- Address: 8362 Kennedy Rd, Markham
- Visited: 08/12/2017, Dinner, 2 people
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Rating: 4.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: N/A
The first location of Big Beef Bowl is a small shop in North York with only a handful of seats. Since opening, their popularity has only grown and every time I’ve passed by there’s usually a line with every seat occupied including their sidewalk patio. I love hand-pulled noodles, but with so many delicious restaurants nearby, I’ve been happy to satisfy my noodle cravings at either Artisan Noodle or Magic Noodle in order to avoid the queue. When I heard that Big Beef Bowl was opening a second, larger location in Markham, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bowl. Since this visit, I’ve recommended them to family and friends and dropped by myself to slurp up a few more bowls.
Atmosphere: Big Beef Bowl’s second location was located in Peachtree Plaza, a strip mall full of great eats. As with any popular area in Markham, finding parking can be a challenge even in the large lot. The casual restaurant was simply decorated with booth seating along the walls in front of square wood tables. Seating on the other side were thin wood benches and the same were used at the tables in the middle of the room. Although busy during dinner, tables turned over quickly and most were filled with parties of 2 or 4.
Service: Being a more casual restaurant, service felt a bit rushed but efficient. Servers were flagged down as they delivered bowls to tables and hurried to take orders and wipe down tables. Our orders arrived quickly and the broth was piping hot. When larger groups arrived, tables were moved together to accommodate them and small children as well.
Food: The menu at Big Beef Bowl was simple with one page of noodle options and side dishes on the back. Bowls come in two sizes, small or large with a $1 difference in price. There were four signature noodles highlighted and selection of other classic flavours like lamb and intestine. With each order, the diner can choose between round or flat noodles in 3 thicknesses.
Stephen opted for the Braised Beef Brisket with Round Thick noodles while I stuck to the Classic Beef with Flat Thick noodles. We were both hungry that day and went with large bowls. To start, the large was a whole lot of noodle. Super filling but can feel endless if you have a smaller appetite. I loved the flavour of the clear broth, which was rich and savoury with a sprinkle of cilantro. It was quite salty and I had to guzzle lots of water after our meal. Both bowls were delicious.
My classic bowl came with a few thin slices of beef and daikon. Stephen’s braised beef brisket came with a slightly more substantial amount of meat versus mine. The toppings were fine, but not the highlight of the bowl. I was there for the broth and noodles, which totally satisfied. We had heard that thick noodles were the way to go and I was very happy with my choice. Both the round and flat noodles had a great chew but the round ones were more consistent throughout. With the flat noodle, the edges and some spots were a bit softer, but I loved the varying texture. Stephen prefers his noodles more al dente and the thick round ones were perfect for him.
Overall, Big Beef Bowl served up a delicious bowl of hand-pulled noodles at a super reasonable price. We didn’t get to try any side dishes this trip (um large bowl of carbs), but the noodles were more than enough to bring me back again and again.