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Hand-pulled Chinese noodles at Antwerp's Bai Wei

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I was looking for a reasonably priced dinner within easy walking distance of the Radisson Blu in Antwerp. Antwerp's Chinatown is right around the corner. I knew to go for an early dinner, as I saw a few nights before that things close up early there. The small plates and affordable noodle dishes listed on Bai Wei's window looked promising!

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Bai Wei is cash only, so come prepared. It's no touristy joint: the place was filled with Chinese businessmen making deals.

There were all kinds of tempting small plates on the menu, but I was trying to keep my bill to a dull roar, especially since it's cash only. Among the snacks I could have selected included "Cloud marinated" chicken feet, fried duck tongue, shredded pig ear with hot pepper and sesame, bitter pig ear wires, red-stewed pork intestines, red-stewed duck's gizzard, each for just a few euros.

However, I went for a beef "cowhells" soup, which I learned are joints. You can order any of the soup varieties "dry," as well, but I figured the broth would be nutritious, filling and help to ward off any germs. I also feel like the hot broth cooks the starchiness out of fresh noodles.

I got to watch a teenager making my noodles, swinging them like a jump rope.

The soup was fragrant with cilantro, scallions and ginger. There was a good bit of salt in the soup and instead of bok choy, they used iceberg lettuce in the soup. I prefer bok choy by far.

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