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!
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.