Earlier today Trev sent me a link to an article from Vue Weekly about Nomiya restaurant. It sounded good, and I've wanted to try ramen since Trev bought the Momofuku cookbook (we haven't worked up the energy to make dashi and noodles ourselves yet). So when I got home from work this evening and Trevor asked what was for dinner, I said: "nothing, we're going out", so we easily and quickly decided to try Nomiya.
Nomiya is tucked into a strip mall complex between Calgary Trail and Gateway Blvd. It's sandwiched between a wings place and a frozen yogurt shop. It's not too remarkable from the outside, but the interior is nice. It's decorated in a Japanese-esque style with dark wood and clean lines. When we arrived we were seated right away. Our server was friendly and efficient.
While we were looking the menu over, the server brought us tea and a small complimentary salad with a few pieces of lightly battered salmon in a vinaigrette with a few cucumber and red pepper slices. The salmon had a few little pieces of bone in it, which I though might have been from the collar. I think it's a great way to use up extra fish in a very tasty way. We debated what to order, because we knew we wanted to try the ramen, but we also wanted to see how their maki was. We couldn't decide on the maki, so we stayed with ramen.
Trevor ordered the Spicy Miso. The broth was delicious and thick, with peanut and sesame flavour and a good kick of heat on the finish. His soup had a generous portion of ramen noodles and chasu (sliced pork). He also ordered the deep fried squid tentacles. They were served up fresh and hot. The batter was very light, which allowed the flavour and texture of the squid to come through. I would definitely order the squid again (but I was also tempted by the grilled squid on the menu...)
I had debated between the Tan Tan ramen and the Tsuke-Men ramen while deciding, but ultimately decided to go with the Tsuke-Men or 'dipping noodles'. It's a different style of ramen dish where the broth is served separately from the the noodles, vegetables and meat. I received a small bowl of miso broth, which was well-seasoned and tasty. On a separate plate I received a pile of ramen, kimchi, sliced cucumber, chasu and a boiled egg. I have to say, I was definitely disappointed with my choice. Everything on my plate was cold or luke-warm and the miso wasn't very warm either. When I dipped cold noodles, kimchi or cucumber into the miso they didn't really warm up, in fact, my miso ended up stone-cold as well. Aside from the fact that everything was cold, I'm not sure if I liked the "dip a bite into soup" concept. I think I would have preferred one of the other ramen dishes, which, like pho, has everything in one bowl so all the flavours and textures can be enjoyed together.
Anyhow, I also ordered a rice side-dish that had pork, shitake mushrooms, green onions, nori and mayo. I knew it would be too much food, but wanted to try more of what Nomiya had to offer. After it's served you stir it all together. It was pretty good, the shitake really brought out the meaty flavour of the pork and the green onion gave a little crunch. I only managed a few bites...how could one person eat all those noodles AND all that rice?
Overall, my experience at Nomiya was a little disappointing, and that made me sad. But I'm definitely willing to go back again and order something different. The quality of food seemed good, something just went a little wrong with the Tsuke-men tonight.