GB Hand Pulled Noodles (Toronto)

Torontonians have an affinity for noodles. Whether it be pasta, pho, udon, or ramen; as soon as the weather gets cold, a hefty portion of the comforting carbs is something I yearn for. The new kid in town is the Lanzhou hand-pulled noodles. Chefs take a giant ball of dough and slam it onto a hard surface … fold, pull, and then repeat until it gets elastic and forms into long strands.

They’re then pulled to various levels of thickness. At GB Hand-Pulled Noodles, it ranges from super thin to extremely wide with five other options in between. Hearing people order before me, I decided on the medium wide, which is one notch under the widest side of the spectrum.

Visiting during a weekday lunch, the place already had a queue of ten at the door. But, the line moves fairly quickly since they have streamlined operations that would make many automated facilities proud. However, the waiting process is a bit haphazard given they don’t give out numbers – you just wait in line and remember who is before and after your table. Once you get near the front, they will ask for the number of guests and as a table is about to clear, you’re handed a laminated menu so you place your order before even being seated.

Within minutes of taking our seat the appetizer arrives. The Lanzhou spicy beef shank ($8.99) consisted of seven long slices of tender lean beef are tossed in a peppercorn laced chili oil, which looks fiery red but has a very mild heat. My coworker describes it perfectly – you taste the spice on your tongue but not in the throat.

Since we visited on a Friday, I ordered the braised beef tendon noodles ($13.99), a dish only available Friday-Sunday. Perhaps it was the first day of the weekend, but about a quarter of the pieces were still hard to bite through and didn’t offer that lovely chewy gelatinous texture. The smaller pieces were well braised and tasty.

Nonetheless, it really doesn’t matter as I was there for the carbs. GB’s noodles are one of the better options I’ve had in Ontario, the dough evenly pulled so even the medium wide noodles didn’t become chewy in the centre but mushy around the edges. Moreover, they stayed fairly chewy throughout the meal as it took me a while to attempt to get through the huge portion … alas, I had to just finish the beef and leave the noodles, a practice my parents have engrained in me as a child.

The broth itself was fairly simple and clear, most of the beefy flavours coming from the braised tendon liquids that get spooned into the bowl. Adding some of the chili oil at the table and it became a rich soup that went so nicely with the doughy strands. The bowl is finished off with blanched bok choy, turnip slices, and a sprinkling of scallions.

I love all the hot steaming bowls of noodle options we have across the city. With the cold weather descending upon us, I’ll be tucking into bowls of the stuff for weeks to come.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 66 Edward Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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