I'd heard tales of the delicacy known as knife cut noodles from Ron of Sauce Supreme. I had planned to meet a confederate at JTYH on Tuesday, only to be foiled by poor planning because that is the one day of the week the restaurant is closed. However, all was not lost as we made an executive decision to instead go to the nearby China Islamic restaurant in Rosemead.
The specialty of the house at China Islamic is lamb and they are also one of the foremost spots to get knife cut noodles, so we got knife cut noodles with lamb, warm hot pot of lamb stew and an order of the sesame bread with green onion. This was a lot of food for two people, but we were up to the challenge. It was a pleasure to go to a Chinese restaurant and know I could eat almost anything on the menu, because due to Halal restrictions there is no pork in the menu at China Islamic. A real treat for sure.
My favorite was the lamb stew hot pot. It came in a strongly flavored herbal broth and included tofu and cabbage among other goodies. The lamb was very tender and some of it was on the bone. We enjoyed the stew both as a soup and then put some of the lamb into the green onion bread, creating sandwiches.
The green onion bread was coated in sesame seeds and was fluffy but very filling. This element of the meal is the most dangerous as it would be all to easy to fill up on the freshly made warm bread and not have sufficient room for lamb, which would be tragic. The inside of the bread is stuffed with green onions and the bread did make an excellent conduit for the lamb as well as just eating it by itself with hot sauce.
Finally the infamous knife cut noodles arrived with egg and lamb. The noodles are heavier and weightier than standard noodles and have a real chew to them. The lamb was a good partner to the noodles, which with the bean sprouts, eggs and sauce made a satisfying dish.
The lamb stew warm pot was the star of the show to me relegating the knife cut noodles to the side stage. Perhaps it was the texture of the noodles that was less appealing or perhaps it was just the wonderful aroma of the broth with chunks of lamb meat in it that made the stew so irresistible. You can't go wrong getting both, but if I could only get one, there would be no contest, the stew would win out every time.
I look forward to trying the knife cut noodles at JTYH another time, when it is not a Tuesday. Remember, when life gives you lemons, made a lamb stew.
China Islamic: 7727 Garvey Avenue, Rosemead. Phone: (626) 288-4246