Yuki Ramen is a diamond in the rough, an unexceptional-looking restaurant in the food court of Montreal’s somewhat run down Faubourg shopping centre. Now, I wouldn’t normally expect to find any blog-worthy food at a food court, but there are always exceptions. I discovered it while running errands in the area one day and wanted a bite to eat. As I scanned the small selection of restaurants in the food court that were actually open, I was uninspired until my eyes settled on Yuki Ramen.
I’ll be more specific: my eyes settled on the large window next to the restaurant’s cash register where a man stood spinning a long rope of dough between his hands. I couldn’t believe my luck: I had found a hand-pulled noodle shop. My research hasn’t been overly extensive in the subject, but from what I’ve seen and heard, these places are somewhat hard to come by in North America. Needless to say, I knew right away what I would have for lunch.
I first heard of hand-pulled noodles from a wonderful post and video from Tiny Urban Kitchen. I found the video fascinating, and I really wanted to try these noodles, but I never got the courage to actually attempt to make them myself since I predicted it would take several failed attempts and a lot of frustration before I actually achieved something edible. So, as you can imagine, I was quite excited to find a place that actually serves hand-pulled noodles.
I had a good feeling about Yuki Ramen before I’d even tasted their soup. I loved what had drawn me there in the first place: the window that allows you to watch the cook at work as he pulls, twists, and spins dough into perfect, thin noodles. Watching the whole act is mesmerizing and appetite-whetting all at the same time. I liked that the menu was simple: numbered pictures displaying the different soup choices, and that’s all. There is no messing around with other menu options to please more palettes: ramen soup is what they do, and they do it very well.
Andrew and I have been back several times as we’re in the area every Saturday, and it has quickly become a favourite. The contents of the different soups vary slightly, but in general, the ramen soup consists of a big bowl of mushrooms, bok choy, seaweed, coriander, your meat of choice, and, of course, beautiful, fresh, hand-pulled noodles, all floating in a clean, savoury broth. The noodles are soft, but have a slight spring to them. Their flavour is simple, but are absolutely addictive when soaked in the delicious ramen broth.
Andrew’s favourite is the barbeque pork, which comes with the broth on the side for you to pour over yourself.
I’m a fan of this one too: the pork is moist, and lightly seasoned with a barbeque spice blend.
I’ve also sampled the short rib ramen.
The ribs melted in my mouth and combined with the rest of the soup components, made for a hearty winter meal. A few of the pieces I got were a little more tendon-y than I would have liked, but I got enough good meat to not mind very much putting those pieces on the side.
I like the vegetarian one as well, despite the fact that all the ones I’ve tried that have meat have been amazing.
The vegetarian option has more mushrooms and other vegetables, and a cleaner, clearer broth. It’s lighter, but in my opinion, just as filling.
Like I said before, I’m not normally one to sing the praises of food court restaurants, but this one is well worth a mention. With quick service and reasonable prices (all soups are under $10), it’s a great student meal. Student or not, though, try this one out. During these cold winter days, I think you’ll find it’s just what you were craving.
1616 Ste-Catherine W. (in the Faubourg food court)