The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

The Hand Pulled Noodles of March

noodles noodles noodles
So many noodles. Just how many noodles? Perhaps...oodles.

I ate at so many hand pulled noodle shops during the past few months that I figured, "Heeey, I may as well eat at every hand pulled noodle shop in the city." And that's pretty much my only life goal at the moment. (Some people go to law school; I eat noodles. The bar is set so low, I just can't fail! Or something.)

But aside from wanting to try every hand pulled noodle-ry, my reasons for eating hand pulled noodles has to do with three of their main qualities: cheapness, deliciousness, and filling...ness. There seem to be just enough shops that my noodle quest will keep me busy, but not so many that I can't visit them all within a reasonable period of time without getting completely sick of hand pulled noodles.

Last month I visited three hand pulled noodle shops. Do I know how to rate hand pulled noodles? Not really. The trajectory of a hand pulled noodle meal generally goes like this: I general scarf the lot down and pat my belly afterward while going, "Uhh, yeah, that was pretty good," to whomever I'm eating with, followed by, "You wanna go to a bakery now?"

So these three little reviews may not be very helpful. But at least there's food porn.

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles

This entry originally took place on March 2.

Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles Inc
Tasty Hand Pulled Noodle

I ate at Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles with Kathy and Shann on the night of a freak snowstorm after we had eaten a snack at Shake Shack. A customer-less and heater-less Shake Shack. If the holes in my gloves hadn't bothered me before, they did then. But at least it was a beautiful night.

Shack Shake + snow
Photoshopped for extra magic.

Yeah? Yeah.

And then we came here.

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles is nicer (and newer) than most other noodle shops. While it doesn't really matter to me how clean and shiny a place is as long as the food is tasty, the eating experience is somewhat improved when you're eating out a real, non-disposable bowl. Also, something they do here that I have yet to encounter at other hand pulled noodle shops is that they give you complimentary tea. HOORAY FOR HYDRATION!! I'm not sure if other places even give out water. Although you're not given your own teapot, the waitress makes sure your cup is filled when you need it.

One downside about this place? NO DUMPLINGS. :( But it does have one major selling point. Which I will get to.

beef stew noodles
My noodles.

I went with beef stew noodles. Basic. The bowl included chopped scallion, baby spinach, and pickled cabbage. While the beef chunks were of the tender sort, a few too many had their connective tissues still intact. I mean, a few too many for me; if you like those chewy collagen-rich flaps then you'll be fine.


The noodles were fine. Pleasantly noodle-like. Not too chewy or soft. The noodle puller is unfortunately hidden from the customer's view.


A bucket of cilantro makes the noodle-eating experience even better. Unless you hate cilantro. I dump loads of it into my bowl for extra crunch and vegetal...ness.

best chili goo ever

But the best part of the meal was the chili oil. Theirs was magical, a most dense concentration of warm toastiness I have never before smelled or tasted. I couldn't stop sniffing it and plopping spoonfuls into my bowl, and if I could cuddle with it I'd probably do that too while reveling in its toastiness. This is what will keep me going back, despite the lack of dumplings. I can't remember what the soup tasted like aside from DELICIOUSLY TOASTY CHILI OIL.

Hand Pull Noodle & Dumplings House

This entry originally took place on March 15.

Hand Pull Noodle
This name just isn't descriptive enough.

If Diana didn't live in Bensonhurst, I wouldn't have a reason to go out there for hand pulled noodles. She lives just a few blocks away from this shop, but has never eaten there. UNTIL BOPPY CAME ALONG!

noodles in the making
Noodle man.

The shop is less than a year old and looks it. The kitchen is open so you can see your noodles in the making. Or you can watch this video that Diana took:


The dance beat is unintentional—it was coming from whatever was playing on the flat-screen TV just out of view. That is, a Chinese soap opera.

beef noodle
Beef noodle soup.

I got the standard beef noodle soup topped with bok choy, scallions, and pickled cabbage. It tasted pretty standard. I'm not even sure what that means any more...perhaps that nothing stood out as particularly good or bad, although I think I would've preferred a different meat over beef bits.


Can't forget the noodle shot.

oxtail noodle soup
Oxtail soup.

