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momofuku toronto

k
Kelly66 Aug 30, 2012 12:57 PM

i've heard it was originally slated to open sept/12, but have heard no updates. anybody got a clue?
thanks

  1. Kagemusha Aug 30, 2012 02:27 PM

    Nope.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846078

    11 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha
      n
      normanwolf Aug 30, 2012 08:01 PM

      There was an article in The Star recently and it says they're hoping to open within the month.

      http://www.thestar.com/living/article...

      1. re: normanwolf
        Kagemusha Aug 31, 2012 06:22 AM

        Missing TIFF doesn't exactly scream "clued in." With all the putzing around to date, is Chang saying he's scaling things back? Just asking...

        1. re: Cam D
          ingloriouseater Aug 31, 2012 07:44 AM

          tiff business is annual at best...if he is going to succeed he will have to encourage and impress the locals....skipping it be ready is probably smart.

          1. re: ingloriouseater
            Kagemusha Aug 31, 2012 08:40 AM

            Maybe but the buzz would be bankable. Can't be helped given the slo-mo progress to date. He has to transplant the NYC quality and price point to win here. Goof up either and he's done.

            1. re: Kagemusha
              ingloriouseater Aug 31, 2012 08:58 AM

              every new restaurant that opens here has buzz, he will be busy regardless of tiff, there is no magical tiff bump-

              the initial quality will be there but will probably fade as does his presence as to price point..many t.o. restos are more expensive than new york.

              i predict he will be gone when the lease expires, scarpetta and bolud as well.

              1. re: ingloriouseater
                j
                JennaBean Aug 31, 2012 09:09 AM

                I really hope not. I'm really hoping we get at least one quality fine dining spot out of the four. This city is lacking in that department IMO.

                1. re: ingloriouseater
                  Kagemusha Aug 31, 2012 12:18 PM

                  TO ain't NYC. Despite the old Hogtown herd of independent minds who'll line up for anything, he'll be done quick if quality and price are out of whack. He should have been up and running a few months back.

                  1. re: Kagemusha
                    ingloriouseater Sep 3, 2012 06:55 AM

                    they are doing a bunch of training but i wonder how the folks will enjoy sitting on wooden box without a back and paying $20 for noodle soup

                2. re: Kagemusha
                  j
                  JennaBean Aug 31, 2012 09:05 AM

                  Nah I don't think he has to worry about the buzz. TIFF or not this place will be packed for the first few months at the very least. The proof will be how the restos are doing in time for the next TIFF.

                  1. re: JennaBean
                    d
                    dubchild Sep 3, 2012 07:34 AM

                    Some recent American transplants, namely Scarpetta and the Ritz, have been disappointing. We could look at Momofuku Australia to see how successful he is at bringing his concept to another city, but Scarpetta and the Ritz have both been successful in other cities. We could point to Matt Blodin being brought on board as chef as a positive sign, but Scarpetta brought their chef de cuisine from NYC. My point is that induction offers no guarantees, but that goes both ways. We can speculate all we want, no one has that magic crystal ball. But like others have said, I also hope this works out. The only other restaurants, I can think of, which offers a tasting menu in an intimate setting are Eigensinn Farm and Hashimoto. Both are expensive and not conveniently located, another choice would be welcome.

                    1. re: dubchild
                      b
                      bytepusher Sep 4, 2012 09:37 AM

                      Just to be clear, they have hired Matt (who is a talented chef but a utter jerk) but they are also moving two chefs from NYC.

                      There are going to be 4 rooms, each operating under a different name with a different vibe, in loose terms from what I understand you can think of them as:
                      - Noodle bar
                      - Ssam bar or Ma Peche
                      - Booker and Dax (but bigger and loungier)
                      - Ko

        2. n
          Nyleve Sep 4, 2012 07:06 AM

          They are hiring servers right now.

          1. w
            wontonfm Sep 5, 2012 05:30 PM

            They were originally gunning for a TIFF-timed opening. When the first announced the restaurants there was an email address where you could send your TIFF-related inquiries. I didn't read the article but they may be able to do a soft opening for a portion of TIFF. Didn't LUMA do something like that?

            WON
            http://whatsonmyplate.net

            1 Reply
            1. re: wontonfm
              d
              disgusti Sep 13, 2012 09:29 AM

              they did f&f last night and some of my f&f went. initial reports point to food being "good" but the pork buns are "overrated". these are direct quotes so don't jump on me, i dunno, i didn't go. but yeah, they should be up and running soon.

            2. p
              peppermint pate Sep 19, 2012 07:23 AM

              Start your engines kids - momofuku noodle bar is opening today and they just started taking online rezzies for Shoto (the prix fixe) - opening Saturday!! (happy dance)

              8 Replies
              1. re: peppermint pate
                j
                JennaBean Sep 19, 2012 07:42 AM

                I keep trying to get on the site to book and it won't load!

                1. re: JennaBean
                  p
                  peppermint pate Sep 19, 2012 07:48 AM

                  I'm going to guess there are a "few" other people trying to book a reservation so the system is likely overloaded...

                  No reservations for the noodle bar.

                  1. re: peppermint pate
                    j
                    JennaBean Sep 19, 2012 07:52 AM

                    I finally got on. They only take reservation up to Oct 2 for Shoto and I want one for the 13 so I will have to wait. Le sigh.

                    1. re: JennaBean
                      g
                      ggom1 Sep 19, 2012 08:34 AM

                      The entire site is down for me - is it the same cost as Ko? Or are they doing dinner only?

                      1. re: ggom1
                        j
                        JennaBean Sep 19, 2012 09:32 AM

                        Dinner only. I have no idea the cost but I'm going to check it out for sure if I can ever get a reso. :-)

                        1. re: JennaBean
                          p
                          peppermint pate Sep 19, 2012 09:34 AM

                          I think (not sure) it's around $150/person.

                          1. re: peppermint pate
                            g
                            ggom1 Sep 19, 2012 10:38 AM

                            Yes I was eventually able to see the site - $150/person :) And there were lots of reservations when I looked a bit earlier today.

                            1. re: ggom1
                              j
                              JennaBean Sep 19, 2012 12:22 PM

                              I couldn't find one for after Oct. 2. That was the last day I could find.

              2. m
                mviger Sep 19, 2012 08:00 AM

                IT OPENS TODAY 11-11pm!

                4 Replies
                1. re: mviger
                  c
                  canmark Sep 19, 2012 08:29 AM

                  The Star is reporting on the Momofuku Noodle Bar opening today:
                  http://www.thestar.com/living/food/article/1259036--momofuku-noodle-bar-opening-today

                  One of their reporters is tweeting his Momofuku experiences: https://twitter.com/rajumudhar

                  1. re: mviger
                    k
                    Kelly66 Sep 19, 2012 08:33 AM

                    anybody in line yet?
                    kind of disappointed he's opened -as i was jockeying for a f & f night invite

                    1. re: Kelly66
                      g
                      ggom1 Sep 19, 2012 08:39 AM

                      My friend is there and got interviewed by the Star lol. I went for F&F to Noodle Bar, I didn't notice much difference between it and the one in NYC.

                      1. re: ggom1
                        s
                        Skeets Sep 19, 2012 01:32 PM

                        I agree.

                        Just came back from lunch and the pork buns and the ginger scallion noodles were the same quality as I had the many times I'd stop into the East Village spot on my way home from work in NYC. The ramen a woman next to me had smelt the same, and even the napkin dispensers and sirracha squeeze bottles were the same as NYC.

                        The worst part was the crowd. At lunch the place was filled with too many people taking pictures of their food and tweeting. Chill out guys; I know you've got a food blog to update but it's just noodles.

