Savory (with Touch of Sweet) Noodles with Soybean Sauce - A Zha Jiang Mian Journey [Thoughts + Pics]



I don’t get the appeal of typical Korean zazang myun with a huge pile of noodles and equally huge pool of bland sauce. I figure it’s something you have to grow up eating.

Nice rundown, as always…

The Korean version of jjm / zhajiangmian is such a different animal than its Chinese/Taiwanese counterparts, that I feel it deserves its own comparison thread.

Try the Northern Cafe and Qin West versions also - I think this would serve as a “calibration” for what’s available to those who don’t trek out to the SGV as much.

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Thanks @J_L. :slight_smile:

Oh, I wouldn’t have thought to order Zha Jiang Mian at Qin West (didn’t notice it). What’s your favorite Chinese / Taiwanese version? Thanks.

Grandparents’ original Chinese recipe from Dongbei! Here is a @Bookwich breakdown (in English)


Interesting that you wrote that. The few times I’ve had zha jian mian, I’ve often thought that there was TOO MUCH sauce and that it overwhelmed the balance.

The Cindy’s version sounds lovely, but Hacienda Heights is SO far away. Might be time to try the “new” Chong Qing… :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for this ZJM write up, Chowseeker1999. This gives me me new life in trying out some, if not all, of the places you’ve mentioned, especially after FFY Noodle House in Rowland Heights closed.
Looking at the mouth watering photos taken makes me long for the salty, oily(at times)brown bean sauce together with the crunch and contrast provided by the combination of fresh cucumber, carrot, scallion and bean sprout layered over boiled noodles. My family and I miss FFY NH’s take on this.
Time to move on and find a new favorite place for Zha Jiang Mian.


Thanks for the write-up!! Good to know Chong Qing Special Noodles has some other menu items that are awesome! I’ve tried to expand my ordering there, but for the most part while nothing is bad or even lackluster, I’ve still found that other versions of most of those dishes I’ve already encountered elsewhere have been superior to my taste.

This one, though, sounds intriguing, and from the English name I’d never have guessed what it was, nor would I have likely ordered it on a whim!

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Chicken soup (skip noodles), especially if you’re a fan of DTF chicken soup, this is da bomb.

Beef noodle soup (get the wide noodles)

Shrimp leek dumplings

Fried intestines

Peanut pork blood and tofu

… and, of course, the gratis housemade pickled mustard green. A must for the pork blood, or just by itself.


Hi @Selfportrait93,

Thanks! :slight_smile: I hope you find some places that you enjoy; please report back and let us know what you liked. :slight_smile:

Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks for these recommendations. :slight_smile: It’s encouraging to hear that Cindy’s makes so many other items worth trying; I’ll be sure to bookmark this and try them next time I’m out there.

I probably won’t order the Blood or Intestines, but I think if we bring along a few of our offal-loving friends, we might end up ordering it then and trying a bite. :wink:

Were there any other Appetizers (from their front display case) that might be worth ordering? Thanks again.

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This place makes a pretty interesting Zha Jiang Mian.

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This was so great, @Chowseeker1999!
I live on the other side of the hill from Cindy’s and Q. I may have to hop over and give it a go next weekend.

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Shouldn’t you check out the Beijing places for their versions of zha jiang mian? (note: not a recommendation, just a suggestion :wink: )

Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks! Is it Taiwanese style or the Northern / Chinese style?

Hi @JThur01,

Was that question for me? :sweat_smile: I went off of recommendations on the board, since I’d rather start there than go blindly (but we did hit some random places not listed anywhere for their ZJM). I forgot to include (I’ll append it) Bistro Na’s Beijing Imperial Cuisine version of Zha Jiang Mian we had, and we had it at Beijing Pie House as well. Not sure if Tianjin Bistro counts as “Beijing style” but it’s pretty close in proximity geographically.

Do you have some favorites? Thanks.

Shandong inspired.

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Yes it was :slight_smile: When I read the report I recalled you had Bistro Na’s version. I was thinking of the versions at Beijing Restaurant and Beijing Tasty House. Not recommendations per se, just “Beijing” :smiley: Tianjin (Bistro) is close enough, and at least for a while had the same lineage/ownership.

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Hopped over the hill to Cindy’s Kitchen. I have never had this noodle dish before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This dish is delicious! The flavors were great. The crunch of the cucumbers and the bean sprouts was nice in comparison to the supple noodles. The sauce was unlike any other dish I’ve eaten before.
We hit the counter before we left and grabbed cucumbers, lotus root, bean curd, and bamboo salad to take home in addition to their house made frozen dumplings.
Thanks for pointing out a great find in my neck of the woods, @Chowseeker1999. I can see myself coming here on a regular basis.

PS Edit: The frozen dumplings steamed up well in my Instant Pot…we had a dumpling breakfast this morning. The cucumbers are fantastic…as is the bamboo and lotus root salads from the counter. The bean curd was good, but the others were my favorites.


Hi @attran99,

Nice! So glad you liked it. :grin: It was our favorite Zha Jiang Mian on this journey. I think we’d be going back more often if it was closer, but it’s something I’ll be keeping in mind as we drive out that way. :wink:

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