Hey Noodles is a Chinese chain restaurant serving up delicious bowls of noodles, Chongqing-style.
In the heart of Chinatown, this upper-level location was the first to arrive in Toronto in 2015. With over 200 stores in China, Hey Noodles now has locations in Scarborough, North York and Richmond Hill, too.
It's surprisingly spacious here, with fun murals and an interesting playlist of 80s pop and Chinese hits, making the spot a cozy reprieve from busy Dundas Street.
Chongqing noodles, dubbed "little noodles", are famous for being spicy dishes that are traditionally eaten for breakfast, with or without soup. One of the major components is the sichuan pepper, a mouth-numbing spice.
You can dictate how hot your noodles come, from no spice at all to "extremely numb." You can also choose the softness or hardness of your noodles, and extra toppings like peanuts, cilantro, and sesame paste, free of charge.
Also free: noodle refills! The big draw of Hey Noodles (for students especially) is the fact you get unlimited noods, meaning you can add more plain noodles to your soup once you're done the first serving.
Beef sirloin noodle soup ($12.99) is the most popular order, made with meat that's been braised for at least three hours.
Also popular are the noodles with peas and minced meat ($10.99).
Aside from the regular noodles, there's also the option of bowls with sweet potato vermicelli, a chewy, clear noodle. The hot and sour vermicelli ($10.99) comes with peanuts, minced beef and boiled egg.
You can also choose to order the hot pot rice noodles. These thicker square noodles come in a piping hot bowl of soup guaranteed to stay warm throughout your entire meal.
There's a medley of ingredients in the beef brisket ($16.99) option, which comes with quail egg, zucchini, bean curd and wood ear fungus.
Rice noodle with tomato and pork ribs ($15.99) have an extra bit of rich, tangy flavour.
There are also small dishes on the side, like a plate of soft chicken bones ($9.99) served with sesame and hot chilli.
For dessert, a small menu of traditional Chinese sweets includes ice jelly with a slippery mix of goji berries, dates, and house-made brown sugar syrup.
Living up to its name, these bowls from (Delicious) Hey Noodles have a great texture and come highly recommended to anyone craving massive portions of hot Chongqing-style noods.