Diana was particularly pleased with the oxtail in her oxtail noodle soup.

little porl bun soup dumpling-esque things
Soup dumpling-esque

We got an order of their steamed buns, or pork soup dumpling-esque dumplings. I say "esque" because as far as I could tell, they weren't the hand made sort and were low on liquid content. My assumption is that their steamed and fried dumplings are made in-house and the "buns" aren't. If they did make those buns, they weren't very good. Skin, meat, soup—all kinda meh.

But at least they offer dumplings. If I lived nearby I'm sure I'd go for quick cheap noodle and dumpling meals.

Food Sing 88

This entry originally took place on March 18.

Food Sing 88

This place wins an award for "Most Random Neon Signage." A blue lightning bolt somehow equates to noodles. In Chinatown.

Alas, no dumplings. Alas, no complimentary tea. Alas, no cilantro bucket. But, like Tasty Hand-Pull Noodles, it has a clean interior and they use real bowls.

chili paste goo
Hotness, there be.

Their chili oil was alright. It did the trick of making my mouth hurt with spicy burningness and getting my mucus to flow in a most inconvenient manner. I probably overdid my paste usage.

beef and tripe
Beef and tripe

For the first time, I got tripe to go with my beef parts. Sometimes I really like tripe, but most times I'm just okay with it. This was an "okay" moment. I'm a fan of chewier preparations; in soup it's kind of inevitable that it would get to the "too soft" stage for my tastes.

The bowl was noticeably lacking vegetable matter. Not that there wasn't some green poking out, but it was rather meager compared to other places.


I really liked the noodles—they had a bit more chew than others or seemed to have a heartier texture.

fish balls
Fish balls

Diana went with fish balls. They were fine and had the typical chewy/bouncy/soft/mildly fishy fish ball characteristics—nothing special. The most awesome fish balls I've had are still from Sheng Wang.

I liked Food Sing 88's noodles more so than other places, but the restaurant overall didn't capture any special place in my heart. Maybe if they sold dumplings as well. Sigh.

A Night at Sheng Wang for Hand Pulled Noodles and Improperly Named Broth Buns
I'm Alive, But Was Mildly Disabled by Pizza
Hand-Pulled Noodles and Dumplings at Nam Zhou, and Fail Cakes


Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
1 Doyers St
New York, NY 10013

Hand Pull Noodle & Dumplings House
7201 18th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11204

Food Sing 88
2 E Broadway
New York, NY 10038


Kathryn / April 9, 2009 12:44 AM

I need to not be surfing food blogs this late, it makes me hongryyyy.

That noodle video is crazy! They all look super delish. I really need to make a list of places to check out when I go home. Noodleys ....

LinLaLiLa / April 9, 2009 2:01 AM

Mmm I want some hand-pulled noodles right now.
I was craving some about a month ago and stumbled upon this video on's website:

I was drooling over the noodles from the featured restaurant "Super Taste" ( ) for them the entire way there and when I sat down I order the 'special noodles" thinking it would be their specialty. Instead, I assume it was any and every piece of meat/ offal/ bone they had left in their kitchen... tripe was the easiest thing to swallow, if that says anything.

Great post-- I think I'll hit up Tasty Noodles for a bath in that chili oil.

SuperChomp / April 9, 2009 10:26 AM

Definitely not enough greenery in the last bowl. Crunchy crunchy boy choy is awesomes though.
Chilli oil should always be like Tasty Hand Pulled Noodle. I might ask my dad what he puts in his, because I have a feeling his ingredients are... Different? Speshul?

Mikey / April 9, 2009 12:58 PM

Trust me Boppy, you do not want to cuddle with chili oil. Don't ask me how i know, but i do.

Terry / April 9, 2009 1:09 PM

have you gone to flushing for hand-made pulled noodles? there are some places there to try out if you're still on your mission.

gotta appreciate the love they put into those noodles right? sounds like you had a great time going to these places...especially with that chili oil. scrumptious.

justcooknyc / April 9, 2009 2:05 PM

hmmm, i thought food sing had the best broth in chinatown, like no comparison whatsoever. my only complaints about it would be that the noodles seem too refined (for hand-pulled, that is) and the portions are smaller than just about everywhere. that's why I go back to sheng wang, for the right combo of noodle texture and a very satisfying portion size (and of course their dumplings). and you said it about tasty noodles -- the chili oil is about it. i can't imagine going back there again with super taste and sheng wang close by. if food sing would just make bigger portions, I'd head back there too.

