- The Entree:
- The Side/Drinks:
- The Atmosphere:
Momofuku has finally landed in Toronto. The famous eatery that started it all in NYC has made it way to the great north. David Chang the Chef and owner of the joint have been running around preparing for the launch and also fielding interviews throughout the opening week. One thing he did mention was that it’s hard to judge a restaurant on its first few days of opening or even on its first week. Sooo, as a heads up, I dropped by with some friends on the 4th day since it’s opening.. let’s see how it fares?
190 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M5H 0A3
We arrived for lunch and was told it would be a 1 hr wait. The reservations are done in a pretty cool way, over an Ipad and once your spot is ready, they text you. With that you’re free to roam around the downtown core while waiting. For us, we were fortunate and the 1 hr wait only turned out to be a 35 min wait. Once you get your text, walk right into the restaurant and let them know that you’ve arrived. The sitting is very much like what you will find at Salad King but in wooden form and even a little less functional. There isn’t a place to put your coats, bags, etc.
Once we got our seats, we started to go over the menu which is very focused. Our group of 5 decided for appetizers to order the Pork Buns ($10) which they’re famous for and the Smoked chicken wings ($12) to try. The Pork Bun is something I quite enjoyed. Perfect fluffiness and the cut of pork was balanced. Not too fatty and not too lean, definitely a good started to the meal. I encourage everyone who is going to try Noodle Bar to try this dish. Its by far their most popular and famous dish for a reason, probably my favourite dish here. The Smoked Chicken Wings was alright. They were seasoned well, but I didn’t feel like there was anything special to them. If I do come back, I probably would find myself trying another variation of the buns, say chicken or shiitake instead of the wings.
Moving over to the mains. The Momofuku ramen ($15) is once again probably one of their more popular choices. The pork once again, perfect no complaints. However the broth, it was a little bland for me and oily without a purpose. The broth is really important and felt it was a let down. The ramen itself was fine. The other dish that I tried was the Chicken and Egg ($15). Which once again I find that the meat portion of the dish was done well. I liked the chicken, juicy and tender which we all know for chicken, can be hard to achieve at times. This dish in particular is suppose to be mixed up like fried rice or bibimbap. However, for me once I broke the egg, it made the whole dish a little too gooey. Unlike the traditional bibimbap where it’s served on a hot stone bowl and cooked the dish, this one doesn’t. In fact, I’m sure if it was, this dish would have been a lot better than what was served. My friend tried out the Ginger Scallion Noodles ($12) as her choice. Though I didn’t get a chance to taste it, she appeared to have enjoyed it. It definitely looks like a healthy and refreshing dish.
Overall, there was a ton I mean a TON of hype surrounding Momofuku. But I believe more of the hype is geared towards Daisho and Shoto than Noodle Bar. Toronto has never been bad for ramen. And competition has been picking up with more and more ramen joints opening up; this doesn’t fare well for Noodle Bar. Like my experience over at Hawker Bar, I felt the appetizers were stronger than the mains. I enjoyed the Pork Buns. It’s simplistic but comes together nicely and I would say probably was the dish I enjoyed most. However, it is priced at $10 for 2 so a little expensive just for a bite or two. The food isn’t terrible like what many others have been saying, but by no means is it wonderful. And its price for ramen isn’t the best, but I do have to say I trust that the quality of ingredients used is better than most. Toronto has choices, and it’s showing Noodle Bar first hand you have got to bring your A game to maintain that hype.
The Damage: $117.52 for all 5 after tax