It was a foggy and wet day when I stepped into Momofuku Noodle Bar in Toronto for the first time, and I was craving something warm and comforting — ASAP. Not long after ordering, a helmet-sized bowl was placed in front of me with steaming noodles, neatly placed pork, and a soft-poached egg. My mouth watered as I readied my wooden chopsticks and a too-short spoon to dig in. The noodles in my Momofuku Ramen ($15) were perfectly al dente, with a savoury broth unmatched to any I’d had before and an easily shredded piece of pork that melted together in every spoonful. I came to learn that the pork was local too, from Kunan Farms in Ontario.

Surprisingly, this wasn’t even the best dish of the night. Although the menu has a handful of noodles to choose from — chilled, extremely spicy, and ginger scallion – the always-changing menu offers more than just that. Momofuku has a selection of “snacks,” like steamed buns ($10), roasted rice cakes ($11), and chicken wings ($12), but a changing menu means that just because you enjoyed your meal one day, doesn’t mean it’ll be there the next day.

I chose the beef pastrami reubens ($10), with meat that is brined for seven days, a sweet dressing (like thousand islands), mustard, and pickled mustard seeds inside a C-shaped and ghostly-pale steamed bun, which were the best I’ve ever had… ever. It was thanks to our server’s suggestion that we got a chance to try these, because we were informed that it is a limited-quantity dish that sells out before anything else, so much so that they don’t bother printing it on the menu.

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Toronto’s location is on the ground floor of a three-story glass cube on University Avenue, with Momofuku Nikai, Daishō, Shōtō, and Milk Bar all on subsequent floors. A contemporary and simple decor fills the tall room, with long staple-shaped tables and rectangular stools to match. The restaurant’s concrete floors and wood-layered walls are appealing in their own way, but don’t expect intimate conversation in the bustling space when you’re sharing a full table and bench with other diners.

As far as getting good noodles (and in Toronto, there are plenty to choose from), Momofuku is worth trying. You’re lured in by the noodles, hooked by the steamed buns, and left craving more when you finish your to-go package from the Milk Bar.

Author Erika Simon

Freelancer from Toronto, creator of carryonkitchen.com. Working as a writer, graphic designer, and communications specialist with several Canadian companies and publications. Much love for travel, living naturally, and outside-the-box thinkers.

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