MeNami
5469 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 5S1
http://www.menami.ca/
http://www.instagram.com/menamitoronto/

You can’t miss this sign!

If you’re looking for some legit udon, MeNami is the place to be! Not only do they specialize in various udon dishes but they also make their udon fresh from scratch. Now, if you know anything about udon (thanks, Google) you’ll know that it is a very temperamental process. The owner, Chae Kim, sent her chef to Japan to learn the art form and brought this knowledge back to Toronto to adjust and perfect it for our crazy environment.

THE ORIGINAL KAMA UDON: Kamaboko, Wakame, Green Onion, Tenkatsu

I have gone to MeNami on two separate occasions and was not disappointed! The spring and texture of the udon has me craving it all the time… I don’t think I can have udon anywhere else. Not only do they have their traditional udon dishes (see above) but they also have western twists—including one similar to an alfredo!

KAKE UDON WITH CHICKEN THIGH TEMPURA: Grated Ginger, Green Onion, Deep Fried Chicken Thigh, Cold Soup

However, to focus on the noodles, I chose the traditional styles. Both traditional udon dishes showcased the noodle’s simplicity and were light but, thanks to that great chew, totally filling. The cold udon was a unique experience for me. I didn’t anticipate it being really cold and instead thought it would be around room temperature… but it actually was cold (a nice cold, mind you)! It offered a nice refreshing feel that really showed off the spring of the udon. I would definitely suggest this dish for those that want to really see how the udon noodles taste.

CURRY WITH SHRIMP TEMPURA RICE: Deep Fried Shrimp, Curry

Besides udon, MeNami also offers rice dishes—and if you can’t get enough noodles, you can substitute the rice for udon. My boyfriend is not much of a noodle person so he opted for curry with shrimp tempura on rice. The curry is more of a Japanese style, and leans toward the savory end rather than spicy. Along with the delicious sauce, the shrimp tempura is perfectly fried and a great crunchy texture for the dish.

ROASTED PORK BELLY: Pork Belly, Dry Rub, Pickled Onion, Shiso Spring Mix

They also have various tapas options that I really enjoy. Their roasted pork belly is a beautiful dish that comes DIY style. When the dish comes out, the staff always suggests that you wrap the pork and the pickled onion within the spring mix… it’s such a tasty bite!

SPICY SALMON TARTARE: Salmon, Deep Fried Wonton Skin, Crushed Black Pepper, Habanero Oil

The spicy salmon tartare is pretty spicy from the habanero oil but the fresh salmon and the wonton skins help to tone that down. I am a raw salmon kind of person so this definitely rocked my boat. They also offer spicy salmon as a rice dish, if you want a larger portion (and rice!).

SMOKED SALMON WITH PARSNIP SAUCE: Torched Smoked Salmon, Parsnip Sauce

Another salmon tapas dish that blew me out of the water! Despite being a cold dish, the salmon has a lovely smoky flavour. In addition to the smokiness, the parsnip sauce is such a light, refreshing and cooling flavour that surprisingly works really well with the salmon. Every bite I took, I felt the same happiness as if it were my first taste.

CHICKEN KARA-AGE: Chicken Thigh, Shiso Mayonnaise

Usually whenever I go to a Japanese restaurant, I order any of their kara-age dishes. Why? Because breaded and deep fried is typically a safe zone in majority of cuisines. Also, I just really like kara-age—and MeNami is no exception. I’m not sure how they do it, but this kara-age is just so moist and has a lot of meat! A lot of times, kara-age dishes tend to look more like small popcorn chicken but this was a delicious ball of meat. I’m definitely going back for more.

If you suggest that we go for soup/noodles, know that I will “suggest” (read: demand) that we go to MeNami so I can curb that udon craving that never seems to go away. Not only do they serve these dishes (plus more!) they also have a wide selection of sake and other alcoholic drinks for your enjoyment!

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