                  2. y
                    ylsf Sep 19, 2012 09:57 AM

                    Curious, does anyone know if the restaurants were open for "events" during TIFF? It seemed like there were activity in the areas I could see through the window but I didn't looked closely, seemed like a "restaurant" area of sorts.

                    1. s
                      Strongbad789 Sep 19, 2012 11:27 AM

                      Just went for lunch. My friend and I shared the ramen, the pork buns, the chilled spicy noodles, and the smoked chicken wings.

                      The good: the pork buns were very tasty and the chilled spicy noodles were great (I'd get them again). The less good: the ramen was...okay. The various ingredients in it were good (although a bit overcooked - except for the egg which was nicely done), but I wasn't a huge fan of the broth. I assume it was pork, but it tasted almost beefy. Frankly, I've preferred the ramen I've had at a number of other places in Toronto...maybe I'm just not a fan of momofuku's version. Also not so great: the smoked chicken wings. Nice chili spice, but I didn't taste any smokiness. Tasted just like the regular sweet-glazed wings you can get at any number of places.

                      Anyway...it's the first day, so hard to fully judge I suppose (although I think that 'chain' restaurants like momofuku should at least have the food nailed down for opening day). I do want to try out some of the other menu items, but I didn't have anything today that makes me want to rush back any time soon (especially considering the fact that it will likely be a lot busier over the next few weeks...today we just walked in at 1pm and got a seat right away).

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Strongbad789
                        m
                        Michael N Sep 19, 2012 11:51 AM

                        What was the pricing like (I don't see any prices on the website)?

                        1. re: Michael N
                          s
                          Strongbad789 Sep 19, 2012 12:31 PM

                          Yeah the lack of prices on the website is a bit annoying. Our bill came to $72 for the two of us, for everything I mentioned plus a san pellegrino and a beer. Frankly I don't remember the exact prices of everything, but this pic posted by the Star reporter tweeting there today lists some of the prices:

                          https://twitter.com/#!/rajumudhar/med...

                          1. re: Strongbad789
                            f
                            flonie Sep 19, 2012 07:38 PM

                            Why is there 22% worth of tax on that receipt ?I am very confused. It doesn't seem like alcohol was purchased. What is this, tax on top of tax because your eating in a fancy place?

                            1. re: flonie
                              s
                              Strongbad789 Sep 19, 2012 08:07 PM

                              It actually adds up to the correct 13% if you work it through ($65 + 13% = $73.45). For no good reason they separate it out into three separate lines.

                              1. re: Strongbad789
                                p
                                PhilH Sep 19, 2012 09:04 PM

                                Looks like that last item was alcohol. Probably just a holdover from GST + PST times (note the 5%, 8% split)

                          2. re: Michael N
                            l
                            LTL Sep 19, 2012 12:39 PM

                            Prices, although not specific, are listed here: http://bit.ly/T59xVQ

                            I too was not a huge fan of the ramen when I tried it in NYC but I will give it another shot.

                            1. re: LTL
                              Matt H Sep 20, 2012 04:57 AM

                              Personally the Noodle Bar is the least interesting of his restaurants IMO. Other than the Fried Chicken dinner which is awesome most of the Ramen dishes are just pretty good. The Pork buns you can get at other locations, so I am not counting that as Noodle Bar specific. I do love Saam Bar though, is that concept included in the project?

                              Are they offering the Fried Chicken meal at the TO location? I did not notice it on the menu.

                              1. re: Matt H
                                g
                                ggom1 Sep 20, 2012 09:46 AM

                                I was looking for the chicken dinner too; I haven't heard anything about them offering it here. But maybe eventually? Because the Noodle Bar menu here is also missing the tamales.

                                1. re: ggom1
                                  Matt H Sep 20, 2012 07:21 PM

                                  Apparently the 3rd restaurant to open will be a large format theme. Id guess the Fried Chicken dinner would be included there. The family style dinners is where momofuku really shines, my best meals have always been those.

                          3. re: Strongbad789
                            l
                            LiMe_83 Sep 20, 2012 09:34 AM

                            I also had the Chilled spicy noodles. The flavour was nice ,but did you find the sausage to be gritty? It made for an bit of an odd.. sound when chewing. Or is this the way the sichuan sausage is supposed to be? I've never had it before. Just curious

                            1. re: LiMe_83
                              s
                              Strongbad789 Sep 21, 2012 05:46 AM

                              I actually only had a taste of the chilled noodles (they were my friend's order), and I don't remember having any sausage issues in the part I tried (actually, I don't really remember the sausage at all, so it's possible that I didn't get any).

                          4. j
                            juliewong Sep 19, 2012 06:05 PM

                            Hubby and I went tonight. Ramen was good but the broth didn't have much flavour and needed to be hotter temperature wise. The egg was perfectly done but I can do that at home. Chicken wings were just ok and $7 for the kimchi jar which tasted young. $85 for a noodle dinner was not worth it however the hotel is beautiful and nice to experience considering we had purchased a unit there but then chose to buy somewhere else. Might go back to try the pork buns which looked good.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: juliewong
                              s
                              szw Sep 19, 2012 07:02 PM

                              It was just okay, not great. I much prefer the pork buns at snack bar.

                            2. d
                              dubchild Sep 20, 2012 05:53 AM

                              The consensus I'm seeing is that it is ok but nothing special, a view I share. I was originally heading to Banh Mi Boys and decided to drop in on a whim. I had the pork buns and the ginger scallion noodles, along with a beer and the total was about $33.00 before tip. The bun itself was very good, it was neither gummy, tough, or dried out. The most satisfying bites were those with hoisin. For the dish to be truly stellar, the pork should have been the star component. The ginger scallion noodles had a good amount of ingredients and every bite was satisfying, but the dish lacked aroma and, oddly, a scallion punch. I should mention I didn't add sriracha to either dish. I did find everything balanced, properly seasoned and I like that there were no cheap tricks like over using sauce or making things sweet.
                              I've already heard comments along the lines that it's only noodles, it's not meant to be life changing. I think we have all had at some point very simple food which has altered our view of that food and which we hold as the benchmark which others should strive towards. Given the reputation and hype around this opening, this is what I was hoping for. What I see instead is a fairly price noodle house with good food, a cool space which plays classic rock, and a downtown location. It's ok, just not the best. I'm looking forward to trying Shoto.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: dubchild
                                j
                                jayseeca Sep 20, 2012 06:30 AM

                                Went yesterday and agree with most. I think the food is solid and tasty . It's not mind blowing, but with so much hype around the momo name I think it's tough to live up to.

                                The one thing I would expect at that price and from momofuku is for everything to be cooked perfectly. For us the wings, pork belly in the buns, and a few chunks of pork in our kimchee stew could've done with less cooking time as we found it a little dry. Also, I thought there was too much hoisin in the buns.

                                Otherwise good flavours, good dishes.

                                1. re: jayseeca
                                  d
                                  dubchild Sep 20, 2012 07:05 AM

                                  I didn't find too much hoisin, so either we see things differently or there are consistency issues.

                                  1. re: dubchild
                                    s
                                    Strongbad789 Sep 20, 2012 08:10 AM

                                    I also felt that the buns could have used more hoisin.

                                    1. re: Strongbad789
                                      j
                                      jayseeca Sep 20, 2012 12:32 PM

                                      I'm not big on sweet sauces, but I think it's probably inconsistency because when I was eating it there was hoisin oozing out from the open end of the bao.

                                      1. re: jayseeca
                                        d
                                        dubchild Sep 20, 2012 07:49 PM

                                        Mine was definitely not oozing out. To repeat what has been said a million times, it isn't fair to review a restaurant on it's opening day. I'm sure they work out the inconsistency, but my gut feeling is that, at least this part of the operation, is not a diamond in the rough.

