It’s no secret that Toronto goes a little gaga over anything Japanese. In the past several years, we’ve seen an explosion of izakaya’s, ramen joints and more recently, Japanese desserts. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that there aren’t many restaurants in Toronto, if at all, specializing in homemade udon noodles.
According to their website, MeNami (@) is “Toronto’s first traditional Sanuki Udon House.” Located at Yonge and Finch, the restaurant is brought to us by Chae Kim, who also owns the nearby Han Ba Tang at Yonge and Sheppard.
I love the interior of the space which is decorated with vintage and industrial pieces. It has a very warm and inviting feel to it.
I attended a media event at MeNami and it was very evident how much pride and care Chae takes in her food. When she first conceived the idea of opening up a restaurant specializing in udon, she had no idea how big of an undertaking this was. After spending several months in Japan learning to make udon, they quickly realized that it wasn’t quite as easy doing so in Toronto.
In the basement of the restaurant, they created a special dough room where they store their flour to acclimatize. The temperature and moisture in the room are key to getting the perfect texture. Another challenge they encountered was the type of flour. Japanese flour, which is tough to get in Canada, is meant for making noodles. However, the flour in North America is primarily used for baking. They spent a long time tweaking the recipe until she was satisfied with the product.
In addition to their udon, they offer an extensive menu of Japanese tapas. Here’s a look at some of their offerings:
Thai Iced Tea Cocktail
Smoked Salmon with Parsnip Sauce
Corn Kaki-age – with honey butter mayo
Roasted Pork Belly – dry rubbed pork belly & onion shiso spring mix
Kake Udon with Chicken Thigh
Mentaiko Cream Sauce Udon
Black Sesame Puree Udon with Beef
Without a doubt, MeNami’s udon noodles are the star of the show. They have such a wonderful bounciness which is most evident in the Kake Udon, a cold noodle dish reminiscent of soba noodles. Eating the noodles cold allows the noodles to retain that great chewiness. Another udon dish I couldn’t get enough of was the Mentaiko Cream Sauce Udon which comes topped with a scoop of fish roe. Mix it into the noodles and each bite will have a little burst of extra flavour. A non-noodle dish that blew me away was the Roasted Pork Belly, an absolute must-order. The dry-rub on them was incredibly delicious and when eaten with the onion shiso spring mix (to cut the richness), the dish was perfect.
MeNami is open everyday for lunch and dinner from 11:30am. Drop by and get your noodle fix!
*This was a complimentary meal. The opinions in the post, as always, are my own.*