First Look: Magic Noodle brings La Mian hand pulled noodles downtown to Harbord Street


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Uptown Magic Noodle opens its third location, this one downtown on Harbord street.

Suresh Doss

Scarborough's noodle house Magic Noodle opened their third location on Harbord Street two weeks ago. 

 
Magic Noodle opened on Harbord street two weeks ago.

 

"We've seen a large number of students that have asked us to open a location downtown, so here we are," said co-owner Haga Gu. Toronto may be swarmed with ramen shops that specialize in varieties of Japanese noodles, but there are very few places that specialize in regional Chinese varieties like Magic Noodle does. 

Both uptown locations (second one in Richmond Hill) have seen consistent lineups since opening. The Scarborough location which caters to a crowd that frequents nearby karoake bars and bowling alleys is especially popular.

 
Magic noodle dining room and noodle bar overlooking Harbord Street.

 

Magic Noodle's specialty is regional Chinese variations of hand pulled noodles. The third location keeps it simple by featuring two types of noodles in their soup bowls: La Mian (hand pulled) and Daoxiao Mian (hand shaved). The noodles are made fresh in house for each batch.

Sit by the kitchen you can spot a noodle master folding, stretching, and twisting big logs of dough to an arm span's length. Then they are boiled and dressed them with stock and toppings.

 
The Tripe B (beef stock with braised beef brisket, cilantro and scallions) 

 

The restaurant's noodle menu is divided into soup, sauced, and stir fried variations. Where MN differentiates itself is by including weird and funky but delicious ingredients in the soups like pig intestines and beef tripe. The wet soups are the main draw, four different stocks are used (beef, pork, chicken, veg) to create the noodle-meat combos like beef stock with sliced beef (Magic beef, $8.99) and chicken and pork stock with spicy pig intestines and pickled turnip (G.I. Ju, $9.49). 

  
The Magic (beef stock with sliced beef, pulled chicken, fried egg, braised lamb, beef tripe, pickled turnip)

 

There are also some new snack items that you won't find at the other locations. Like popcorn fried chicken ($4.99) and chive pockets stuffed with scrambled eggs ($2.99). Everything is affordable, the snacks stay under $5, and the soups are under $10.

 
The restaurant has a snack menu with items like popcorn chicken

 

Owner Haga Gu briefly teased the idea of more locations downtown, but he's trying to determine where. "I'm not worried about ramen shops in the city, we do our own thing. Magic Noodle is different."

The Harbord location is not open 24 hours like its Scarborough counterpart, instead it is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Magic Noodle Harbord, 93 Harbord St., 647-345-8839

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Suresh Doss is resident food and drink writer and associate web editor at Post City Magazines. In addition to covering the culinary scene, Suresh regularly hosts food events across the GTHA. You can follow him on Twitter (@spotlightcity) or Instagram (@suresh) or email him at sureshdoss@postcity.com.

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