                              2. MeXx Sep 20, 2012 07:16 AM

                                So looks like just go there for a snack on your way to dinner?

                                1. grandgourmand Sep 20, 2012 11:59 AM

                                  Anyone experience any lineup issues? I was at the Shangri-La for a conference yesterday at around noon and went by just to check it out and they had seating capacity. Planning on going tomorrow (yes, despite the blah reviews...i'm not paying). hopefully no wait issues at 11:30.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: grandgourmand
                                    d
                                    dubchild Sep 20, 2012 12:23 PM

                                    The press is out that they are open. Unfortunately your guess is as good as any.

                                    1. re: grandgourmand
                                      p
                                      PhilH Sep 20, 2012 06:23 PM

                                      I went tonight with 2 other friends. Got there at 7. Told an hour and a half wait. Got the text to come back 40 minutes after that.

                                      We all ordered the momofuku ramen and I shared the pork buns with a friend. Pricing relative to the area is fine I guess. The ramen was filling and good but not really $14 worth of great or anything. I'd rather walk up a few blocks and go to Sansotei for their tonkotsu (the pork belly is better at Sansotei too).

                                      1. re: PhilH
                                        f
                                        flonie Sep 20, 2012 07:57 PM

                                        Maybe it's just me but I didn't think this place was anything special. We got there at 6:30 and were told it was an hour wait, we got the text when we were at King and Peter St and by the time we ran back our reservation had expired two minutes so we had to wait again.

                                        Be warned, when you go they take your name and cell number. They'll send you a text when your table is "almost" ready. You have ten minutes to get to teh restaurant before your reservation is given to someone else. Once you arrive and say who you are, they buzz you in (regular people off the street cannot just come in).

                                        When you get inside, you have to wait again for your table to be ready. Be warned it can be a while before they seat you depending on when the previous table leaves. If you are claustrophobic, stay away from here!

                                        We were squished into a small area for three people. I can't imagine coming here in the winter time when people have coats, where would you put it? If you have a backpack, or even shopping, don't even entertain coming here because there's no where to put it.

                                        Overall, I found the service from the food runners to be better than the servers. The food wasn't anything special.

                                        The momofuku Ramen was ok but nothing beats my Sapporo Ichiban instant noodles. We ordered the pork and chicken buns and at $10 for two small ones it's not worth it. If I want a pork bun I'll go over to Banh Mi boys, it's cheaper and more filling and tastier.

                                        They don't make special requests. I wanted to get the hoisin sauce on the side for the chicken buns and the server seemed stunned. She wasn't sure if it was allowed, and asked if it was an allergy. When I told her I'm picky with sauces, she had to ask what I wanted if they couldn't put it on the side (it's not a big deal, geez). I told her I'd want just a bit, and when it arrived it was too much sauce for my liking.

                                        We ordered the chicken and egg, thinking they only served ramen, so you can imagine how stunned we were when it came with rice. The chicken tastes good but the rice tasted like something from Ho Su's chicken terriyaki take out, or the chicken terriyaki from T&T.

                                        Smoked chicken wings were good and spicy but at $13 for something like eight, that's $$.

                                        My eyes bulged when the bill came and the mini bottle of coke was $4!!!! I saw some lady with a full sized can of diet coke with ice, ours just came in that glass bottle. I should have kept it as a momento. $4 for a small bottle I could have drank in one gulp was the tipping point for me.

                                        Definitely won't be back. Personally I think this place is all hype. I'm no ramen noodle connoisseur but I didn't think it was that great overall.

                                        1. re: flonie
                                          e
                                          EverymanJack Sep 22, 2012 12:28 PM

                                          I thought the ramen at Momofuku was quite good. Not the best I've had by any means, but a qualify offering. I prefer the baos and rice cakes though.

                                          Then again, I'm not a big fan of Sapporo Ichiban instant noodles, which I find to be overly salty and lacking any depth of flavor. So maybe that's the difference between our opinions.

                                    2. Notorious P.I.G. Sep 21, 2012 12:41 AM

                                      Went tonight and had the Chicken and Egg, Chilled Spicy Noodles, Pork Buns, Smoked Chicken Wings, and Roasted Rice Cakes.

                                      I have to say that I didn't experience any of the above inconsistencies. Everything I had was great and cooked perfectly. Execution was pretty much the same as the NY outpost but with local Ontario ingredients.

                                      My favourite dish was the Chilled Spicy Noodles. Nice Sichuan influence to it. The noodles which are made locally had great spring to them.

                                      I've never been a huge fan of their ramen but I like it because it reminds me of ramen that I would eat growing up. Like if a student had a little extra money he or she could put an egg and some pork in that Sapporo Ichiban type of thing. I don't think they should be looked at as a Ramen shop with other small dishes on the menu either, I think they should be perceived more as a small dishes spot with a bowl of Ramen on the menu. Their ramen even in NY was definitely far from their most popular dish.

                                      Stoked to have them in neighbourhood and I can't wait to see what else they bring. I feel like they're starting off small, trying to nail their staples and will introduce all that good ish at a later date.

                                      25 Replies
                                      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                        t
                                        themiguel Sep 21, 2012 07:51 AM

                                        I think your approach to them is absolutely the right one, Im going to line up early for lunch today and see what they are all about and have made resos to Shoto. Even the NYC location's ramen was never that beloved by true devotees of the soup.

                                        Like you I am super excited that they are in town and cant wait to see what else they are going to show.

                                        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                          c
                                          childofthestorm Sep 21, 2012 08:36 AM

                                          I echo this review, P.I.G. I think my fave were the roasted rice cakes, I can't imagine going there and not getting some for the table.

                                          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                            t
                                            themiguel Sep 21, 2012 10:34 AM

                                            A welcome addition to Toronto, but not a game changer. The pork buns are very very good, but then so are the ones at Bahn Mi Boys and 416 Snack Bar. The ramen is basically pedestrian - you only get to choose one beef based broth and its very reminiscent of university days of yore where you spruced up your Mr. Noodles with a poached egg and called it gourmet. Waiting an hour to get in for good pork buns is a bit much, but if youre around the area and want to crush some kimchi and buns with some beer, its perfect. Also the price, dear god the price - ramen + pork buns + ginger beer + tax/tip= close to $40 for one person!!!

                                            I dont want to make it seem like its backlash against the hype, or classic Toronto screwface against a renowned restaurant. I want them to succeed, as the more variety in this city the better. But if I look at that ramen objectively it wouldnt even make top 5 in the city.

                                            I will go back to try the rice cakes + chilled spicy noodles like I said i think PIG nailed it with his interpretation of the place.

                                            1. re: themiguel
                                              m
                                              magic Sep 21, 2012 10:40 AM

                                              Bahn Mi Boys has pork buns?! Did I miss this on their menu??

                                              1. re: magic
                                                t
                                                themiguel Sep 21, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                Pork belly bao I believe. Basically same thing as Momofuku

                                                1. re: themiguel
                                                  m
                                                  magic Sep 21, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                  Ahh, ok. Gotcha.

                                                2. re: magic
                                                  e
                                                  EverymanJack Sep 22, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                  The quality of the pork belly in the baos at Momofuku is worlds better than that at Banh Mi Boys. Note: I'm a big fan of Banh Mi Boys but it's no comparison.

                                                3. re: themiguel
                                                  Notorious P.I.G. Sep 21, 2012 02:12 PM

                                                  Full disclosure, I used to eat at the NYC outpost maybe 3-4 times a week for a good little bit.

