[Asian] Momofuku Noodle Bar

Restaurant: Momofuku Noodle Bar
Location: 190 University Avenue, Toronto ON M5H 0A3
Price Range: $$
*Note: This review is only for Toronto Momofuku Noodle Bar on the first floor. It does not reflect the food and services of the second (Nikai) and third floor (Daisho).

I remember when Momofuku opened its first Toronto location in 2012, there was a lot of hype which resulted in long lineups. Nonetheless, one day I decided to try the restaurant with my friend as we were quite hungry before having tea time at the Shangri-la Hotel. Please note, I have been to Momofuku several times and this review was from Feb 2015, so the menu might have changed since :).

Inside Momofuku Noodle Bar
Inside Momofuku Noodle Bar

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As you can see, Momofuku has an open-concept and the restaurant was spacious. They have an open kitchen and I have sat and watched the chef make our food before, a very interesting and exciting sight for me to see! That being said, I find it quite annoying that they don’t have enough space to put jackets or bags anywhere. Since the restaurant doesn’t offer coat check, we have to hang our big winter coats on the coat rack near the front door, which means your jackets can get stolen, customer beware!

Menu
Menu

The appetizers and desserts are still the same from my last visit in summer, except for the noodles dishes. I’m not sure how often they change the menu, but if I remember correctly the only new noodle dish is the Winter Ramen.

Pork Buns - hoisin, scallion, cucumber - $10
Pork Buns – hoisin, scallion, cucumber – $10

I love the pork buns in Momofuku, but it’s not something that I would come back for just to have. I have had better at other places with better price point, like Banh Mi boys, and for $10, these didn’t have enough cucumber or scallion. I wish it would have had something pickled to add some tart to the buns and balance the flavour out. In any case, these were delicious and the pork just melt in your mouth, mhmm so good :D.

Winter Ramen - smoked chicken, squash, kale, egg - $15
Winter Ramen – smoked chicken, squash, kale, egg – $15

To be honest I hate having ramen in Momofuku. I don’t understand how the ramen broth is always lukewarm. When I visited in summer, the broth and the ingredients themselves were stone cold. I watched the chefs pre-make the egg and they just openly left them on the kitchen counter, until someone order, they just dropped the egg in the soup (no reheat or anything).

Anyways… although this time they improved a bit with the broth, it was still lukewarm. The broth lacked flavor and I didn’t taste the kale at all. That small yellow lump in the center is the squash and when mixed with the broth, the entire dish turned too sweet so I don’t understand why they felt the need to add squash onto the dish? Also, I’m surprised the egg was poached, hence it had a very runny egg yolk, which is completely different from a traditional Japanese ramen… Normally the egg should be soft-boiled, with the egg white just set and an almost runny egg yolk. The best part of the dish is perhaps the chicken. It was cooked perfectly and the sauce seemed to be a teriyaki sauce? Very delicious and flavorful.

Ginger Scallion Noodle - shiitake, cucumber, cabbage - $13
Ginger Scallion Noodle – shiitake, cucumber, cabbage – $13

This was my friend’s dish and she liked it. I have had it before but I didn’t think it was anything special for $13…

Milk bar soft serve. Left: Twist of Cereal Milk - $5.25. Right: Twist of Cereal Milk and Fried Apple Pie - $8
Milk bar soft serve. Left: Twist of Cereal Milk – $5.25. Right: Twist of Cereal Milk and Fried Apple Pie – $8

Looking at the picture, it’s quite impossible to differentiate the flavors between these two soft serves. There is an option to add the corn flakes and I’m thinking of trying that next time. My friend and I both enjoyed this, but I prefer the cereal milk instead of the fried apple pie. The fried apple pie was overly sweet whereas the cereal milk was done just right. I remember there was a slight salty taste to the cereal milk soft serve, it was really unique and overall, delicious!

While I didn’t enjoy my experience at the Noodle Bar, I would definitely come back just for the soft serve, and when I’m swimming in cash, I will go to Daisho :p. The service here was bad. Our servers didn’t bother to pay attention to us, and without asking, she gave us the bill before our dessert even arrived! Just to be clear, this review only reflect the Toronto location, I heard the NYC location is more superior so when I visit NYC, this place is on my list!

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