Located on the edge of the University of Melbourne campus, I've passed Lanzhou Beef Noodle Bar and not paid any attention to it on countless walks and tram rides. But it unexpectedly turned up in our recent googlings of youpo mian, so we stopped in for an early low-fuss dinner after watching a movie at Nova. It was surprisingly tough to claim two seats at 5:30pm!
As the eatery's name suggests, this isn't really a spot for vegos. The one-page menu starts with three beef noodle soups, two beef noodles, and a cold noodle plate featuring - would you believe it? - beef. Then there's the youpo noodle ($11.80), helpfully labelled as vegan in green lettering! There appear to be a couple other veg options too, though they're not labelled: the 'capsiegg' noodle with soybean paste and a selection of sides.
I was determined not to order the lesser veg dish for a third time, so we doubled down on youpo. This one has the kudai/belt noodles we missed at Xi'an Famous! And there was no shortage of garlic and oil. I liked the chilli level, and there was more to hand at our table for Michael to dig into. In short, this had everything we've fondly recalled from the couple of youpo mian bowls we enjoyed in China! And all the more wonderful that we can revise the best noodle-pulling technique from the chefs while we wait.
We didn't dare imagine that we'd be accessing these noodles again so easily in Melbourne, but Lanzhou Beef Noodle Bar also has outlets in the city and in Caulfield as well as Carlton. They really couldn't be more convenient.
The only other blog review I've found is about the Caulfield outlet, on far fetched & fanciful.
Lanzhou Beef Noodle Bar
Shop 3, 743-751 Swanston St, Carlton (entry on Grattan St)
0452 596 756
Accessibility: There's a shallow ramp on entry. Furniture is densely packed high tables with backless stools. We ordered and paid at a high counter. We didn't visit the toilets.