I first spotted Huimian on Deliveroo and I wondered 'What's it like?'...I wasn't sure but then I passed in front of this noodle bar 2-3 times in a week, whenever I visited the printing shop nearby actually. Every time the air smelled so good and the kitchen looked so interesting (you can see noodles in the making) so eventually I told Mr. B. (who happens to be Chinese) that I wanted to try these Henan noodles!
In 2020 I plan to buy a home so I am scheduling visits weekly, one of them led me to have dinner at Huimian. The initial choice was between Ancho in Waterloo or Huimian in Ixelles, since I was planned to grab some groceries at Happy Hours Market in Ixelles, Huimian won the vote! We had some time to eat, order our groceries and pick them up!
That evening, we found a parking spot very easily in a surrounding street and made our way to Huimian. There were a few tables already taken but a lot of choice still, we entered and were greeted in Chinese (it had been a while since I last spoke a bit). We took a menu and made our way to a table in the back.
The menu is very short and that's exactly how I like it: concise but mastered. Here no chi-chi or fancy names, you choose between noodles with or without a broth and with lamb, beef (spicy or not) or vegetarian. See? Straight to the point! If you feel like having a cold starter, you can and it's again a choice between lam, beef and vegetarian.
On that day, we took a lamb cold starter followed by a Lamb Huimian (noodles with broth) and a Mian piquant (noodles without broth, a bit spicy). We chatted a bit and watched the noodles being flipped and prepared while waiting for our food. Surprisingly, we received a vegetarian starter first and then the lamb...Both were so tasty and packed with flavors!! They had the same base but damn they were good! A mix of sour, salty, acidic and nutty, absolutely refreshing.
We snacked on these two plates and debriefed our house tour, it was so satisfying! During that time I also popped a few questions about what Huimian meant and basically they are one of the most famous noodle-foods from China, more specifically from Henan. I was so impatient to try this dish and when our bowls arrived I digged in almost instantly.
My bowl had broth and was very hot but so comforting! Perfect for the cold weather and rain we experienced that day and as I pulled the noodles, I found more surprises: tofu, seaweed, glass noodles, meat and more aromatics. The bowl from Mr. B. though was something else and even more to my taste: noodles with a creamy/peanuty sauce, ground meat and a pinch of spices... I guess it became my favorite out of the two but honestly, both are amazing!
The experience at Huimian was really pleasant and filling! I had a hard time finishing my bowl, good thing I had a partner in crime that evening! When it was time to leave, we went to the counter to pay for our food, a royal 42€ including:
A bottle of water;
A vegetarian starter;
A lamb starter;
A spicy Mian;
A lab Huimian;
Not bad right? That's 21€ per person for drinks, starter and main course...Can't complain, especially with the quantity we received and how tasty the food was! What's more, there is only one person handling the place and cooking (preparing the noodle dough in advance but cooking everything on the spot), that requires so much hard work and organisation! I like this place even more :)
Want to give it a try or already did? Let me know!