The second instalment of SLURP! Noodlefest was this past Saturday, an event featuring local food vendors, all with the same objective: creating a snack-sized noodle dish. The first SLURP! event was a big hit, and its successor promised to be bigger and better, with a diverse line-up of vendors, such as Momofuku Toronto, nota bene, Kinton Ramen, and The Gabardine to name a few.
Upon arrival, R and I quickly made note of all the vendors and their offerings. While well-known names like Kinton Ramen and Momofuku were present, we realized that they were serving noodle dishes that were already available at their restaurant locations. I was a little disappointed, because I had wanted to see something new and innovative from these two in particular. However, this gave us the opportunity to try more exciting items at the event.
Mazemen by feasTO, a crab miso ramen - Perfectly chewy noodles and a small amount of soup that was quite pleasant. In fact, it reminded me of tsukemen-style ramen. Eating the crab, noodles and seaweed strips together was very enjoyable. This was R's favourite item.
Wood-fired bacon & egg ramen with pork & truffle foam by nota bene - This ramen was jam-packed with everything rich and delicious. The broth was thick, velvety and flavourful, and even more so with the truffle foam. I love runny eggs, and I thought the sous-vide egg was wonderful. Also, the portion size was generous for $6. Had I eaten this alone, it would have been enough as a meal!
Shio style ramen with guanciale, rapini and pickled shallots by Pizzeria Libretto - At first I was skeptical about this, but it's uniqueness won me over. The pork bone and chicken shio broth was elevated by the use of garlic and pickled shallots. And the guanciale and rapini were non-traditional but tasty toppings. Sadly, what fell short were the noodles that turned soggy and fused together in the soup. I would have preferred sturdy alkaline-based noodles.
Chicken and shrimp sotanghon by Lamesa - This was the only rice noodle dish at the event. The broth was a very light dashi with konbu and bonito. It was a healthy item, but there wasn't a specific feature that stood out to me.
Chicken noodle soup with crispy chicken skin by The Samuel J. Moore - What I loved was the freshness of the ingredients and the flavourful chicken in the soup. The chicken surprised me the most because it was tastier than the soup itself. In addition, the crispy chicken skin was a really delicious and fun topping.
The food, portion sizes and prices were all pretty decent. On the other hand, the indoor venue got crowded very quickly, and if it wasn't for the patio we would have all been a sweaty, soupy mess. My one regret is that I didn't have a chance to try The Gabardine's mexican kimchi ramen, but I did overhear that they may be adding it to their regular menu.
Fun fact: Ramen noodles are typically made with alkaline mineral water, which keeps them chewy and firm in hot soup.