finally checking out the noodle-hype

So much hype.  I had to check it out.  Since I’m not big fan of no-reservations-wait-in-the-snow lunches I was happy to find Momofuku Noodle Bar to be a bit on the quiet side a few days into the new year.  A friend of mine (and fellow asian-food snob) is off to Japan for a few months for work.  He will be missed, so this seemed like a great opportunity for a good-bye lunch.  Although I’m sure he will eat many bowls of better ramen in Japan.

I’ll first comment on the space, in the new Shangri-la hotel, the noodle bar on the main floor is very nicely designed.  Much fancier than the other ramen joints I’ve been to around town.  We actually got seated on the second floor with a view of the main restaurant.

momofuku menu slushie

 

Since it was my first time I decided to stick with the Momofuku Ramen, at $15 it’s pretty pricey but I figured I should give it a try.  We also decided to share an order of the Pork Buns ($10).  The pork buns were very good, the “bun” was very fresh and soft, and I thought the hoisin sauce and cucumber were a nice addition to the pork.  These seem to be a popular choice based on social media and other reviews and I can see why.  The ramen was good.  I’m not sure it was great.  The noodles were nice, very fresh and for me, the highlight of the dish.  I really liked the cabbage, pork shoulder and fish cake in the soup, but the pork belly didn’t have any flavour and the broth wasn’t hot enough to cook the egg.   I also found the broth to be a bit on the heavy, smoky sauce they had piled in the middle of the soup was a bit overpowering for my taste.

momofuku pork buns and ramen

 

Overall I enjoyed the restaurant, the food is good, the atmosphere is fun and the service we had was good (despite some other reviews I’ve read).  I will go back and probably check out some of the other dishes.  The prices are high, but that’s what I would expect in that location.  I think it was worth it for a nice lunch out.

Momofuku Noodle Bar,  190 University Ave, ground floor.  

Food 4/5     Service 4/5     Value 3/5     

Overall Rating 4/5

 

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A sweet neighborhood treat

I was up early to watch a disappointing hockey game so thought I would start to catch up on some posts. This will be a quick one since its not really a restaurant but more of a snack place.

My neighborhood is pretty light on venues for my blog, so when The Waffle Bar opened up I was curious. For several months they didn’t actually sell waffles to the public, which seemed unfair since you could see and smell everything just walking by. So you can imagine our excitement when we saw they had opened a retail storefront one Saturday morning as we were walking home from grabbing a coffee.

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The menu is limited, so we ordered the waffle with berry fusion ($4.50). The waffle isn’t terribly big but more filling than you would expect. The ‘berry fusion’ is like a chunky jam that goes nicely with the crispy-on-the-outside, soft in the middle. I’m definitely not a waffle expert, but apparently these are Leige-style waffles, not the Belgian ones which are more common around the city. Whatever you call them, they were yummy! A great treat on a fall morning. If you happen to be in the neighborhood it’s worth checking out. And if not, I believe they do sell packages of pre-made waffles at other places around the city. My only criticisms really have nothing to do with the food. The teen working that morning seemed like there were a million places he would rather be, and let’s be honest, for anyone who cooks its pretty clear that 5 bucks is pretty steep. They do sell packages or pre-made waffles at the store for $8.50. That being said, on a lazy Saturday morning, I’ll probably do it again.

The Waffle Bar
281 Scarborough Road (647) 748-9235

Food 4/5 Service 2/5 Value 3/5

Overall Rating 3/5