I am always amazed how connecting with people can bring unexpected treasures in the future. When we were at the Wine & Food Festival Event at Mohonk Mountain House in April, my wonderful writer friend, Susannah Applebaum, recommended a Chinese restaurant in Parsippany, New Jersey that featured homemade and hand-pulled noodles. So after a morning appointment in the area, we stopped at the Shan Shan Restaurant for lunch. As we walked in, owner/manager Lili and her family and some friends were having lunch and she greeted us with a warm welcoming smile. She went over the menu with us to choose the spicy hot pulled noodles with pork, steamed pork buns, and scallion pancakes. We were also encouraged to watch the chef as he pulled our noodles. Through a window looking in on the kitchen, we watched the chef rolling out a 2 inch thick cord of noodle dough, which he sliced off into about a 16 inch long piece. He then rolled it on the counter to lengthen it. Then the amazingly dramatic pulling began with him grasping each end of the dough, extending his arms to each side of his body to stretch the dough, folding the dough cord in half, and repeating the stretching and folding a couple more times. As we watched, the noodles began to form and separate more and more with each stretch and fold. After the final fold, he tossed the noodles into the boiling pot. While our noodles were boiling, our side dishes arrived. Both the pancakes and steamed pork buns came with a dipping sauce. Then our noodle dish arrived, which was just the right amount for us to share for lunch, with an unusual accompanying serving device--kitchen scissors! Since the noodles can be over a foot long, and we were sharing, the scissors came in quite handy to make serving and then twisting a reasonable amount of noodles onto our chopsticks possible. We were absolutely delighted by all the flavors and textures, especially the delicacy of the soup dumplings. The Chinese tea was the best I have ever tasted. Afterwards, I talked to Lili and her husband Gary who does the accounting. The name of the restaurant, Shan Shan, is their daughter who does all the art work for the menu. This is a fantastic find. Here is the website with address and menu selection.
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