Wednesday, February 18, 2015
EAT: THE HANDPULLED NOODLE OPENS IN HARLEM
As can be seen by the menu, there are a wide range of noodles, soups and dumpling dishes so we chose one in proximity to the Korean version of one of the offerings we have had before. Zha Jiang Mien (in Korea, this is called Ja Jiang Myeon and the dish's popularity is the equal to that of French fries in the states) is the equivalent to an asian bolognese with ground beef and a black bean sauce instead of tomato This adoption of cuisine is also the same in Japan where the Chinese Lo Mein eventually became ramen since the L and R in that country are the same sound.
Because the tableware was not ready for eat in service, we proceeded to mix the various elements in a less appealing plastic bow but the richness of the dish really started to come together. Everything became saucy and our first bite into the thick Lagman noodles convinced us that there was no way back at eating machine made variations. One can see the difference since the noodles are not all uniform in cut and the chew that only fresh pasta provides adds an entire other level to this dish that can not be had anywhere uptown. The Korean version of Zha Jiang Mien tends to be heavier with more oil and black bean sauce but this Chinese version was remarkable to us because of the lighter hand.
Right now The Handpulled Noodle is only set up for eat in or pickup orders. They should be ready for deliveries in a month or so and sit down guests should note that only a skinny bar by the window is provided for diners. Everything within the interior is really tight at this more than charming hole in the wall but those looking for a bit more authentic Asian cuisine will find themselves coming here quite often.