Earlier this week, after ten years of stealing hearts and filling stomachs across Toronto, Momofuku announced that it will be closing its doors at the Shangri-La before the end of the year. But you’ve still got two months to have one final taste of all your menu favourites, and while nothing quite compares to the sleek comforts and warm tastes of Momofuku, there are a few places that come close.
Here’s our list of restaurants you can visit to trick your taste buds into thinking Momofuku never left.
The departure of Momofuku leaves a hole in our hearts as thick as their extra-stuffed steamed buns. But, while nothing is quite like Momofuku’s gochugaru-seasoned shrimp and hoisin-covered shiitake buns, a Hermant Bhagwani restaurant is definitely a good alternative. A very different—but still mouth-watering—flavour, Pōpa offers buns filled with a honey roast lamb leg that’s been marinated for 48 hours and grilled twice. Topped with cucumber, cilantro, homemade peanut sauce and a sriracha sauce, these comforting buns might be the closest thing to filling the bao-sized hole Momofuku is leaving behind.
Another customer favourite we’ll be missing at this noodle bar is the pork ramen, made with a perfectly crispy and tender porkbelly. But, an easy replacement is Kinton Ramen’s Canadian pork, which is simmered and caramelized to a brown. Combined with Kinton’s flavourful noodles and consumed at the wooden tables and noodle bar, dining at Kinton Ramen might just have you thinking you’re still at Momofuku.
Spicy Rice Cake
There is no shortage of spots to find rice cakes in Toronto, but finding ones that make your taste buds dance and burn at the same time is harder to find. Momofuku’s Red Dragon Rice Cakes are truly one-of-a-kind. But don’t worry; The Fry has a spicy rice cake that will soak up your tears. Though a fried chicken hotspot, The Fry’s rice cakes don’t have chicken in them like Momofuko’s, but you can get them decked in squid, clams and a seafood-infused spicy sauce. After one bite you’ll have a tear in your eyes, but this time it won’t be because you might never get a chance to taste Momofuku’s Red Dragon Rice Cakes again.