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.
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.
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