So a couple of my coworkers and I decided to try this new place that has opened up in Liberty Village called Liberty Noodle. There has been a lot of anticipation for this restaurant as the sign has been up outside the restaurant for a few months and even before that- there was mention in the local newspaper that this restaurant was set to open in early spring.
We walked in and were wowed immediately as this is a trendy Japanese style noodle house a la style of the vibe of Liberty Village. We were impressed by the open space with it's 14 feet ceilings, modern and clean design with communal tables, an accented red-orange tile wall, open kitchen and dangling chandeliers and the menu was reasonably priced -we were very happy and this Friday it was bustling with energy. They have even a built-in elevator for handicap access.
On the menu, there were a variety of ramen dishes in different broths or stir fries for under $12 and rice dishes and Asian inspired appetizers. Although Ramen or doll noodles as we Chinese call them may seem like a simple and cheap dish - as you can get packages for $0.50 at your local Asian supermarket, the dishes on the menu were more sophisticated and my dining companion decide to share on 3 dishes - the tom yum veggie ramen bowl, a ginger tofu ramen stir fry and the japenese beef curry on rice. Our server Dima was gracious and he gave us the heads up that they were short staffed and to be patient as our dishes would probably take 45 mins. We did come in the middle of the lunch rush so we understood and enjoyed our green tea and chatted happily. We did observe the frustration of many tables and it seemed as though Liberty Noodle had to comp a few for the wait or service. I have to comment that the owners certainly did not skimp on the cutlery and dishware. I loved our tea cups and am now on the search for them for my own home! PS they are the Bodum Pavina espresso cups for your notice and my birthday's in February :)
When our food finally came- the plates were fairly big while our portions took up little room on them hence perhaps the value of the dishes.
Ok here's my take on the food:
Our Tom Yum soup noodle bowl was a bit watered down. I'm used to getting Tom Yum soup from a Thai resto and getting some heat out of it and tasting a stronger lemon grass flavour- I definitely would have liked a bit more flavour in it. Our ginger tofu was a sweet tasting stir fry with an after taste of lingering ginger. My colleague Sophia, who is a SPICE girl, really disliked the sweetness of the dish and practically used up the spicy chili sauce on our table between this stir fry and the broth. The Japanese Beef curry over rice was delicious. It was served in a very yin yang fashion on a big white plate with the curry pushed to one side and the white rice taking over the other side. It was a gentle Asian curry flavour with a coconut milk aftertaste and the beef stewed perfectly. I would recommend this dish highly.
Anyway they have just launched their restaurant and are still working out the kinks. I truly believe they will have it worked out in a couple of months. Our hostess Elle was very friendly and almost apologetic about our experience and I am compassionate about this. Anyway it's a great option to have in my work hood.
** 1/2 stars
Liberty Noodle 171 East Liberty Street
(Liberty and Hanna)