Kui Yuan Guan is a noodle shop with a history. It was founded in 1867 by a businessman from Anhui province. It has undergone many changes, but it's always jammed. The story goes that when it opened many years ago at Guan Xiang Kou, it wasn't busy. Back in those days the Provincial Imperial Examination was still held here, and students came from far and wide to take part in it. Apparently, a poor student once walked in, and he wasn't looking too confident. Sympathetically, the shopkeeper threw three eggs into the noodles for good luck. Each egg represented one of the three exams to be taken. The gesture helped. The poor student got high scores and he subsequently revisited the shop many times after that. So grateful was the student that he inscribed Kui Yuan Guan on the entrance. The moniker attracted many future exam participants, and the innovative technique employed to make the exam enhancing three egg noodles continued. Kui Yuan Guan is famous for their unique combinations, one of which being the pian er chuan style a must eat for any local. This place is all about volume. We used to go to the branch on Jiefang Road each Saturday afternoon, but eventually stopped because the wait was so long. The floors are a bit slippery, and the empty noodle bowls pile up. People share tables with each other. Not a seat is empty and many hungry people wait and wait. Bowls of noodles range from 16-388RMB. That's right. No typo here. Though interesting, none of us went for the 388RMB action. The branch on Wenhui Road sees less traffic. The last time we went, it was a Wednesday afternoon, and there were two or three tables open. The town is modernizing quickly. Luckily, there are still a few spots that keep the past alive. Bring on the new with the old. Kui Yuan Guan is a classic. Picture menu available.
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