A full 18 months after it was first announced—18 months of salivating over the thought of pork buns and ramen and worrying about sounding over-eager for pork buns and ramen—the Toronto outpost of David Chang’s Momofuku group is now open. Or, rather, the Toronto outposts. The three-storey Momofuku complex, which is adjacent to (but not part of) the new Shangri-La Hotel, actually houses four different “concepts”: Noodle Bar, home of the pork buns and ramen; Nikai, a second-storey bar and lounge; Daishō, which serves “large-format” meals; and Shōtō, whose 22 seats are reserved for tasting menus.
Momofuku’s eye-catching glass cube, like the Shangri-La next door, was designed by James K.M. Cheng, and sits behind Rising, the hotel’s 33-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture (by the Shanghai-based artist Zhang Huan). During the day, the building stands out against University Avenue’s unremitting concrete, and at night, the illuminated structure shines like a beacon, drawing hungry diners to feast within (that’s the idea, at least). The Design Agency, of Toronto, was responsible for the interior space, creating a unified look among the floors that alternates between white oak, concrete and glass. Momofuku Toronto’s 125-member-strong team is led by executive chef Sam Gelman (Má Pêche, Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Ssäm Bar) and maitre d’ Joel Centeno (Auberge du Pommier), who greets patrons at the door and sends them off to their destinations. Below, check out our tour of each of Momofuku Toronto’s four constituent parts.