Location: 235 Consumers Road, Toronto
I’ve mentioned many times before that a big bowl of chewy, hand-pulled noodles is pretty much the best. That’s just a fact. If you disagree? You’re wrong, and I hate to have to tell you this, but you’re living your life like an idiot.
Sorry, but someone was going to tell you eventually. It may as well be me.
The main thing to order at Omni Palace is the Traditional Lanzhou Beef Noodles, which is a pretty basic bowl of noodle soup topped with thinly sliced beef, cilantro, scallions, and sliced radish.
The broth is actually quite tasty — it’s very salty, but it also has a nice beefy richness, and a mild tingling numbness from sichuan peppercorns. Once you add a heaping spoonful or two (or three, or four) of the smoky, flavourful chili oil, you’ve got a pretty memorable bowl of soup.
The chili oil is surprisingly mild, so you have to add a decent amount if you want a nice kick. That works out quite well, however — it’s so tasty that the bowl seems to get more and more delicious with every additional spoonful.
Then, of course, there’s the noodles, which are available in nine levels of thickness. I went with what they call classic, which is quite spaghetti-like in size and shape. The noodles have all the satisfying chewiness that you’re hoping for, and they’re the perfect thickness for this particular dish.
The only thing here I wasn’t crazy about was the beef; it was a bit tough, and the flavour was middling. But everything else is tasty enough that it really doesn’t matter.