Jen S. / April 9, 2009 4:49 PM

Everytime I start to hate NYC (NYC and I have a love/hate relationship) and I come visit your blog, you make me love it cause of the awesome food you eat in NYC. I'm gonna give Food Sing 88 a try.

Angeline / April 9, 2009 6:55 PM

I gotta ask, are hand pulled noodles chewy or soft? I don't think I've ever had hand pulled noodles (tear).

roboppy / April 9, 2009 10:20 PM

LinLaLiLa: I think special noodles from most noodle places tend to have all the junk in em. Could be surprising in a bad way, I guess. ;_; The last time I got a bowl like that it had spleen in it and I couldn't get into it. But there was also porky goodness and fishballs. mmm.

Superchomp: I should figure out how to make my own chili oil of awesomeness. They SHOULD all be that good. Wah.

Mikey: ...I believe you...and you're right, I don't want to know how you know.

Terry: Unfortunately, I haven't had hand pulled noodles in Flushing yet! dammmmiiit. I gotta do that.

Justin: I must admit that my nose was stuffed when I went to Food Sing...I think. Yeah. Had a pile of tissues next to me. I should probably go back when my nose isn't stuffed so I can TASTE IT. But still, no dumplings! Wah.

Jen: I love nyc..FOR FOOD.

Julie: And that's why you should come HERE! ..Or go to Asia. Hm.


Angeline: They're softer than chewy..not like ramen-chewy. So in general, they're always softer than I like, but they're not like..mushy.

Danny / April 10, 2009 10:00 AM

ah.. tasty hand pulled noodles. i love how that's an actual restaurant now. So I went after seeing your pics on flickr and did in fact taste their dumplings. They have them. I realized this when another table had a plate of them. Don't remember the exact price but their dumplings are just a tiny bit pricier than other places. But i mean, it's still chinatown prices, so it's dirt cheap

roboppy / April 10, 2009 11:51 PM

Justin: We shall have to have a noodle-scursion then.

Danny: WUUT THEY HAVE DUMPLINGS? Off the menu dumplings? Or were they on the menu and I just missed em? Haha. I WANT!

Eileen / April 11, 2009 9:27 PM

I love the noodle guy video!
It reminds me of how my dad hand pulls noodles for me sometimes except his don't turn out so nice, but they're thick and doughy!

Emlyn / April 12, 2009 1:48 PM

Oh oh oh oh oh - I will make a special trip to NYC for these! Thank you so much for this post, my heart is pounding with the love of the noodle bowl, which sadly I don't get a lot of in this neck of the woods (Baltimore). Also, I made your orange and date yogurt cake for my mother's 65th birthday and she (and the rest of the family) loved it! Thank you!!

roboppy / April 13, 2009 1:22 AM

Graeme: ..HOLY CRAP that video was weird.

Eileen: That's cool that your dad hand pulls noodles! Mine..definitely does not. ...Maybe.

Emlyn: I'm afraid I don't know what the orange and date yogurt cake is..but it sounds good! Um. Hm. What's the recipe?

Eunice / April 14, 2009 1:57 AM

A pretty amazing show of hand pulled noodle making:

The description of the video is totally wrong as that is a Korean noodle maker in Insa Dong. Haha. Also, in the comments a person asks about the sign at 1:20. The noodle maker is just jokingly asking for money.

I remember when I first went to Korea 8 years ago, and witnessed it being done firsthand. Amazing! And then, I had some delicious jjajangmyun.

SuperChomp / April 15, 2009 11:49 AM

Apparently, my "secret family recipe" i.e. Cantonese chef style for chili oil involves dried shrimp (which is not at all like most recipes that typically say "Take chilis. Put in oil. Fin.") It is easier on the chili, and heavier on the things that actually impart a taste other than burning. And, I think, plenty of toasting into aromatic submission.

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