                                                  I feel like they're a grower. At the beginning I felt as many here did, that the Ramen was nothing special especially when you had Santouka, and Minca, (Ippudo and Hide Chan weren't around yet) but perhaps in retrospect I was missing the point.

                                                  I stayed with them as they evolved from Ramen to Bao/Brussel Sprouts/Rice Cakes and whatever else they felt like serving and pretty soon I found myself hooked to not only the noodle bar but to Ssam and eventually Ma Peche, Milk, etc.

                                                  Point being, they're definitely not an organization to be written off in the first week that they open. There's a lot of talent in that building and they'll get their shit dialed pretty quick.

                                                  I can't wait to see if we get the rotiserrie duck, beef 7 ways, bo ssam, etc from them and I could also deal with a steady supply of corn cookies. I'm also cool if they scrap all the nyc stuff for original content.

                                                  1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                    c
                                                    childofthestorm Sep 21, 2012 05:18 PM

                                                    And wait until you try Shoto. I went there on F&F. Definitely comparable to Ko, and the pairings were off the proverbial chain.

                                                    1. re: childofthestorm
                                                      d
                                                      dubchild Sep 21, 2012 07:33 PM

                                                      The pairings, meaning wine or food?

                                                      1. re: childofthestorm
                                                        Notorious P.I.G. Sep 21, 2012 07:43 PM

                                                        Dude. I was away in the US for friends and family and couldn't make it out. My buddies all told me the same, that it was comparable to Ko and that they got wasted.

                                                        It's Mitch I think his name is and Jay from Sushi Kaji behind the bar so people are in capable hands.

                                                  2. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                    p
                                                    peppermint pate Sep 22, 2012 05:02 AM

                                                    + 1 - emphatically.

                                                    David Chang certainly doesn't need me to defend his vision but I've been there a couple of times now and I've been really impressed with what I've seen. And excited to see how much better it gets as they settle into their groove. The place is teeming with staff, all super friendly, all excited to be there, and all working super hard to please. They've flown in a bunch of their New York staff. They've been doing more extensive f&f offerings, fully comped, than I've ever seen or heard of. They resisted the temptation/expectation to open for TIFF because they felt they weren't quite there yet. David Chang is in da house. The space is gorgeous.

                                                    And it's not just the style - the substance is there too. The pork buns are delicious - 2 thick slabs of fatty pork belly with some thin cucumber slices and hoisin in a lovely steamed bun - addictively delicious.Just like the ones I ate in New York.Definitely enhanced with a squirt of sriracha. The fried rice cakes were sticky, chewy fantastic. Reminded me a bit of fried turnip/radish cakes, with some added toothsome stickiness. The spicy noodles could have been spicier and I found the sweet cashew flavour to be a bit too dominant. Loved the textural mix of all the ingredients, though. I was also fortunate enough to be invited to one of the f&f dinners at Daisho - was asked not to comment on it, and won't, except to say that there were some truly outstanding dishes, great cocktails and the space is really beautiful. I believe the intention is to have both Bo Ssam and the fried chicken large format meals here.

                                                    While I apppreciate the comparison on some level between momofuku and Banh Mi Boys (which I love, love, love!) and some of the ramen shops around town, it's not a fair comparison - at least not on pricing or dining experience. This is destination dining, a place you will go sit down for a meal. It's absolutely fair to compare the quality of the dishes but you will go to these places at different times of day, for different experiences. And there is more than enough room here for all of them to happily, chowingly co-exist.

                                                    This is momofuku's most ambitious expansion ever - 3 restaurants and a bar. From all that I've observed, they have set a very high bar for themselves and are bound and determined to stick with it till they get it just right. I can't think of a restaurant that's opened in this city with greater expectations (not all of them positive). From all that I've seen, it's already very good and well on its way to being truly great.

                                                    1. re: peppermint pate
                                                      c
                                                      Cup cake Sep 22, 2012 11:38 AM

                                                      Can't wait to go! What is with all the negativity? There is lots of room for great restaurants in this city and I'm so thrilled that we have the energy and creativity of David Chang and Momofuku in Toronto. Not only will these restaurants be great places to go, but they'll further inspire chefs, restauranteurs and foodies in Toronto. We're one lucky city!

                                                      1. re: Cup cake
                                                        d
                                                        dubchild Sep 22, 2012 11:44 AM

                                                        No doubt we are lucky to live in this city. I'm sure most of us are excited to have this restaurant here. But I think people are giving their honest assessments given the time it's been open. Would you rather hear it's great because it's David Chang? I don't think anyone has said it's bad because it's David Chang.

                                                        1. re: Cup cake
                                                          prima Sep 22, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                          While I'm a fan of David Chang, and I'm happy that David Chang and his brand have come to TO, we already were a lucky city with energetic and creative chefs.

                                                          I don't think any negative criticism on this Board is going to hurt David Chang or David Chang's investors' bottom lines.

                                                          On the other hand, Torontonians flocking to the various forms of Momofuku could hurt some Toronto-based restauranteurs' bottom lines.

                                                          While I'm happy Chang has arrived In Toronto, and I hope he helps drive the Toronto economy, I'd rather dine at his establishments if/when I'm in NYC, and support the little guys' restaurants when I'm dining in TO.

                                                          Chang's move to Toronto could be good for the environment, if it means some people won't be travelling to NYC nearly as frequently, now that they can buy Momofuku pork buns and other Momofuku treats in the GTA.

                                                          1. re: prima
                                                            c
                                                            Cup cake Sep 22, 2012 12:45 PM

                                                            We were a lucky city before and even more so now! We have fantastic talented chefs but we aren't yet a great food city. Toronto is a great city of creatives and critics, but to have a great food city, we need a culture that dines out enough to support great restaurants. I love the movement towards places like Momofuku, Black Hoof, Guu, Campagnolo, Acadia and Enoteca Sociale where they are providing casual great quality weekday dining that isn't just for special occasions. Maybe I'd just like a week to be excited about Momofuku opening before hearing the complaints.

                                                            1. re: Cup cake
                                                              prima Sep 22, 2012 12:53 PM

                                                              I would argue we already are a great food city.

                                                              I don't think we have the economy to support Per Se/French Laundry/ EMP/Daniel/jean Georges/Le Bernardin level restaurants. Few restaurants in TO are able to charge more than $30 a main and maintain a regular client base throughout the year. Over recent years, places like Splendido have ended up going a slightly less expensive and more casual route, and places like Scaramouche offer features such as Lobsterlicious, in order to maintain their regulars. We just don't have as many restaurant goers who can afford to splurge the way one could splurge in Paris or NYC, and our restaurant owners have to keep that in mind if they want to turn a profit in Toronto.

                                                              Some of our mid-level restaurants and many of our "ethnic" restaurants are as good or better than what you find in NYC, San Francisco, London, Paris,etc. You just need to know where to eat, and what to order!

                                                              1. re: prima
                                                                Kagemusha Sep 22, 2012 03:12 PM

                                                                Amen. All the mouth-breathing about Chang's TO outpost is a bit pathetic. Get out of the DTTO rut and look around for non-branded excellence. Like Momofuku? Buy his cookbook(s). The food is generally not that complex and, from what friends tell me and from what's been said here, the NYC version will probably stay on top.

                                                                1. re: prima
                                                                  Matt H Sep 22, 2012 03:41 PM

                                                                  Honestly while Toronto is the economic Hub of Canada if you compare its GDP and GDP per capita globally it is really not that wealthy of a city. So for people to expect that there would be discretionary income flowing on the level of a NYC, LA, Paris, SF, London, Tokyo, etc. is ridiculous.

                                                                  With that said there is a blossoming restaurant scene in the sweet spot right in the middle of the price bracket that is extremely healthy here. Toronto in that bracket is a very good place to eat and people should be happy.

