What’s the one thing that we’ve been seeing popping up all over the city faster than you can say foraged bitters? Hipster bars? No, not that. Random unfounded Montreal “Best of” lists researched via Yelp? No, but yes, that too. What I’m talking about is one of the marquee dishes that put Montreal’s gastronomy scene on the map, no, not terroir or market cuisine inspired by locally sourced produce and seasonal ingredients; guess again. If you said dumplings, you’re absolutely correct! The heart, soul and epicentre of traditional Chinese cuisine is rivalling the timely casse-croute and bidding to redefine the term “steam-mei“.
hand pulled noodles
Growing up in a Chinese home and being sent to school with some sort of funk in my lunch thermos that would permeate the lunch room did not help my popularity in elementary school. Last night’s dinner of braised pork belly with pickled mustard greens over rice would be the only thing on my mind leading up to lunch time. Nowhere to be found in my He-Man lunchbox were there any fucks packed by my mom to give about the kids who thought it was gross; frozen chicken nuggets or peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat and other latch-key loveless lunches. Trying to explain what my lunch was, I fought fodder for ridicule and ultimately groomed my passion for Chinese cuisine and subsequent appreciation.
You’d think that after my big quest to find Montreal’s best Pho, I’d be sick of noodles by now; no, my insatiable thirst for noodles has no bounds. Like girls have a secret stomach for popcorn, chocolate and gossip, I have a secondary backup stomach for noodles, pizza, sushi and fried stuff with cheese. So on a cold winter night (yes, we’re still in November, but the shit is cold enough at night that I’m calling it winter, deal with it), a bunch of friends and I hit up Nudo noodle house, a spot in Chinatown who’s pulling noodles and slinging grub.