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Best Restaurant in Harlem

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Sydney transplant and classical violinist Andrew Ding didn’t plan on opening The Handpulled Noodle around the corner from his first New York City apartment — it just worked out that way. Ding, originally from Xinjiang, China, trained his staff to conjure an approximation of his mother’s cooking, with a focus on stretchy northwestern Chinese noodles, cut into ragged gnocchi-like nubbins, rolled thin, or flattened into wide ribbons. Order them as part of build-your-own noodle bowls topped with portions of spicy lamb or seitan, or plunked into herb-packed beef broth. His food has a tangible, down-home appeal, with deep flavors aided by spices like cumin, Sichuan peppercorns, and a sweet, piquant scallion sauce made with Shaoxing rice wine. All of the dough is handmade, so “mama’s dumplings” have thin, pliant skins that hold fillings like beef with daikon and chive-studded egg. Don’t miss the $3.50 “Chinese slider” stuffed with either stewed pork or cumin lamb — they’re easily one of the best dishes under $5 available in town. 3600 Broadway, Manhattan 10031, 917-262-0213, thehandpullednoodle.com

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