Big Beef Bowl Traditional Hand Pulled Noodles might be one of the smallest restaurants in Toronto. With 14 seats inside and 6 outside, it’s the closest you’ll get in Toronto to feeling like you’re eating at a roadside stall.
The menu is short, comprising of four options: classic beef noodles, braised beef brisket noodles, beef with pickled mustard and shiitake mushrooms, and beef with meat sauce (zha jiang mian). I picked the beef with pickled mustard and shiitake mushrooms, while JK opted for the beef with meat sauce. You can choose the gauge of your noodles, so I stuck with the waitress’s recommendation of small, while JK opted for round large. We split an order of chicken heart skewers.
The beef with pickled mustard and shiitake mushrooms had a flavourful broth, and the beef was tender but not mushy. The noodles were good, but not as chewy as I would have liked, and I’d probably order a larger gauge next time.
The meat sauce noodles held on to their bite longer, and paired well with the meat sauce. The pretty arrangement of sliced cucumber on top added some freshness and bite. Overall, a pretty good dish.
In retrospect, I would have ordered the less spicy version of the chicken hearts, as my mouth was on fire by the time we finished. Otherwise, they were tender and a little smoky, which is just how I like them.
The portions at Big Beef Bowl are large, and the price is right: we both ordered the small size (it was plenty large), and the bowls set us back $7.99 each. Despite the friendly staff, this isn’t a place to linger for hours, but if you want a quick, flavourful meal for a low price, Big Beef Bowl is a great option.
Big Beef Bowl Hand Pulled Noodles, 1 Byng Ave, Toronto