                                                                  1. re: prima
                                                                    p
                                                                    peppermint pate Sep 24, 2012 08:11 AM

                                                                    I never said we weren't already a good or great food city, nor that I had any intention of abandoning the local scene. For me, it's very simple - I've enjoyed Momofuku's food in New York and I'm excited about them coming to Toronto. I was equally excited when I found out Guu was coming to town, as were many on this board, and as are the many fans of the other izakaya restos moving east from Van-city. And there's an equally large group that seem to be excited about Santouka's ramen coming to town, which I've never tried, but which has piqued my interest as well. Nobody seems to be screaming fanboi or pathetic or chow-xenophobia on those threads.

                                                                    I can't see how a few new restaurants helmed by somebody with a great track record is anything other than great for Toronto. Of course, the success will ultimately come down to execution but based on what I've sampled so far, I remain excited and optimistic.

                                                                    1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                      prima Sep 24, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                      Hi peppermint pate, just to clarify, I was responding to cup cake, who wrote "we aren't yet a great food city". I wasn't responding to anything that you had written- sorry if it looked like I was! ;-)

                                                                      1. re: prima
                                                                        p
                                                                        peppermint pate Sep 25, 2012 04:38 AM

                                                                        Oops - I misread the waterfall of comments. Thanks!

                                                                2. re: prima
                                                                  gourmandish Sep 22, 2012 06:58 PM

                                                                  Well, mouth-breathing, slavering fanboy devotion notwithstanding, I'm going to Shoto on Wednesday. I decided to eschew going to Ko or Ssam Bar when I was in NY in June to give the T.O. outpost a try. I guess we'll see if it lives up to expectations. Will try to report (objectively of course).

                                                              2. re: peppermint pate
                                                                c
                                                                c_snapper Sep 22, 2012 03:18 PM

                                                                the large format dining are here.
                                                                reservation system for daisho opened just a couple hours ago.

                                                                1. re: c_snapper
                                                                  e
                                                                  EarlyDrive Sep 22, 2012 04:39 PM

                                                                  Thanks c_snapper. You can also reserve a la carte at Daisho.

                                                            2. y
                                                              Yimahaji Sep 23, 2012 04:32 PM

                                                              After waiting an hour an half, got my noodles and buns. Thought the flavours were nice and would definitely revisit after some serving kinks get worked out.

                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                              1. a
                                                                Apple Sep 23, 2012 04:40 PM

                                                                I will fully reserve judgement until the restaurant steadies itself after its debut.
                                                                I, for one, am grateful that one of my favourite NYC restaurants now has an outpost around the corner from my office. I will pray for some Milk Bar offerings... crack pie, compost cookie, and corn cookie... oh my!

                                                                1. m
                                                                  msprnt Sep 24, 2012 08:31 AM

                                                                  i've only been to ssam bar, back in 2011, but i'm truly excited to try these TO places out! the bao at ssam didn't blow me away, but it was definitely solid.

                                                                  anyhow, i'm excited to check out noodle bar tonight and excited to hear the family-style offerings will be here as well!'

                                                                  i have a question for those who go to the F&F events. how do you get invited? are you actually "friends and family"? or are guests food-related industry people? i'm just curious.

                                                                  i skimmed the momofuku cookbook in a store and ordered it on amazon! reviews say it's a good read (in addition to being an excellent recipe book). definitely the most excited i've been about a book in a long time. haha!

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: msprnt
                                                                    grandgourmand Sep 24, 2012 08:40 AM

                                                                    a friend emailed the concierge at the Shangri-la and said the fried chicken would be available at Daisho, not noodle bar. I just checked the website and see that this menu is up now. And it looks like they're offering bo ssam as well. Also a large group meal of short ribs or prime rib. Very interesting. Fried chicken is $125 for the entire group (2 chickens plus extras).

                                                                    1. re: msprnt
                                                                      p
                                                                      peppermint pate Sep 25, 2012 04:46 AM

                                                                      In answer to your f&f question...in my case, I'm 2 degrees of separation from someone who is working on the floor at the restaurants. I'm not at all in the food industry or known to the management.

                                                                      1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                        m
                                                                        msprnt Sep 25, 2012 10:56 AM

                                                                        good to know! i need to check my friends' friends!

                                                                        i went with a few friends last night a bit after 9pm. we were seated around 9:45pm. definitely, the last group of people as the noodle bar was more than half empty when we left at 11pm.

                                                                        we ordered the ramen, scallion noodles, and the spicy chilled noodles. added pork baos and roasted rice cakes. we all agreed everything was solid, but not somewhere we would have to return to. ramen broth was quite dark and flavourful (but there are lots of options in the city to try now)... all noodles had good texture and chew. the roasted rice cakes had a nice "crust", but my favourite was the spicy chilled noodles. heat was definitely there and the candied cashews were nice additions of sweet and crunchy. i may have preferred a more bitter green to go with it all though.

                                                                        They do have specials. A salad and egg/rice dish were offered last night.

                                                                    2. JonasBrand Sep 25, 2012 11:08 AM

                                                                      Tried the ramen today, tasty enough, but not as good as their NYC location - perhaps kitchen is still figuring things out. The pork belly (not quite equal with Kinton's which is awesome) and shredded shoulder (much better than Kinton's) were fatty, juicy, tasty. The noodles were good (better noodles than Kinton). The egg was way undercooked (much worse than Kinton's which are excellent). But the biggest miss was the broth, it was barely lukewarm and the flavour was too round (worse than Kinton, but both could use work). Room felt too fancy esp compared with their funky NYC outposts (Kinton is more fun, but perhaps too small given the lineups). Servers were racing around keeping drinks full. I'll be back to sample more of the menu once the kitchen has settled into a groove. In terms of ramen, as of today, I give the edge to Kinton.

                                                                      1. h
                                                                        helenhelen Sep 25, 2012 11:47 PM

                                                                        so what are the options like for vegetarians? i am curious to try this place but get the feeling vegetarians may be shit out of luck, or mostly shit out of luck..?

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: helenhelen
                                                                          h
                                                                          helenhelen Sep 26, 2012 01:54 AM

                                                                          found the website and checked the menu... looks like they have a shitake mushroom bun, as well as the ginger and scallion noodles.. however, i have also heard david chang dislikes vegetarians so can anyone tell me if these items really are vegetarian? any hidden animal products in them?

                                                                          1. re: helenhelen
                                                                            petek Sep 26, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                                            I highly doubt they'd deliberately sabotage a vegetarian dish,no matter how much Chang dislikes vegetarians...
                                                                            Also, you could call them and ask.

                                                                            1. re: petek
                                                                              h
                                                                              helenhelen Sep 27, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                                              i don't mean "sabotage".. but sometimes, there are meat-based ingredients in things you think are veg.. like meat stock, or dashi broth, or lard, etc...

                                                                            2. re: helenhelen
                                                                              l
                                                                              lsk Sep 26, 2012 06:15 PM

                                                                              According to the Momofuku cookbook, the ginger scallion noodles are thoroughly vegetarian. It's their ginger scallion sauce (scallions, ginger, oil, soy sauce, sherry vinegar, and salt) mixed with noodles (bread flour, water, sodium carbonate, and potassium carbonate) and whatever vegetables they have.

                                                                              I didn't have the shiitake bun when I was there, but was watching the kitchen when they put it together. It's just a bun, hoisin sauce, shiitake, and maybe some cucumber slices (pickled or raw).

                                                                              But it never hurts to double check by calling.

