Graduating from their pub residencies in Aldgate and Marylebone, Liu Xiaomian have quickly become a cult classic. Born out of a shared yearning for the hot, spicy, and peppercorn-packed noodle broths of their home region of Chongqing in China, Liu Xiaomian was developed in London by flatmates turned business partners, Charlene Liu and Linda Liu.
Differing to the intensely laboured and slow creation of its Japanese ramen counterpart, Chongqing noodle broths are not simmered, nor cooked. Instead, punchy flavours of peppercorns, home-made chilli oil, sesame, and numerous spices come together in a thick paste. Boiling water is then added to create a glossy and spicy broth to coat the noodles.
On offer are two classic Chongqing dishes, the first a Xiaomian wheat noodle in an aromatic and spicy broth, and the second a Hot and Sour Glass Noodle dish popular throughout the region. Here, the addition of black vinegar lends sourness to the spicy broth to compliment the thick glass noodles.Each noodle base comes with a variety of toppings – including vegan, minced pork, minced pork and chickpea, and spicy beef – and are customisable to your choice of spice level.
An additional dish on the menu, Numbing Pork Wontons, is named for the tingling sensation of the green peppercorns that are the heart of the broth.
Liu Xioamian is at Arcade for a limited time only, from 10 January-4 February.