where to find the best handmade noodles outside of China

It'd been a long, long time since I had authentic Chinese food.

When I discovered that there was a gem of a handmade noodle place by Covent Gardens, I was more than excited to try it.

Lanzhou Noodle Bar is located right outside the Leicester Square tube stop. As soon as I walked inside, they greeted me in Mandarin and asked how many people I had with me.

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Adam L.

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Adam L.

I'd never felt so much at home while abroad.

We sat down at a long wooden table next to a trio of Chinese college students working on a mound of amazing-looking noodles.

I was happy.

We were given menus, and I (having done my Yelp homework) knew to go for the handmade noodles and not any of the typical Chinese fare. Also because I'm obsessed with handmade noodles.

After asking the guy next to me what he was eating (I suspected what it was, but just wanted to double check, ya know?), I ordered the stir-fried knife-cut beef noodles.

We also ordered the ji dan jiu cai he zi (egg and leek "pancake") to share, simply because my mom makes it all the time and I was beginning to miss home.

Egg and Leek Pancake - Langzhou Noodle Bar

My plate came, gloriously heaped with noodles. I reached for the clay pot full of hot chili flakes in oil, dumped a copious amount on my noodles, and dug in.

Beef Hand-Cut Noodles — Langzhou Noodle Bar

The cramped noodle bar, with its communal tables, fluorescent lighting, and cooks making noodles two feet away from where you're sitting reminded me a lot of noodle shops I went to while in Hangzhou, China.

The food was no frills, authentic Chinese at its best. And even better? You can get a massive portion of noodles for under £7.