                                                                              1. re: lsk
                                                                                Charles Yu Sep 26, 2012 06:32 PM

                                                                                I tried that noodle recipe. Made it taste better by adding a bit of 'oyster sauce' to the mix!!

                                                                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  dubchild Sep 26, 2012 08:22 PM

                                                                                  This comment "made it taste better by adding..." has me thinking of a question that has been running through my head. I have the Momofuku cookbook and I've casually looked at the recipes and the answer seems to be no. So here is the question, do Japanese, Korean, or Chinese cooks add noodle water to their noodles to make them taste better the way some Italians do with pasta. I've had soba where the cooking water is presented afterwards because, or at least I've been told, nutrients are lost to the water. For me, pasta doesn't taste best unless some pasta water is added to the sauce.

                                                                                  1. re: dubchild
                                                                                    d
                                                                                    downtownfoodie Sep 27, 2012 09:09 PM

                                                                                    could be wrong, but my understanding was that the cooking water is added back to the pasta because the starch in the water helps the sauce adhere to the pasta after the water evaporates. i don't know if that would be as important when you're using a stickier asian sauce

                                                                                    1. re: downtownfoodie
                                                                                      d
                                                                                      dubchild Sep 28, 2012 05:02 AM

                                                                                      My understanding is that it is done for both reasons. I've been told to never rinse pasta under cold water, unless it's a pasta salad, for the same reason you mentioned, the starch helps the sauce stick to the noodle. But your right the sauces are different.

                                                                              2. re: helenhelen
                                                                                p
                                                                                peppermint pate Sep 27, 2012 07:39 AM

                                                                                On one of my visits, I was with someone who couldn't eat gluten. Every server has a detailed ingredient breakdown on every dish in each of the restaurants with a legend to indicate which dishes are suitable for vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, etc. So just ask and they'll tell you - in addition to the shiitake mushroom bun and the ginger scallion noodles, I would have also thought you could eat the fried rice cakes (so good) and kimchi. You could easily, and happily, make a meal out of these items.

                                                                                1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                  b
                                                                                  baabaablacksheep Sep 27, 2012 07:49 AM

                                                                                  Oh, this is good to know. My husband is allergic to onions and so often the servers have no idea as to what's in each dish. I tried contacting them regarding his allergy but have not yet heard back. Do you know, offhand, if many of the dishes have onions as a central component of the dish? Obviously the ramen is out, but I was hoping maybe he could have the buns or something.

                                                                                  1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                    h
                                                                                    helenhelen Sep 27, 2012 08:23 AM

                                                                                    kimchi usually has fish sauce or some sort of fermented seafood thing in it..

                                                                                    1. re: helenhelen
                                                                                      p
                                                                                      peppermint pate Sep 27, 2012 08:27 AM

                                                                                      Oh, sorry - my bad. Anyway, best to go straight to the source.

                                                                                      baabaa - I certainly didn't taste or notice any onions in the pork belly bao or the rice cakes but not sure where they may be part of a sauce base. My gut tells me there would be enough non-onion dishes to put together a meal but again, best to confirm directly with them. Their ingredient/allergy lists appeared to be quite comprehensive.

                                                                              3. chocabot Sep 28, 2012 07:15 PM

                                                                                quick 2 cents

                                                                                momofuku pork buns are awesome as NY usual but the ones at 416 snackbar are right up there.

                                                                                the ramen was ok. didn't care for the pulled chicken, the pork was the same as in the buns. shoyu broth was nice not too salty and the egg perfect. fishcake is same anywhere and the pickled kimchi veg were a nice touch. overall not something i'd pay that much for or make the trek.

                                                                                had the chilled spicy noodles. had chicken and candied cashews and spinach. like a black bean sauce but slightly citrusy and lighter so clearly thought out but i thought the spinach annoying and the tasty meat and nut bits didn't make up for it. spicy is not really spicy at all. good dan dan would have been just as good.

                                                                                lemongrass iced tea was not sweet so thumbs up in my books.

                                                                                i'd go back to try the fried chicken dinner or other things at the other restaurants but overall i was underwhelmed because of the name. sounds way negative since nothing was bad but maybe based on brand expectation...?

                                                                                service was scattered bc it was busy. seemed like they were delivering dishes at random to wrong tables because they only knew the vague direction they were going.
                                                                                place is nice looking though.

                                                                                1. b
                                                                                  balthazar Oct 17, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                  Went there a few weeks ago for lunch. Quick impressions: I liked it, it didn't blow my mind, but I would go back to meet up with people in the area. A good place for a casual meal, fun vibe/decor, still appropriate for meeting with friends/business contacts. It's a welcome addition to the area for sure. Met with a business contact, we ordered 3 dishes & shared them. Some specifics:

                                                                                  - smoked chicken wings: very tasty, though impossible (like any wings) to eat neatly and without using fingers when you are trying to have a business conversation...

                                                                                  - pork buns: delicious! These were my favourite of the things we ordered. If I go back again, I'd be happy just to order those, have nothing else and not share them with anyone :)

                                                                                  - ramen: comforting, a good portion. Very mild flavours. Nice for sharing. This is the only hot noodle dish on the menu, I think. I wish there was another noodle soup/ramen selection on the menu, with other meat/vegetable/broth/noodle pairing(s). Actually, I wish they had a hot soba noodle in soup dish (like you can find in Japanese soba noodle houses).

                                                                                  - tea (lack thereof): they do not serve tea (we asked, they said they don't have tea). I found that weird and disappointing. Noodles, buns, and no tea to go with? It left the meal incomplete. It's also a missed opportunity: this place might do well to have really good premium Asian teas available (Japanese, Chinese, etc.), given the resto's cuisine and price point.

                                                                                  - stools, not chairs: I was OK with this but with everyone crammed in tightly and no backs on the stools, there was no room for someone to hang a jacket, purse, etc. What will they do when winter hits and everyone is wearing big coats/layers with no where to put them? On the note of no tea & stools: perhaps the idea is they don't want anyone to have a reason to linger, just eat and move on quickly.

                                                                                  Have read good things about the Chicken & Egg dish. I'd like to go back and try that sometime.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: balthazar
                                                                                    jlunar Oct 17, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                                                    "- smoked chicken wings: very tasty, though impossible (like any wings) to eat neatly and without using fingers when you are trying to have a business conversation..."

                                                                                    Pro-tip: chopsticks!

                                                                                    XD It works. But you have to be okay with chopsticks first...

                                                                                    1. re: jlunar
                                                                                      b
                                                                                      balthazar Nov 18, 2012 03:08 PM

                                                                                      Thanks jlunar, sorry very late reply. I'm very good with chopsticks (second nature to me, growing up in a Chinese family). But I couldn't eat these wings neatly with chopsticks either, to get around the bones you really need fingers and/to hold the wing from both sides.

                                                                                      Granted, I don't think this was a problem specific to Momofuku's wings, I just don't think it's possible to eat wings neatly, and these were no exception :) You can't get the meat off neatly, you get sauce around the mouth, etc. There with friends for a casual meal would be fine; but for a business lunch wings were awkward. :)

                                                                                      1. re: balthazar
                                                                                        jlunar Nov 19, 2012 09:00 AM

                                                                                        lol, wings/ribs are always awkward if you want to stay tidy - chopsticks or no! I managed to eat them with chopsticks, but it certainly wasn't elegant. And well, there's always the high chance of the wing slipping out of the chopsticks and making a mess!

                                                                                  2. y
                                                                                    ylsf Oct 25, 2012 07:46 PM

                                                                                    Stopped by after the Shangri La open house (continues tomorrow, and Saturday, Jarvis Church tomorrow night). I had already had dinner so just has pork buns, kimchi jar and ginger beer. Loved the pork buns, they lived up to the hype for me. I really like Banh Mi Boys but prefered Momofuku version. I still gave to checkout 416 Snack Bar..

