few do the actual hand pulling,” Seguin told the Straight.
There used to be one such place in Kitsilano, the Mi Mary’s Noodle and Liquor Bar.
However, the 3188 Macdonald Street establishment closed in December 2020.
Now the assets and business of the 903-square-foot restaurant are for sale.
“The sellers want to move on,” Seguin said.
The owners have contracted Seguin’s Restaurant Business Broker agency to market the business for a price of $149,000.
The place is located at the northeast corner of Macdonald Street and West 16th Avenue.
On its still functioning website, Mi Mary’s Noodle and Liquor Bar tells an interesting story about its lamian noodles.
“The origins of our Lamian noodle dish date back to the Tang Dynasty, over one thousand years ago,” the account starts.
“As the story goes,” the tale continues, “on a wet winter day the emperor of China, Tang Taizong, was sick and wounded after a great battle, and he was seeking shelter and a remedy for his ailments.”
Moving on, “In a small Henan village the emperor was given a steaming hot bowl of Lamian. The next day the emperor had recovered, and he loved the dish so much he had the recipe brought back to the imperial kitchens!”
“An old story no doubt,” the story goes on, “but the message is just as true today.”
“The hearty and warming Lamian is the perfect compliment to Vancouver’s wet weather, and our scratch made recipes with natural and healthy ingredients are great for you. Come join us, and take part in this ancient tradition!”
Mi Mary’s Noodle and Liquor Bar used to serve four types of lamian dishes.
There was “Soup Lamian”, which are “flat and wide hand stretched noodles in a warming handmade soup”.
Another was “YoPo Lamian” or flat and wide hand-stretched noodles “served dry”.
Then there was “Clay Pot Lamian”, which were “flat and wide noodles, cooked until soft and served in boiling hot earthenware-pot”.
Finally, “Latiao”, a “thick round variation of handmade noodles, served dry”.
Flavours for the dishes come in lamb, beef, chicken, pork, seafood, egg and tomato, or vegetable.
Served immediately after hand pulling, lamian dishes are known for their freshness.
The Straight sent a request for comment to the restaurant’s email address. No response has been received as of this post.
A client, who wrote an online review back in 2015, recalled that the restaurant used to be Italian. It was called Mi Mary’s Trattoria.