“Mmm…tastes like China,” said the guy sitting at the table next to mine in between slurps, his face practically buried in his bowl of noodle soup.
Anyone who cares anything about noodles needs to know about Nudo, a new venture by the noodle master who started Yuki Ramen in the Faubourg. If I could have it my way, I would actually live here this winter season. I don’t care that it looks like a gloomy banquet hall or that the weirdest Chinese movies always seem to be playing. Eating these noodles morning, noon and night is my only wish this Christmas.
Portions here are for hearty eaters. These large bowls (one size only) don’t contain soup and some noodles. They contain noodles and some soup. Big difference. They don’t charge much either – everything is below $10.00. Jackpot.
The awesomeness continues with the hand-pulled noodles. Clear windows give you an exclusive look inside the kitchen where skillful workers whack, stretch, fold and pull your noodles to order. Yes, to order. They throw them into boiling water and minutes later they’re transformed into slick, chewy and full-bodied strands that go on forever.
Order the pickled mustard tuber and pork noodle soup with chicken broth. I’m not being bossy – I’m simply doing you a favor. Miso and spicy broths are also available, but the house recommends the chicken broth (for everything) and so do I. I’m guessing it’s made by simmering animal parts, five-spice seasoning and MSG. It’s flavorful and salty through and through with a slightly sour dimension coming from the pickled mustard tuber (jelly-like in texture). Other ingredients include an ample serving of their fresh noodles, sautéed pork bits, baby bok choy, fried garlic, cilantro and green onions.
It’s so damn good. So good in fact, that I hesitated to ask for another bowl when I found a hair in my soup because I couldn’t wait a few extra minutes to continue. Anyway, the staff was more than willing to address the issue, and I learned that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I still can’t believe I only paid $7.50. Get it. You’ll thank me later.
I went back to try the braised beef shank noodle soup with chicken broth ($8.25) less than 24 hours later. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t come close to the pickled mustard tuber and pork noodle soup – that thing blew my mind. This one features thick slices of braised beef shank, pickled Asian greens, baby bok choy, cilantro and their rave-worthy noodles. A few pieces of meat were impossibly tender, others were way too rubbery, but most of them required some effort to chew. They were really generous with the pickled Asian greens (others who ordered the same didn’t get as much, then again they weren’t caught with a camera), but the sour juices overpowered and completely changed the salty soup base I was looking forward to savoring. Still a solid meal, just not as good as my first.
Every order is accompanied by a small side dish on the house. It’s essentially a reduced serving of one of their appetizers, whichever one they want to give out that day. I had the napa kimchi - sour, salty and no spicy.
I also tried the hot and spicy potato strips – thin sticks of potatoes tossed in a dressing that takes your taste buds through a sour (vinegar), nutty (sesame oil) and spicy (red chili peppers) ride.
I’m new to Nudo, but I can’t even begin to express how much I’m already in like with this place. A steaming bowl of fresh noodles done right, served in big portions at cheap prices…this noodles house just gets me.
N.B. Cash Only | Also located in the Eaton Center.
1055 blvd Saint-Laurent | map