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Lanzhou Noodle Bar

Restaurants, Chinese Covent Garden
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(8user reviews)
Lanzhou (© Jael Marschner)
© Jael Marschner
Lanzhou (© Jael Marschner)
© Jael Marschner
Lanzhou (© Jael Marschner)
© Jael Marschner
Lanzhou (© Jael Marschner)
© Jael Marschner
Lanzhou (© Jael Marschner)
© Jael Marschner
Lanzhou (© Jael Marschner)
© Jael Marschner
Lanzhou (© Jael Marschner)
© Jael Marschner
Lanzhou (© Jael Marschner)
© Jael Marschner

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Watch noodles being hand-pulled and cooked to order, then tuck into bowls of nourishing soul food, Chinese-style.

This Chinese noodle bar near Leicester Square tube is cheap, fast and open into the early hours. The main attraction is the hand-pulled noodles, which are made to order. There are two types: la mian (which are stretched repeatedly and end up looking like fat spaghetti), or the dao xiao mian (where the dough is formed into a long loaf, then strips of dough are quickly sliced off the loaf directly into boiling water). These are served in three variations: in a soup, dry, or fried. The hundred-plus permutations include: vegetable with seafood; chicken or duck; pork, including pig's ear and stomach; and beef. Be warned that it's a humble place, and many of the other dishes – the ones slathered with brightly coloured sauces in the window, for example – are not the choicest of the options.

By: Guy Dimond



Address: 33 Cranbourn Street
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
Price: Meal for two: around £20.
Opening hours: 10am-2am Mon-Fri; 10am-5am Sat; 10am-11pm Sun.
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Users say (8)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
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My friend and I got the fried noodles, and they actually make the noodles right there in the place!! Absolutely amazing


I love this place. It's cramped, it's hectic, it's loud, but it is fun, delicious, and great value. It doesn't take much elbow room to enjoy a chicken dao xiao mian soup, and enjoy it I always do, and the general din of the crowd and the busy staff never diminishes conversation when sharing a couple of spots with a friend on one of the long tables at the back of this quite remarkable restaurant.


It's hectic and service isn't great, but persevere and check out the noodle part of the menu. I opted for crispy roast pork with noodles in soup and it wasn't bad considering the price. The hand made noodles have good texture and a decent portion is served. It's not the greatest place by far, but if you need a quick, cheap and reasonable sized plate of food in Chinatown, give this a try.

I love this place! Loud, choc-ful of locals from Chinatown across the road and absolutely chaotic but they always manage to squeeze you onto one of the (two) tables at the back – personal space doesn't even come into it. Ask for the menu, although the stuff in the window isn't particularly bad. Whatever you order don't miss out on a side of fried pork and chive dumplings – 8 for £5 (!) – now, go.


Since I returned from China I have been on the hunt for some yunnan style noodles in broth in the area surrounding my fine workplace. So far I have been unsuccessful until today. This place is a worthy find right by Leicester Sq station. It's not fussy, in fact it's basically a tiny tiny shop with the kitchen right there and a few small tables but you can take away. Avoid the standard Chinese fare and ask to see a menu, and choose a ramen style dish (not Chinese, I know, but actually it is more chinese than ramen style when you get it). I tried the Dan-Dan (chicken with peanuts in a moderately spicy broth). Noodles are made on-site and they're delicious if a little dense. Tip - ask for less noodles and more broth, you won't make it through a portion otherwise. It's 6.50 for a huge bowl and as such is good value. Beats its nearby competitors by a mile. 

The quest for the 5 star continues....

I liked this very unassuming noodle bar. It looks a little like it could be an awful tourist trap from the outside, but it  was actually surprising in how authentic it felt once we were inside. They make the noodles in front of you and the canteen style eating area feels nicely unfussy. The food that sits in the windows looks like it should be avoided, so we did and went instead for the beef noodle soup which was nice and spicy, with fresh ingredients. It was £6 for a huge bowl, which didn't feel too pricey, and the pork and chive dumplings were also hearty and flavoursome. Definitely not the place to linger for hours, but if you're looking for something fairly affordable, warming and good, that'll fill you up, you could do a lot worse.

The noodles yes are quite good but nothing exceptional.   Better places nearby. 

Cheap?  Not anymore than many other places in Chinatown.

Why I wouldn't recommend eating here?  The service.  Rude even by cheap&cheerful standards.  And slow. Very very slow.  I had to wait half an hour for a bowl of noodle soup.  And this is where the rude comes forth: twice I asked about my meal and both times got don't-give-a-XXXX replies.  

So fast it ain't (unless you order from the gloopy hot counter).

Nice genuine chinese food: we have 2 soups, one with beef and la mian the other of pork and dao xao mian, very tasty and hearty ! I do prefer the dao xao mian, but the la mian are delicious too... As a starter, mushroom with salt and pepper are gently spicy: a treat !

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