Friday, December 30, 2011

THE Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles of Chinatown

Yesterday proved to be chock-full-of new food experiences, starting at lunch and continuing well into dinner.  The former brought on the deliciousness of hand pulled noodles in Chinatown's acclaimed, Tasty Hand Pulled Noodle shop, recommended by my cousin Vicky and her boyfriend Eric.  Given that these two already had plans to meet there, they graciously invited me to join and try these legendarily fresh hand pulled noodles, submerged in a tasty soup.

I'm not sure atmosphere is the right word to use here, as the shop has virtually no ambiance.  It's a very basic, "hole in the wall" if you will kind of place, and quite appropriately so, as its simple surroundings add authenticity, and place focus on the food.  

Despite it being a small space, there are about 10 tables inside, many of them being the long, communal kind.  Don't be surprised to find large groups of friends dining there, enjoying big bowlfuls of soup or various noodle dishes.  Vicky, Eric and I sat at a smaller, rectangular table, placed awkwardly against a wall and near an employees only entryway.  Quite strange, you may think, but again it fit the vibe and confirmed this was the real deal.

I took cues from Vicky and Eric who've both dined here before, and they recommended the large soups.  Only too happy to oblige, I ordered one for myself, excited it would fill me up and warm me from the frigid cold outside.

Noodle Soups  - We each ordered different soups, Eric going for the fish ball  soup, Vicky ordering the veggie and tofu and I opting for the pork chop soup.  Each one was humongous in portion and piping hot, which made me happy.  

In addition to choosing the protein of your choice, we also picked different types of noodles that were submerged into the soup - Eric and I going for the knife peeled, chunky noodles, and Vicky getting the wide variety.  I tried Vicky's noodles out of curiosity, and while they were absolutely comparable to ours in taste (soft, buttery and delectable), the texture of the knife peeled noodles was a little fluffier, giving off a heartier quality.

The soup itself was fabulous, mostly attributed to the tasty broth and the fresh veggies that floated on top.  I loved all the gorgeous greens such as bok choy and spinach and the pork chop, which floated in my soup was good too, albeit difficult to eat.  I had to fish it out and cut it into smaller pieces, and then submerge it back into the soup.  In that way, it would be a lot better if they served the pork shredded or at least de-boned.  Otherwise, I have no complaints and almost finished my entire portion, which I thought was virtually impossible when I started.  

Service and Cost:
Similar to its very simple atmosphere, the service is also no frills.  There's maybe 1 waitress for the entire place and also an expediter who doubles up as the cashier.  Your order takes a while to arrive and you have to keep reminding them that you're still waiting, but when it comes, it's totally worth it.

Costs are very inexpensive and worth every penny, our soups setting us back a modest $5.50 each and with tax and tip, you can get away with about $7 or $7.50/person.

3 Hand Pulled Mmmms

Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles - 1 Doyers Street, New York NY 10013
B Train to Grand Street or 6 Train to Canal Street

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