There's a reason they spin the noodles in the window - it's designed to catch your attention. And so it does - the name "Les Pâtes Vivantes" means "The Live Noodles", roughly translated. In November, Puff snapped this shot as she bicycled around the 9th. In my mind I can imagine her screeching to a halt and almost crashing to get this photo. Auntie Duan is an expert - she looks so relaxed but from what I'm told, this is hard work!
We ate there a few days later and loved it. I didn't have my camera so I went back recently to rectify that. Auntie Duan wasn't spinning this time, a young guy was at the noodle-making helm.
The first thing you feel when you walk in the door is the blast of steamy heat. It's pretty narrow and noticeably warm - the kitchen is open and just a few feet away if you sit downstairs.
This visit, I was seated upstairs, which is a lot cooler but darker - not promising for photos.
I went especially for the Zhajiang mian - a northern Chinese specialty consisting of the hand-pulled noodles, pork, fermented bean paste, scallions and a few other things I don't recall. When stirred, it almost looks like spaghetti in a meat sauce. I ordered from Auntie Duan herself - she is a dynamo; she later carried the huge bowl up the stairs and placed it before me with a smile. It was absolutely delicious - the photo doesn't do it justice. It was slightly spicy with tender bits of fatty pork, the sauce clinging to long noodles that I had to bite off or suck up loudly at the risk of spraying myself and my neighbors. I should've taken a photo of my table when I was done - there were stains everywhere. At 9 Euros, this is a filling meal that cannot be beat.