Murgers and biangbiang in London

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Restaurant sign in Mayfair:

The Chinese says:

liángpí ròujiāmó
("cold rice / wheat noodles [and] meat sandwiched in bread")

The restaurant has created a new word, "murger",  for ròujiāmó 肉夹馍 ("meat sandwiched in bread") by combining "mó 馍" ("bun; bread") and "burger".  This street food originated from Shaanxi Province in Northwest China, but by now it has spread over most of the country, although still recognized as coming from Shaanxi.

Ròujiāmó 肉夹馍 ("meat sandwiched in bread") is customarily served in restaurants that also feature liángpí 凉皮 ("cold rice / wheat noodles"), which is another dish that is characteristic of Shaanxi cuisine.

The Murger HanHan in Mayfair is joined by another branch called Murger Han in Euston.  Here is their website.

As if two restaurants in London serving traditional Shaanxi food were not enough, we have documentation of an even more spectacular Shaanxi dish, biangbiang noodles, being available in London.  Well, at least the name of this dish is quite spectacular, since the quixotic character used to write it is arguably the most complicated and difficult one in the Chinese script.

The following photograph was sent to me by a Chinese friend who was touring in London a month or two ago where she spotted this unique sign "near Brick Lane", as she told me:

Attentive, dedicated Language Log readers, even those who don't know Chinese, might be able to recognize that strange Sinograph, since we've talked about it quite a bit (see the "Readings" below).

It took me a while, but I found the address here, and even saw it on street view from many different angles.

This information elicited the following enthusiastic response from Geoff Pullum:

Ah, just off Wentworth Street, spitting distance from the Hungry Donkey Greek Kitchen, and an easy stroll from Aldgate East subway station. NOW I know where I can get biangbiang noodles, and see the most insane Chinese character of them all on an actual sign over an actual business.

So, in one post, we have covered "the most insane Chinese character of them all" and what the purveyors claim may be the world's first hamburger / sandwich, and both come from the northwest province of Shaanxi, which is the real heartland of the Chinese empire.


[Thanks to Tong Wang]

1 Comment

  1. mkvf said,

    August 18, 2019 @ 6:47 am

    Another new good one, near UCL, if you need more London biang biang options

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