                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                      childofthestorm Oct 26, 2012 09:29 AM

                                                                                      Last night at Daisho the kitchen sent out an item they're testing...BUFFALO CHICKEN WING BUNS. Sweet lord were they tasty, chicken sous-vided then fried, amazing Frank's-esque sauce, sliced pickled carrot, and this "blue cheese" spread - I can't remember the description of how this was done, I kinda had my swerve on at that point.

                                                                                      Anyway, Momofuku if you're reading this please get these on the menu. I liked it way better than the peameal bun they have on the Daisho menu currently.

                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                        magic Oct 26, 2012 12:05 PM

                                                                                        Finally tried Noodle Bar. Weekday lunch. Got there just after 1:30pm and while busy there were still seats and I was seated right away by a friendly greeter.

                                                                                        Pork buns were absolutely delish. I’m certainly no pork bun expert but I’d reckon these are easily the best I’ve had. (Have not been to 416 Snack Bar or some other pork bun favourites though.) These were exquisite. Melt in your mouth, refined comfort food.

                                                                                        Also had the smoked chicken and egg rice bowl. Pretty tasty, quite enjoyed. Not on the same level as pork buns perhaps, but quite good! Smoke level on the chicken was perfect - light but not too light. A tad more salt on the chicken skin would’ve been appreciated but that is just my taste. Also liked the bottled chili sauce very much.

                                                                                        Staff was all warm, hardworking and on point. The space itself is stupid lovely yet relaxed and I got a kick out the huge Neil Yong artwork piece. Despite the stools being backless I actually found them quite comfy and sturdy. They’ll need to figure out the coat rack situation though, soon!

                                                                                        Will for sure go back, if only for those pork buns and great service I had.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: magic
                                                                                          h
                                                                                          helenhelen Oct 29, 2012 10:19 PM

                                                                                          is it best to go on a weekday for lunch? (trying to avoid long lines)

                                                                                          1. re: helenhelen
                                                                                            g
                                                                                            GrahamChubb Oct 30, 2012 05:02 AM

                                                                                            I do weekday lunch there, and I have found that if you go around 12:45 or later you are seated right away.

                                                                                            Although I would guess that you could go any time now and get seated immediately or soon after you arrived. Seems the that everyone that just wanted to try it has, and the crowd now is more regular.

                                                                                            1. re: GrahamChubb
                                                                                              m
                                                                                              magic Oct 30, 2012 05:59 AM

                                                                                              That sounds about right.

                                                                                              1. re: magic
                                                                                                g
                                                                                                GrahamChubb Oct 30, 2012 11:29 AM

                                                                                                I was just there for lunch and I noticed that many of the specials that they have been serving since opening (hangar steak dish, Brussels sprouts dish, omelette, etc) have become regular additions to the menu.

                                                                                                Meaning the menu on their website is only about half of what is available now.

                                                                                        2. Food Tourist Nov 19, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                          Went 2 weekends ago on a 2 person reservation at Daisho. Had a 30 minute wait anyway so had a drink at Nikai. None of the drink menus match up so couldn't have the slushee upstairs nor the Nikai list up-upstairs. Were seated at the bar area on awful stools instead of a table/chairs which was super uncomfortable (back rests would be ideal).

                                                                                          Terrific flavourful food, great service overall. Will be taking my Mom back for her birthday in January assuming I can snag a real table and chairs (she's turning 70).

                                                                                          The only low point was the lack of stinky tofu taste in the rice. Ha. Anyway, the brussel sprouts and potatoes with black bean were very flavourful. The pork in lettuce not so much.

                                                                                          Don't be scared off by their claim that 4-12 people is ideal group size.

                                                                                          1. g
                                                                                            Ghuldeen Jan 19, 2013 07:34 PM

                                                                                            Went to Daisho tonight and I can't say I was terribly impressed. We had pre-ordered the short ribs, which were tender but totally lacking in any flavour on their own without the sauce. The celery root dish made no sense whatsoever (shaved celery root with non existent frois gras). I liked the rice cakes as they had a nice chewy texture and the sauce was good. The grits were probably the tastiest dish of the night, but they were finally brought to the table 25 minutes after the rest of the dishes had been served and most of them had already been removed before it arrived. The grits were also a little underdone and well gritty. The fish buns were dying for either a tangy our spicy sauce, but were served with neither.

                                                                                            The absolute worst thing about the place? The noise and rushed service. We were a table of four and had to literally yell to hear each other. You constantly felt like the servers were trying to get you out of there. I know there's a 2 hour limit on a reservation, but they pushed us out after 90 minutes. After bringing the cheque, they asked for our coat tags so they could get them ready for us. The server tells us our jackets are ready at the front whenever we're ready to go. Less than 2 minutes later the hostess shows up at our table our coats and we're basically hustled out the door.

                                                                                            I can think of much better dining experiences for $100 a head.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Ghuldeen
                                                                                              r
                                                                                              Rubyred1 Jan 26, 2013 02:15 PM

                                                                                              Pretty much our experience too. Won't be going back

                                                                                            2. b
                                                                                              bringonthelbs Jan 20, 2013 06:02 PM

                                                                                              Has anyone been to the Noodle Bar lately? Just wondering wait times for dinner.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: bringonthelbs
                                                                                                Food Tourist Jan 26, 2013 12:21 PM

                                                                                                Not sure about dinner, but no wait time at lunch/afternoon.

                                                                                                The smoked chicken ramen is chock full of umami. Not that smoky, but definitely shiitake-y. Loved the unexpected crispy skin.

                                                                                                1. re: bringonthelbs
                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                  mkhall Jan 26, 2013 07:14 PM

                                                                                                  Went tonight.. no wait for dinner when we went at 5:15. Looked like there were a few spots open for 2 even when we left around 7.

                                                                                                  Also for those interested they now also have a korean double fried chicken (6 large drumsticks for $20).

                                                                                                2. r
                                                                                                  Rubyred1 Jan 26, 2013 02:13 PM

                                                                                                  Momofuku Daisho - not impressed. Part of four, arrived at 7:20 for a 7:30 reservation to be told that even though our table was ready they would not seat us until 7:30. They suggested we wait at the bar one floor down and by the time we got there and ordered our drinks they came down and got us and put us at the table that was empty when we arrived at 7:20! Then our drinks from downstairs came up just as we were ordering. Appetizers came within five minutes and before we had finished the oysters and kimchi the 10 plates we ordered started coming and it's only 8pm! What happened to a bit of pacing between plates? Food was good but not outstanding and certainly not worth being shunted between floors for the sake of ten minutes and then rushed through dinner. Not impressed and won't be returning which is a shame because we love Momofuku NY.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Rubyred1
                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                    hungryabbey Jan 26, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                                                                    Did you order a la carte or one of the special menus?

                                                                                                    1. re: hungryabbey
                                                                                                      r
                                                                                                      Rubyred1 Jan 26, 2013 07:51 PM

                                                                                                      A la carte

                                                                                                    2. re: Rubyred1
                                                                                                      g
                                                                                                      Ghuldeen Jun 7, 2013 08:08 AM

                                                                                                      I don't know what their big rush is, but to be force fed through a meal like that is rude and very poor service. The food is soo not worth the prices.

                                                                                                    3. y
                                                                                                      ylsf Feb 15, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                                                                      They are doing a special Bo Ssam to go for Family Day but you have to order by today:

                                                                                                      http://momofuku.com/wp-content/upload...

                                                                                                      Serves 6 to 8. $250

                                                                                                      I saw it posted on BlogTO so figured I would share.

