Dumplings & Noodles at Hand Made Noodle House – NJ

dumplings @ hand made noodle house

Hand Made Noodle House, better known in Korean as 손 칼국수 (Son Kalguksu), recently expanded from a tiny five table joint to a full-blown restaurant with enough room to host your extended family back in Korea. Hand Made Noodle is currently my family’s go-to kalguksu (Korean knife-cut noodle soup) spot. While not my mom’s or my favorite, my brother’s family — who are recent pescatarians — like it because they have noodles with anchovy broth on the menu (most restaurants in the neighborhood are beef broth-only), and my dad used to like it because it was always cheaper and the portions humongous. I say “used to” because since the expansion, the prices have gone up a dollar or two for each dish. After this happened, my dad made a big to-do about it as if the restaurant had personally betrayed him and vowed never to go back, but since then, he’s been back a few times so I assume he’s made peace with the restaurant in his heart or at least his wallet.

What I like best at the restaurant, pre and post expansion, are the steamed Homemade Dumplings ($8.99; pictured at top). Most Korean dumplings are made of a mix of beef and pork, but the dumplings at Hand Made Noodle are all beef. This you may think is a bad thing, as pork adds more flavor, but these delicately wrapped dumplings, are flavorful without being too heavy.

chicken kaljebi @ hand made noodle house

Noodles are also good, and since they expanded, there’s more variety on the menu. Supposedly the older clientele like the Wild Sesame Kalguksu (들깨 칼국수; $12.99) — knife-cut noodles in a thick wild sesame soup — for health reasons, and while initially beguiling, it’s so creamy and strongly-flavored, after a few bites it becomes overwhelming. I prefer the more classic Chicken Kalguksu (닭 칼국수; $9.99), knife-cut noodle soup with chicken, or if I want to mix it up, I’ll order Chicken Kaljeabi (닭 칼제비; $10.99; pictured above), knife-cut noodle and hand-torn pasta soup with chicken, or even Chicken Suejeabi (닭 수제비; $10.99), hand-torn pasta soup with chicken. It’s all tasty; served hot in a lightly seasoned chicken broth, and contrary to what my father says, the portions are still huge.

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손 칼국수 / Hand Made Noodle House
337 Broad Ave (b/n W Palisades Blvd & W Central Blvd; map)
Palisades Park, NJ 07650

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