Slurping Through Nan Zhou

Brian Freedman heads to Nan Zhou Hand Dawn Noodle House in Chinatown and happily gnaws his way through his appetizers as he prepares for the real star, the noodle soups.

Hand-drawn noodles of miraculous springiness, chewy strands that absorb the perfect amount of broth while maintaining their own hearty flavor. This is the Platonic ideal of pasta.

Although all soups on the menu are winners if you focus on the noodles, some are better than others. Ox tail noodle soup disappointed with its gray, tough little fists of meat, and one-dimensional fish balls tasted too similar to crab stick. But meatball noodle soup is a must: Tender, two-bite orbs of finely chopped pork and vegetables in a muslin-thin wonton wrapper, its slippery sensation against the tongue setting the meatiness of the balls off with ringing clarity.

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House [Philadelphia Weekly]