Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Momofuku Noodle Bar

David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar (@momofuku) finally open in Toronto last month with much anticipation but since the opening was only announced an hour or so before their lunch opening, there wasn't a lineup that day. I have never tried their NYC location and I really got nothing to compare to but since we were craving for some ramen that day, we headed over for dinner on their opening night.

David Chang himself warned and ask not to judge a restaurant on it's first week of opening so I was bombarded by people telling me that when I mention on twitter that I didn't like it at all (>_<)
I understand that there's kinks to work out etc when a restaurant first open but when none of the components are good, it's BAD....

So it's up to you if you should disregard my comments and just look at the pictures... 
but let's just say, I haven't heard one good thing from friends since then and it's been more than one month since they open

 I personally found the seating a tad uncomfortable and non functional at all with nowhere to put your bag or coat (no idea how this will work for winter where everyone would have bigger coats)

 Sat where all the action was ;)

very simple and short menu which should have been a good sign

Sake  (4oz $11 to $14)
 Wish it was served in a small bottle and served with a small sake cup like all other places, for a quick dinner like this, you can easily share this among two people.

Slushies - Seven Spice Sour (4oz/small $5)
~ Sake, Togarashi, Yuzu, Lime 
Love the spiciness of the Togarashi (Japanese chili powder mix) and the tart yuzu and lime with the heavy amount of sake ♥

What I liked about the drink menu is that all the wine, 3 out of 4 beers and half the sake are local Ontario products.

Pork Bun ($10 for 2)
~ with hoisin, scallion, cucumber
 It was rather plain/bland in my opinion, the pork belly was re-seared which make it rather dry and it tasted like there wasn't much seasoning / taste except for a bit of salt and with only a touch of hoisin sauce, I find the whole thing bland... as if something was missing. Definetly not a melt in your mouth experience.
My personal favorite pork bun in t.o are from Swish by Han (post here) and Banh Mi Boys

I have to say that the dishes came almost all at once and being a Chinese who is use to this style of serving, I still didn't like it... the broth not being served piping hot, by the time we finish the bun and dig in the ramen, it was not hot enough (ramen must be serve/eaten hot)

Momofuku Ramen $14
 ~ pork belly & shoulder, fish cake, egg
Both noodle and broth was weak, the egg was just a plain soft boil egg, the pork belly was the same as the bun which is on the dry side and under seasoned, the best part was probably the pulled pork shoulder; then last but not least the kimchi was a disaster which gives you a weird after taste. 
 The portion was definitely on the small size for the price tag, had better experience with the nice frozen varieties from supermarket :(

 Ginger Scallion Noodles $12
~ shiitake, cucumber, cabbage
Originally both of us wanted to get the Momofuku Ramen but for this blog sake, we ordered something else to try and that's the best decision of the day.
This is what Chinese call "mix-noodle" where there's no broth and we actually like this one better.
 It was refreshing with a lot of ingredients on top but it still doesn't justified the price tag since you can get something similar at Chinese restaurant for $5 and all in all, it's nothing special or wow.

Roasted Rice Cakes $11
~ red chili, onion, sesame
We were both rather surprise when this arrived cause it's just an incredible small portion for $11 given that there wasn't any expensive ingredient involve. This was really well done but it's also really well done at a lot of Korean restaurants where you get these as free side dishes or a rather large portion for the same price.

 Verdict :
Didn't live up to all the hype and my Ramen craving was def not satisfied (>_<)
I don't think I'll ever go back and am also reluctant to got try out the other 2 restaurants
 (daisho & shoto)
Although the wait staff were great, we can't help but felt rush since we were out of the door within 40 minutes

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh man, haha. Not surprised at your review though. And the bowl of ramen DOES look small for $14. I love the decor/walls!

    1. i know, love the wall and how you can see the bottom of the stair and look up to the upper floor... but the seating are really not that comfy

  2. For the place and décor, I expect it is going to be expensive. But saying that doesn’t mean the bowl is so small that most likely I have to order 2 for my lunch. I wanted to try this one out. With your comment, I have a second thought!

    1. I would say, one bowl wouldn't be enough for most guys :(
      Def not worth, go to Sansotei or Kinton instead