“Momofuku” – Nina’s immediate response when Jojo asked where do we like to have our lunch. Since its just right across the street, we arrived in the restaurant 5 minutes before it opens. According to reviews, Momofuku Noodle Bar is usually full during lunch time. True enough, soon after we secured our seats we noticed that the restaurant is already full of hungry patrons.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
Momofuku Noodle Bar in Toronto
If the urge to taste Japanese ramen suddenly grips you when you are in downtown Toronto, all you have to do is to walk in for a dinner or lunch at Momofuku Noodle bar located at Shangri-la Toronto. The Noodle Bar is the sister concern of the Noodle Bar of the same name in New York started by renowned Korean-American chef David Chang.
Momofuku in Toronto
The Momofuku Noodle Bar walk-in restaurant, which is the chain’s first outlet in Canada, was opened in September 2012 and offers bowls of ramen and a host of other dishes like rice cakes and steamed buns. The Noodle Bar is situated in a glass cube right in the middle of downtown Toronto taking up the entire ground floor of the complex with entrances through University Avenue and Shangri-La. White oak walls with black steel bridges along with a wooden staircase are the major features of the Noodle Bar. It resembles the New York bar with its open kitchen bar having white benches made of oak and a painting by Steve Keene titled ‘Rust Never Sleeps’.
The Noodle Bar serves lunch from 11.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. with a menu featuring dishes made from diverse native ingredients available in Ontario. The Noodle Bar is known for its ramen and the exquisite pork buns. Other famous delicacies offered by the restaurant are the Chicken and Egg dish and the kimchi stew with pork shoulder and rice cakes. The Noodle Bar being a walk-in, often has a long waiting line. The servers alert those waiting through text messages about the availability of seats.
Momofuku Pork Bun
A lunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar in Toronto must include the simply delicious pork buns on top of the list. The white steamed soft bread is wrapped around tender pork belly, hoisin and slices of pickled cucumber. The letdown is that you get only two small buns for $10. The mushroom buns, Onigiri rice balls, Shiitake buns and Pastrami buns are also delicious.
The Noodle Bar’s own Momofuku Ramen should definitely be given a try. This signature dish is immensely popular at the New York outlet and is now equally popular in Toronto. The ramen comes with perfectly cooked onsen tamago (poached eggs) along with pork belly and shoulder.
Smoked Chicken Wings
The smoked chicken wings at the Noodle Bar are the highlight of the place with its mouthwatering aroma and texture. The smoked chicken wings comes with thick, sticky soy sauce which makes the experience worthwhile.
Chicken and Egg is the only real rice dish here as Kimchi stew has rice just as a side dish. The Chicken and Egg, as the name suggests, consists of smoked chicken, onsen tamago along with rice which is a pretty good lip-smacking combination. The Noodle Bar has done justice to their Roasted rice cakes in red chili, sesame seeds and onion. Also, the chilled spicy noodles prove to be a variant of its traditional variety with a modern twist at the same time managing to keep the essence of the traditional dish.
The Momofuku Noodle Bar is a great eating place with reasonably good dishes and satisfactory service. Even though the Momofuku Noodle Bar in Toronto has been plagued by its comparison to the New York one, the Noodle bar in Toronto caters to the taste buds quite amicably.
Although the food may seem a bit too expensive than its worth, the location, interior design and ambience more than make up for it. Lunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar in Toronto will truly be a culinary experience worth having.
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