Lamian noodles are a classic Chinese dish, which I ate for the first time in the province of Xinjiang. When I heard about Laolao, which specializes in these hand-pulled noodles, I was all for it. Leaving work early on a Friday I managed to get there for lunch. The restaurant has an open feeling although it’s not super large. However it creates this effect, it’s working.

dining room @Laolao

We order two different kinds of homemade lemonade, one with aloe and chia seeds and the other one with ginger. Both of them taste delicious and refreshing.

aloe and ginger lemonade @Laolao

As an appetizer we order fried ribs, something I would never order do. But my friend wants to share them. They are super delicious, very crunchy, and when you dip them in the vinegar spice mix, it’s a heady flavor. I end up licking my fingers and ribs are now on my imaginary starter order list.

fried ribs @Laolao

For the main course I decide to go with the lunch special, a Lamian soup bowl with sauerkraut and minced pork. Because it is the special it comes with a small side salad. The soup is delicious and the broad flat noodles have the homemade look. Also it really tastes like in China, which is rarely achieved in Vienna. This sour and broth combination makes for a flavorful taste.

Lamian soup bowl @Laolao

My friend meanwhile chooses the noodles in a fried version with veggies. And here the kitchen falls flat. There is neither spice nor herbs in this dish to elevate it to anything more than regular noodles with vegetables. Rather boring unfortunately.

fried Lamian noodles with vegetables @Laolao

Service is great and the server gives us some nice recommendations. He actually suggested something else for my friend, but she insisted on the bland dish. So if you need your fix of noodles or ribs, this is the place to go to. Stick with the recommendations though. Yours, Pollybert

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