In a bit of a jet setting month, I went from Victoria to Vegas to Athens to Ontario. I’m not complaining, but it is a bit exhausting just thinking back to it! With stops back to Calgary in between, it all ended up becoming a bit of a goodbye tour before I headed off to Holland.
So, with home being southern Ontario, it was a necessity that I spend some quality time there before the voyage anyway. Typically, I’ll head straight to Sarnia, throw on a pair of sweat pants, and spend the whole time doing nothing but eating bridge fries, playing Settlers of Catan, and bonding over whatever is knew on Netflix that month. You know, keeping it casual.
But this time, it was a bit different.
My brother & his lady moved to Toronto a little over a year ago, and it was well past time for me to pay a visit. And, with just over three days to spare, it was the perfect vacation before my vacation.
Landing that evening, I was ready to fill my Instagram with pictures of #The6ix.
And my bro, knowing me quite well, knew that this started with a good meal.
So, we dropped off my luggage, changed into some non-airplane clothes, and headed to where any good foodie would stop: Momofuku.
Seated next to the plush Shangri-La Hotel, Momofuku has three levels – with five different mini-restaurants. You’ve got the noodle bar on the ground level, the Milk Bar in the middle, Nikai on the second floor, and the upscale Daisho and Shoto on top. Each floor is like a restaurant, inside of a restaurant. Inception.
We parked it at Nikai, which offers gems from both up and down stairs, and settled in for a good meal.
Starting, with the chilled spicy noodle bowl.
The dish came filled with pork shoulder, loaded with a combination of cashews and peanuts, and poured into a bed of spinach. Tossed in an asian sauce, the chilled ramen allowed the other flavours to speak for themselves, while adding substance to the dish.
Originally we were a bit worried about it being too spicy; so, since they do mods, we ordered an extra side of ramen to downplay any heat.
We quickly tossed it in, stirred it all up, and chowed down. The dish was perfectly seasoned, and combined not just sweet & salty, but crunchy & soft. The caramelized bits of nuts were my favourite, and I scooped up as many as I could manage before they were all gone.
In fact, it wasn’t an overly spicy dish, so I would say you’re safe with the regular portion even if your taste buds are on the weaker side of things. But, it was nice to have an extra helping of ramen, especially since we were planning on sharing between the two of us.
Second, we ordered roasted rice cakes – which came tossed in red chilli, onions, and sesame.
These bad boys were hot as hell, and a bit too much for me to manage.
Somewhere between stuffing ourselves with ramen and photographing it all, out came our BBQ pork buns.
Juicy, tender meat in a smoky sauce, sandwiched between soft white sticky buns, topped with aioli and crunchy pickles. A favourite of the night, for sure. The warm buns melted into the meat, while the pickles and aioli added a bit of texture and bite.
Everything is sharing style, so we passed the bowls around, taking scoops as warranted. Food comes out as it’s ready, so if you’re starving, be sure to order a few to get you started.
When dessert came around, we passed from the menu in favour of heading to the Milk Bar.
Which was…the best decision ever.
Inside the chilled room are shelves of some of the most coveted treats in the city.
They’ve got your baked goodies like cakes, cookies, squares, and other bites. The most intriguing, being the crack pie.
But they’ve also got a load of truffles – or what are really just balls of raw cookie dough. Get the birthday cake ones, you’ll thank me for bringing them into your life.
But if none of this catches your eye, don’t worry, there’s a soft serve bar downstairs.
It’s no wonder this place is so popular, but you’ll have to go test it out for yourself. Reservations are recommended – Check out their list of locations worldwide!