Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at 11:37 pm
Ramen In No Man’s Land: Nomiya
After picking up some gardening supplies at Canadian Tire two weekends ago, we thought it might be a good opportunity to finally try Nomiya, which has made mostly positive impressions in the blogosphere.
We headed inside to take a closer look at the menu. Though Mack wasn’t initially in the mood for Japanese, I won him over by pointing out that Nomiya had a teriyaki rice bowl on the menu (ever-present on local Japanese restaurant menus, but for good reason).
Just after we were seated, we found out that we were nearing the last call for lunch, so we quickly scanned the menu and ordered. Nomiya’s focus seemed to be on ramen, but they also had a healthy selection of appetizers, sushi, and a few rice-based bowls. Featuring colour photos, it was also easy for those new to this type of cuisine to choose based on pictures alone. Mack decided on the aforementioned teriyaki chicken donburi ($10.95), which came with either miso soup or salad, while I chose the buta kakuni ($11), a miso-based ramen with marinated Japanese pork belly.
While we waited for our food, we admired the modest but charming interior. I liked the dark wood framing around several of the booths, while the small sushi prep station was aglow in a burst of light, a visual reminder to diners that sushi is also available to them.
Mack at Nomiya
Mack enjoyed his lunch well enough. The chicken, lightly breaded, was tender and tasty, while the vegetables were mostly cooked well. Sweet potato was the one exception, hard and inedible as it was.
Teriyaki chicken bowl
My friend Annie had mentioned that she preferred Nomiya’s ramen to Meguro’s, and for the most part, I agree with her. The soup base was nicely balanced and well-seasoned, while the noodles held their own with a chewy perfection. What I could have done without was the pork belly – with a ratio of fat to meat close to 3:1, I couldn’t bring myself to eat more than one piece. Perhaps this is just personal preference, but the fat layers were an unappetizing shade of grey.
Buta kakuni ramen
On the bright side, the service was polite and attentive, and in spite of the fact that we were the last party in the restaurant before their dinner break, we never felt rushed. And if we were in this no-man’s land of good food options again, we would certainly not hesitate to stop in. I would just know to select a different protein on the next occasion.
646, 3803 Calgary Trail