Years ago I remember watching an episode of Rachel Ray’s $40 a Day on Vancouver BC. As she stood outside a shop watching a man make Chinese noodles, I promised myself I would someday travel to Vancouver for this special treat.
First, a little research was needed. Hand-pulled noodles are an art form in and off itself. This is a great video showing the process. The gluten is developed through the pulling technique. Banging the dough on the surface, heavy kneading, and pulling develops the gluten fibers to give the dough a springy, chewing mouth feel. The twisting motion helps to form the noodle. While the technique is similar, it was recommended that I try hand-cut noodles vs hand-pulled noodles. These tend to be a little wider, thicker and can be stir fried while the hand-pulled noodles are more commonly serviced in soups (I am not an expert and apologize for oversimplifying this great art).
When I asked Vancouver friends where to eat I was told to pick a restaurant that made noodles fresh on-site and to order ‘hand cut’ noodles. The restaurant that was recommended by more than one person was Peaceful Restaurant on Broadway. They have a number of locations, but the Broadway location seems to rate above the others in both food and service.
When I arrived the restaurant is was anything but peaceful. Not to say that it was rowdy, just bustling with activity, full of hungry patrons and busy staff, yet we were quickly given a table and hot tea. The menu offered far more than just noodle-based dishes and we had a difficult time deciding what to order. Although the service was friendly and quick, I would have liked the server to have slowed down a little and help us through the menu, especially with my lack of noodle knowledge. In the end, we ordered not only a noodle dish but a few of their other specialties and we were glad we did!
While I went in for the noodles, I am glad we tried a number of other dishes. The Beef Rolls ended up being the winner for the evening. These rolls were filled with a flavorful beef mixture and surrounded by a crispy exterior. I would go back for just the Beef Rolls!