Refreshing Korean cold-noodle soup
With the hot and soupy weather outside, my mind usually turns to one thing: Korean cold noodle soup, (Mul Naeng Myeon). Icy and spicy, usually with a crisp slice of asian pear for a hit of sweet, a boiled egg and some pickled veggies round out the bowl. I went to a place North of Yonge and Steeles called Cho Sun Ok, (905-707-8426), where it is supposedly famous for it. Can't say I'd contradict that, as I had a great inaugural bowl for this season, (it's usually served only in summer months, sadly).
left, delicious and authentic Takoyaki. Right, onigiri.
Following the trend, I had some cold udon noodle at Manpuku, (105 McCaul St., in The Grange), a Japanese eatery that blessedly doesn't serve sushi. While the cold noodle was fine, (I still prefer my Mul Naeng Myeon), it was the Takoyaki that had me. An Osakan dish that I had tried at Naniwa Taro earlier this year, but Manpuku's version was much more to my taste. With a small (my only complaint) nub of octopus inside a doughy/creamy interior held in by a crisped thin shell, the bonito topping danced with the heat of the dish. Really excellent and totally brought me back to my time in Osaka.
We also had onigiri, (authentic ingenious plastic wrap included), and several orders of ice cream manju, the dessert special of the day. A friend remarked that she'd had a mango version in Hong Kong, but today we had our choice of green tea and red bean. I much preferred the more flavourful red-bean. Overall, I was quite happy with the price and offereings of Manpuku and I have been figuring out ways to make the trek across from the office to eat lunch there on a regular basis, as the Takoyaki rolling around in my dreams need to roll on to my plate again soon.