MeNami has long been acknowledged as a spot that I take pride in visiting time and time again, so it was only fitting for it to conclude a food-centered trip in Toronto.
In place of the ceramic bowl used to plate the Smoke Salmon slices was a rectangular piece of slate. The method of presentation had been simplified, though the flavour profile of the dish far elevated than previous visits. The pieces were thicker than before and retained notes of smokiness; the parsnip sauce, still tangy and refreshing, contrasted nicely with the delicately seared fleshiness.
Fresh Fried Ika was a little less airy this time around, though nonetheless enjoyable.
Mentaiko Cream Sauce Udon bore similarities to carbonara, specifically in regards to the silky sauce that aided in neturalizing the fishiness of the roe. A dash of spicy tomato oil also contributed to decomposing to the richness of the cream base.
The portion of mentaiko was quite significant in comparison to other establishments, though this was unable to nix the need for some sort of protein in the dish. Not exactly vegetarian either, I would suggest pairing the bowl with a hearty appetizer, such as Torched Saba or Yuk Hwe, for sustenance.
The classic choice provided contrast against the heavy flavours of the sauce-based udon mains, making it ideal for less adventurous diners or sharing/consuming in conjunction with fusion items.
A chicken broth made up its base, while shreds of chili and the addition of various shellfish contributed depth. Mussels, shrimp, squid (the same rings as those used in Fresh Fried Ika), bean sprouts, and green onions were the visible constituents of the dish.
For seafood lovers, or those that generally lean towards Nagasaki Ramen at Kenzo, this would be the safest starter in the housemade udon world. The broth is well-seasoned and, if I may add, a bit spicier than I would have anticipated. Personally, I declare udon noodles to be more effective in attaining balance with bold flavours than ramen.
Initially, the plan had involved dropping by a bubble tea house or bingsoo cafe (or both). With an unexpected addition to our lunch table, neither of us could quite dissolve either within the short time frame in which we left.
Either way, I suggested grabbing One Zo once more before trekking two steps over, luggage in tow, to Go Topoki to try their dessert selection. As expected, Cactus Tapioca was unavailable before 3 PM. Interestingly enough, though, Matcha Tapioca could be chosen at the early hour of 1:30 PM.
The Oolong Tapioca Latte was surprisingly milky, and failed to harness the strong notes of Oolong that I desired. My order had been misunderstood and a heaping portion of Matcha Tapioca had been added on top of the existing scoop of Crystal Tapioca. Over time, I couldn't really distinguish them with the exception of hue.
The Grapefruit Green Tea, in which grapefruit pulp was spotted afloat, appeared much more refreshing in comparison.
The bingsoo was already underwhelming by apperance, and the balmy bursts of heat only acted as a catalyst for the process of disintegration. Evenly dispersed indulgent brownie chunks, crunchy chocolate pearls, and a dusting of crisp chocolate flakes and were well appreciated, as was the layering of ice milk and green tea powder.
At the same time, it should be noted that minimal notes of green tea could be perceived. On an overall basis, the dessert melted far too rapidly to be enjoyed properly.
Incorporating public transit on a weekend schedule is never an easy task to accomplish: we missed the first bus by a mere ten seconds, and were forced to transfer afterwards while on the hunt for the next arrival.