October 30, 2012

Momofuku Noodle Bar (Toronto)

I loved my Momofuku experience in Sydney and New York City, so I was pretty excited for the opening of Toronto's Momofuku complex at the Shangri La Hotel. Compared to the New York City location, the Toronto location was definitely more spacious
To avoid a wait, my friend Mel and l visited the Noodle Bar on a Saturday afternoon, and as expected, there weren't a lot of people. In general, the financial district is a pretty dead area on the weekend
After we ordered, the food came amazingly fast (maybe a little too fast)! We started with their famous pork buns ($10 for 2) with hoisin, scallion and cucumber. These were as delicious as I remember, though I noted that the cut of pork was not as fatty as the one I had in NYC. Nevertheless, this is a must-order at Momofuku, and for a good reason.
The second small plate we shared were the roasted rice cakes ($11) with red chili, onion and sesame. Unfortunately, this was a miss for us. The flavours were good, but the rice cakes were undercooked. Even though I usually prefer a chewier texture with my noodles, this was too "al dente" for both of us. 
Because I've been hearing some pretty mediocre reviews on their ramen, we opted instead to try the chilled spicy noodles ($14) with sichuan sausage, spinach, and cashew. The portion was quite generous, and I probably wouldn't have been able to finish a bowl on my own. I thought that the flavour combination here was quite unique, and it certainly wasn't an ordinary bowl of chilled noodles. The Asian flavours were present, for sure, but the addition of fresh spinach and candied cashews added an interesting twist to the traditional flavours.
On the whole, the Noodle Bar is a great place to grab a quick meal if you're in the area (and if the wait isn't unbearable), but I wouldn't necessarily travel all the way downtown just to eat here. The pork buns were fantastic, of course, and I definitely want to try the chicken bun as well! However, I can understand why some people find the restaurant to be over-hyped. Nevertheless, I still look forward to try Daisho, Momofuku's family-style restaurant on the 3rd floor. 
Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

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