Location: 190 University Avenue, Toronto
I don’t really have a favourite restaurant in the city — I have a tendency to want to try something new every time I eat out, so it’s rare that I’ll go to the same place more than a couple of times.
So I guess Momofuku Noodle Bar is one of my favourite restaurants by default, because I’ve been there several times, and it’s consistently very good.
On this particular visit I tried a couple of their buns — chicken burger and cod cake — and both were quite tasty. The chicken burger, which featured a generous spread of pepper hummus, was the more interesting of the two. But the crispy, tasty cod was quite good as well.
I also tried the onigiri, and with its crispy fried bottom layer of nori, it was certainly an interesting take on the ubiquitous Japanese snack. But it was a little bit bland, and probably not something I’d order again.
The Jaja noodles, which the menu describes as “bacon, black bean, cabbage, pickle,” was good, but it was another item I probably wouldn’t get again. It had a meaty, umami-filled flavour, but it felt one-note. It really needed a bit more vibrancy to round out its porky richness (it probably didn’t help that it reminded me a lot of a dish I had in Malaysia called chili pan mee that was superior in every regard).
Location: 4120 Dixie Road, Mississauga
I have a very, very hard time saying no to a porchetta sandwich. So when I found myself at this particular plaza and saw that there was a new porchetta-based restaurant? Well, I wasn’t planning on eating lunch, but I guess I am now.
The menu is mostly based around porchetta and rotisserie chicken. I got the porchetta sandwich, which comes topped with arugula, caramelized onions, garlic aoili, and mustard.
The obvious comparison is Porchetta & Co., and no, it’s not as good as that. The pork — while tender and tasty — was underseasoned, and there was zero crackling in my sandwich.
I won’t say that a porchetta sandwich is pointless without crackling, but come on. Crackling. I need it.
It probably doesn’t help that the last porchetta sandwich I ate was this one in Italy, and literally every other porchetta sandwich is garbage compared to that. It’s an unfair comparison, but I couldn’t help it.
Still, it was a tasty sandwich, and a pretty decent deal at about ten bucks with tax (they absolutely cram the sandwich with porchetta — I’d say it’s double if not triple the amount they give you at Porchetta & Co.). I’d probably ask for it without the caramelized onions next time; they were tasty and perfectly cooked, but their sweetness overwhelmed the subtly-spiced pork.