I recently realized that since I had already visited so many hand-pulled noodle shops in New York City, I may as well try to visit them all. My latest hand-pulled noodle excursion brought me to Bensonhurst, a part of Brooklyn that, for the most part, doesn't strike me as a place to go to unless you live there. But as one of my best friends lived near the hand-pulled noodle shop, spending the afternoon with a friend and noodles gave me enough reason to make the one-hour schlep from Bed-Stuy.
Hand Pull Noodle and Dumplings House has been open for about five months. The interior is clean and minimal with four condiment-laden tables and a flat-screen TV that will accompany your meal with the sounds of whatever Cantonese soap opera is currently playing. Bowls of hand-pulled noodles accompanied by beef, pork, duck, or seafood (but mostly beef in all different forms) hover around the $5 mark. (The only item on the menu I didn't recognize was "beef omasum," which, for those as unlearned in the language of offal as I am, is tripe.) The kitchen is open so you can watch the chef pull your noodles moments before they're dunked into the pot.
My first impression of the noodles, accompanied by boy choy and pickled cabbage, was that they were more al dente than most others I've had—a plus in my book because I prefer chewier noodles. My friend said her oxtail was especially flavorful compared to the last place she had it, Sheng Wang. My beef was on the chewy side, but then I had only ordered the beef, not the beef stew that probably would've included tender chunks of brisket. The soup was flavorful enough, just not memorably so. Then again, with all the condiments (soy sauce, vinegar, chili paste/oil) at your disposal, you can dress up the soup however you like.
Overall, it's a solid bowl of hand-pulled noodles (not that I'm ever really disappointed by hand-pulled noodles). We also tried an order of their steamed mini-pork buns, aka soup dumplings, but the skins were too thick. Their homemade non-soup dumplings would probably be better.
Hand Pull Noodle and Dumplings House
7201 18th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11204 (at 72nd Street; map) 718-232-6191
Bonus Video: Hand-pulled Noodles in the Making
Thanks to Diana for shooting the video.
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