                                                                                                      1. y
                                                                                                        ylsf Jun 7, 2013 07:50 AM

                                                                                                        So I was at Daisho the other day and heard staff mentioning something about Milk Bar coming in the 2nd floor space (glass enclosure) but I forgot to post about it here. Just saw it posted up via twitter so thought I would share for those that don't know yet:

                                                                                                        http://www.foodandcoblog.com/2013/06/...

                                                                                                        My meal at Daisho was good but I probably won't be racing back as I didn't really find the value there. Was expensive considering that I spent like over $70 and it wasn't like I was stuffed. I enjoyed the experience and going and I might go back one day but for me it doesn't feel like a "must" to return to.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: ylsf
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                                                                                                          LexiFirefly Jun 7, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                                          Momofuku is denying this according to the grids food spy. Damn not being able to post a link on my phone!!

                                                                                                          1. re: LexiFirefly
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                                                                                                            ylsf Jun 7, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                                                                            Hmmm.. Thanks LexiFirefly , just posted the link for you

                                                                                                            http://www.thegridto.com/blog-post/fo...

                                                                                                            They didn't say what they are doing with the "glass" space on the 2nd floor though....

                                                                                                            I didn't post anything earlier because I thought I misunderstood (my friend had asked to look at the Momofuku Milk cookbook on the shelf on the way out and staff said something about the space upstairs). She told me she said they were opening up upstairs...

                                                                                                            And, this blog poster said two different staff confirmed it too...

                                                                                                            Sounds to me that they didn't want to make it public knowledge yet?

                                                                                                            They are serving the crack pie at Daisho now..

                                                                                                            1. re: ylsf
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                                                                                                              LexiFirefly Jun 7, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                                                                              Thanks for finding the link ylsf. Who knows where the rumour came from. I would love it if it were true. I'm not sure about the denying though. You'd think they would be at least looking for staff.

                                                                                                        2. d
                                                                                                          disgusti Jun 7, 2013 10:20 AM

                                                                                                          i've now eaten at noodle bar a couple of times and the food is on point. the chilled spicy noodle is possibly my favourite current menu item that i've eaten anywhere in the city lately. the squid is pretty good, the wings are pretty good, the buns are still overrated and overpriced, but i found the value to be good on everything else. definitely a nice spot for a casual meal.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: disgusti
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                                                                                                            zicosingh Aug 6, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                                                                            Hi is this on spadina and bloor?

                                                                                                            1. re: zicosingh
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                                                                                                              ylsf Aug 6, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                                                                              I think he was referring to the Noodle Bar at Momofuku

                                                                                                          2. c
                                                                                                            chocohead Sep 29, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                                            was just at the noodle bar at momofuku.
                                                                                                            there was skill in the food, that is certain. but in both me and my sister's bowl, there was no salt or seasoning. hers had a square of nori and both of ours had pickled mushroom. but aside from that, bland city. maybe it was just an off night.

                                                                                                            1. y
                                                                                                              ylsf Feb 17, 2014 03:42 PM

                                                                                                              I know this is an old thread but I couldn't find one more recent that was relevant.

                                                                                                              There were a couple of articles in the Toronto Star back on Feb 1st that I am just getting around to reading right now that I found interesting.

                                                                                                              One is the nutritional info from Toronto Star's "The Dish" feature where they test various restaurant dishes.

                                                                                                              http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/nutrition/2014/01/31/have_your_momofuku_crack_pie_and_eat_it_too.html

                                                                                                              The ramen serving had 68 grams of fat!! I figured ramen was high in fat but I never thought it was that high!

                                                                                                              Also, an article about Momofuku's initial plans (or lack thereof for the specific Toronto market) and what they have done to adapt - http://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine...

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: ylsf
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                                                                                                                julesrules Feb 18, 2014 06:12 AM

                                                                                                                I read the latter right before I went for Winterlicious (which I got into as a walk in on a Saturday night... crappy weather though). So I took note of the coat rack, which is flimsy and did not have enough hangers for our coats (we eventually piled them on top, after determining there really was no comfortable way to have them with us sitting on stools at the window. The staff just ignored the whole thing). There's enough room in the vestibule for something bigger and not so makeshift looking. It felt like a reluctant, cheap compromise.

                                                                                                                1. re: julesrules
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                                                                                                                  magic Feb 18, 2014 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                  The coat rack situation has been probably my only issue with Noodle Bar. It's been an issue since day one and has never really been addressed properly. An easy issue to solve, it just hasn't been! :S

                                                                                                                  Overall though I love Noodle Bar's food and service.

                                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                                Mila Apr 1, 2014 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                I'm just going to put this out there for comment by any or none. A friend and I were having a discussion about the service at Momofuku and agreed that the word 'blase' best suited their style.

                                                                                                                It seems on any occasion I needed to find an employee (buying cookies, finding a table, getting a drink) I first needed to question that person whether they worked there or not. While not being rude it seemed like they really didn't care if you stayed or left.

                                                                                                                And I believe the question here is : Is this their company culture? Am I so old as to not understand that the art of service has changed. And perhaps in a good way, no more servitude but more an exchange of services.

                                                                                                                By way of reference this is a combined collection of about 8 experiences, mostly at the Noodle Bar.

                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Mila
                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                  magic Apr 1, 2014 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                  I am a stickler for good service and I've been very impressed with the service in each of my 7 or so experiences at Noodle Bar.

                                                                                                                  Friendly, more than competent, attentive, accommodating, and caring.

                                                                                                                  Same with Ssam Bar in NYC.

                                                                                                                  Seems like we've had very different experiences - and again - I'm a real stickler for service so I pay attention to it.

                                                                                                                  1. re: magic
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                                                                                                                    BigBabyYeezuS Apr 1, 2014 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                    It can vary. I've had 10+ experiences at Noodle and mostly good service. I've been to Daisho about the same amount and had good service, though my wife was there with friends and had very bad service once. Shoto's service was a tad glitch-y but very pleasant.

                                                                                                                    Similarly in NYC (20+ visits to Noodle, 10+ to Ssam plus Ko) I've found mostly good service with the occasional dud waiter.

                                                                                                                    They can give off a "too cool for school" attitude throughout the group which can rub people the wrong way.

                                                                                                                    1. re: magic
                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                      magic about 8 hours ago

                                                                                                                      Ate at Noodle Bar today.

                                                                                                                      Great service yet again!

                                                                                                                      At this point I've been there quite a few times, each and every time with great service.

                                                                                                                      1. re: magic
                                                                                                                        kwass about 8 hours ago

                                                                                                                        Magic, does the menu change every week or every day?

                                                                                                                        1. re: kwass
                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                          magic about 8 hours ago

                                                                                                                          I could be wrong, but I don't think the menu changes daily at Noodle Bar.

                                                                                                                          I believe there are new dishes somewhat regularly but not sure if it's weekly per se. Which is fine by me actually.

                                                                                                                          I assume the other restos there might switch things up more frequently than Noodle Bar.

                                                                                                                          1. re: magic
                                                                                                                            kwass about 8 hours ago

                                                                                                                            Ok. Thanks magic! If everything goes according to plan, I'm going this week :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: kwass
                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                              magic about 8 hours ago

                                                                                                                              Sweet. Hope you enjoy!

                                                                                                                              1. re: magic
                                                                                                                                kwass about 8 hours ago

                                                                                                                                Thanks magic! I'm sure I will :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: kwass
                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                  magic about 8 hours ago

                                                                                                                                  :)

                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                    childofthestorm about 6 hours ago

                                                                                                                    New Vice Munchies episode on all 3 restaurants of Momofuku Toronto: http://www.vice.com/en_ca/munchies/mo...

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