JOURNAL - JULY - The Number 1 Noodle Shop
The Number 1 Noodle Shop
As dawn paints the sky a gentle orange, an old lady shuffles into town, the baskets hanging from her tiny frame laden with freshly-picked roots and leafy greens.
She momentarily puts down her cargo to buy a bundle of Zhihu Fu’s famous wheat-flour noodles then disappears down ‘Forever Harvest Street’ in search of customers of her own.
In quick succession a flurry of housewives arrive to place their orders, followed by the chef from the ‘Heavenly Table’ restaurant, eager to turn Zhihu’s floury creations into a spicy Sichuanese breakfast.
“In 40 years I have never taken a holiday and can never shut the shop or my customers would get very angry,” Zhihu tells me as she hangs fresh batches of ‘mien’ out to dry like shredded clothes on a washing line.
“Local people come to my shop more often than they go to pray at the temple”, she adds, “that shows you how good my noodles are!”