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May 20, 2009 12:02 PM

Anyone know anything about Liberty Noodle?

It is supposed to open at the end of May. My office is in the area.

I have been craving a ramen fix since iNoodle went under. If it's good, I will have a regular lunch spot. Awesome.

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  1. Walked by it today, looks like they are working away! Looking forward to a new addition to the neighbourhood!


      "Having traveled extensively around the world looking for the next concept, we fell in love with the idea of Japanese Ramen Houses and thus set out to create a modern and more westernized version, of this centuries old tradition. "

      Westernized ramen, no thanks....

      11 Replies
      1. re: aser

        Yeah, I didn't read that. They should have substituted the word authentic for westernized.

        I'll definitely give it a try though.

        1. re: acd123

          Just because it's not authentic doesn't mean it won't be good. And at least they're being honest.
          I'll give it a try before writing it off.

          1. re: piccola

            if Liberty Noodle it is anything like Momofuku Noodle Bar, Toronto is in for a treat :D

        2. re: aser

          Hi, my name is Arshad Merali and I am the owner of Liberty Noodle. I wanted to respond to your comment as I think you raise a good point.

          Our intent of the term 'westernized version' was to suggest a more modern decor and approach to service. I'm not sure if you've been to a "typical" Ramen House in Japan, but they tend to be small and crowded. As well, the decor is very traditional and the service, for the most part, is below what we're accustomed to here in Toronto.

          So... what we want to do is focus on the experience as a whole, which obviously has to include food, but also incorporates the design, music, service, people, etc. Our goal is to elevate Ramen to a new level, which is very much along the lines of what we did with sushi when we built Blowfish almost 6 years ago.

          I hope this clarifies things for you and I look forward to seeing you at Liberty Noodle.

          If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 416-588-4100.

          1. re: amerali

            For me, the food is by far and away the most important issue. I would go to a small, noisy and crowded noodle house with delicious ramen before a design focused noodle shop with music, wifi and flavourless ramen.

            I agree that having both would be great. If I have to choose, the food trumps every time.

            I am very much looking forward to trying your place. I have a thing for noodle soup for lunch. Two or three times a week I go to Ossington for pho, Chinatown for wonton noodle, or the not-very-good Japanese place at the head of Atlantic for udon.

            If the broth, noodles and toppings are delicious at Liberty Noodle, you will have a loyal customer. I'll be there regularly for as long as you or I are around.

            Thanks for your post.

            1. re: amerali

              I like what you did for sushi, I hope you can replicate it with ramen!


              1. re: amerali

                For me the food is the most important part. It's a shame you didn't mention it. Your denigration of the atmosphere and service of a "typical" ramen shop shows that you don't really understand what ramen is about anyways. The service you receive at most ramen shops is warm, speedy, and authentic, something that many Toronto restaurants do not get (including your other endeavor). They're supposed to be small and crowded, for very good reasons (which I'll go into below).

                If Liberty Noodle intends to do for ramen what Blowfish did for sushi, I'm not sure there's any reason to doubt what had been said in the thread previously, which is sort of depressing. Unless the "new level" was mediocre quality, mostly inauthentic, sushi for a "specific clientele" at a higher price point than necessary. Please also note that Blowfish is yet another place serving mislabeled food products ("Kobe" beef).

                Understand that, if your product is good, I would be a repeat customer, even though you've shown that you really don't know anything about ramen. In Japan, ramen, like sushi, is something that the chef/owners have dedicated their lives to doing. Despite many of them probably having very high rent due to location, they keep overhead low so they can deliver the best possible product at a reasonable price. They are proud of the food they make, and are extraordinarily dedicated. Now I understand why you assume people will be excited to hear that what should be a $20 bowl of ramen is only $10 at Liberty Noodle, or that you've decided to make ramen healthy, or that people will really love being able to use wifi at your restaurant.

                It may seem like some of us are picky, but that's because we are. This is a board about food, not business concepts. "Elevating," for many of us, means using the best possible ingredients and technique to make the best possible food, something with which you do not appear to be concerned.

                Maybe you should have told us about the food you intend to serve; you know, because this is a board about food.

                1. re: tjr

                  Excellent post. I agree with every word. But I'm still looking forward to trying it.

                  1. re: tjr

                    have you been to one of those wagamama chain restos? looking at the website for liberty noodle i immediately felt as if they were modeling it with wagamama in mind.

                    i happened upon one in amsterdam, not sure if that location would have affected the quality of the product, but after hearing so many good things about them on the american boards i found them not very good and would eat toronto ramen over those bowls in a second.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      Yeah, you're definitely right about that. I've eaten there in London, and it was okay. Their ramen wasn't fantastic, and pretty inauthentic, but some of the other items were pretty good. I'd rather eat there than Spring Rolls, but it isn't really ramen.

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess

                        I've been to a Wagamama in Cork, Ireland...I agree that the concept was pretty good but we found that the food lacked the deep flavours that I think Torontonians would want to see in that style of food. I'm absolutely looking forward to Liberty Noodle opening up though and will definitely check it out.

                2. The original comment has been removed
                  1. The original comment has been removed
                    1. Folks, please keeps posts on this thread limited to known facts about Liberty Noodle. Speculation isn't help anyone eat better. A discussion about the merits of authentic vs. Westernized ramen has been split to the General Chowhounding Topics board, and can be found at this link: