Location: 190 University Avenue, Toronto
The pumpkin ramen from Momofuku Noodle Bar is extremely untraditional, and extremely delicious.
From the menu: “kanpyo, cheese, scallion pesto.”
An aside: I’m not sure if I’ve ranted about this before, but menu descriptions that consist solely of a dry recital of ingredients fills me with an unreasonable amount of rage. Admittedly it’s not a huge issue in this case — it’s ramen, so you know that the dish is, at its core, soup with noodles in it. But these types of descriptions almost always tell you absolutely nothing about what the dish is going to be. I know that it’s the way that all the young and hip restaurants are doing it, but if all the young and hip restaurants were jumping off a cliff, would you do that too??
I digress. Shoddy menu description notwithstanding, it’s a tasty dish. I’m guessing the pumpkin is blended right into the soup, which is satisfyingly rich and creamy. And the add-ons are great; in particular, the crispy breadcrumbs compliment the ramen quite well. Or at least I think they’re breadcrumbs? Maybe I should check the menu to see what they are oh wait I can’t.
Whatever they are, they’re nicely seasoned and add some crispy contrast to the bowl.
Everything else works just as well, from the zippy pesto to the gooey cheese. And the kanpyo (a traditional Japanese ingredient made from a type of gourd) brings some meaty substance.
The noodles are slightly underseasoned and bland, but are otherwise perfectly firm and chewy. It’s an odd bowl of ramen, but it’s very good.
I tried the Citrus Pie for dessert, which the menu very helpfully describes as “yuzu, lemon, lime.” It’s basically a lemon meringue pie.
It’s tasty enough; the desserts here are generally not on the level of the savoury dishes, and this was no exception. The creamy, citrus-packed filling was actually very good, with just the right amount of tartness that doesn’t overwhelm. But the crust was a bit on the soggy side, and the meringue was unpleasantly grainy.