Monday, March 5, 2012

Restaurant Review: Salis Noodis

Update: Late June 2012, and Salis Noodis has been closed for minor renovations for a while. I am hoping that this isn't a precursor to deadpool.  Their opening was announced in the last issue of City Bites.  I will post when there is some information available.

A new noodle house has opened just south of St. Clair and Younge.  In this area, any restaurant needs to pitch to health conscious and pocketbook watching lunchers.  The exceptions either pitch to foodies or locals.  It would seem that a noodle house could work in this area where it could add to the plethora of sushi shacks and Italian restaurants.  I wonder what is Italian for noodle house?

Myself and my companions, together have sampled six different soups and two salads.  The pan-asian menu makes sure that there is a soup (Noodis) or salad (Salis) for everyone.  Beef, chicken, fish, vegetarian all have at least one soup and meat often factor into the salads.  Different noodles such as ramen, udon, vermicelli all make an appearance.  Price for the soup is between 10-13 dollars while the salads clock in at the 8ish dollar mark.  The Noodis portion of the menu includes: Roast Duck Breast Lai Fun, Asian Beef Ribs Lai Fun, Mee Fun, and Crispy Pork Belly Udon.  The Salis include Gado-Gado and Spicy Sesame Beef Salad, and Kale Cranberry Salad.

Broth is often used as a base for adding more flavour when making a soup.  It is the starting point. The Salis Noodis broth tastes as if there was a flavouring added to the broth without building the flavours.  It is not an artificial taste but rather of well made consomme being added to a quick stock.  Most of the broths taste a little thin. Still, this is way more desirable than using a soup base from a can or using the same generic broth for every soup. It is fresh tasting, at least in comparison to the muddy tastes of the usual soups from a mix or the grocery store hot bowls or the local chinese restaurants.  One notable exception to the thin broths is the beef broth.  The Asian Beef Ribs Lai Fun came with a bone and the depth of taste that I expect from beef broth.  Maybe it was a trick of the mind because anything with a bone has got to be good.

The broths are flavourable but seem to be missing something.  A touch of acid, a splash of citrus or vinegar, or maybe the tang of a hot pepper or ...something.  They need something to bring notice to the delicate tastes already present.

The salads tend to suffer the opposite effect of too much acid whether it be the vinegar or lemon.  The gado-gado, which is a composed salad of blanched vegetables with a peanut dressing, is cooked perfectly.  The dressing is too thin and overwhelms with lemon.  The spicy sesame beef was on the edge of too tangy.  It reminded me of a fresh sauerkraut with some beef thrown in it.  The sesame was lost.

All of the meat whether it be duck or beef are cooked well.  The meat falls apart in just the right way in your mouth;  a little resistance followed with the rich taste of meat.  My favourite bite was of the pork belly.  It was crisp on the skin side but soft and surprisingly meaty on the fatty side.  The crunch contrasted well with the softness of the noodles.

Some of the textures in these soups were surprising.  Silky enoki and crisp pungent mustard greens provided nuanced tastes.  Maybe it is my western taste buds that yearn for the acidic contrast but since we so seldom use acid in our soups, I am guessing not.

I think that overall it would be better if you stayed in to experience the noodles with a bowl and spoon.  If you take a soup back to the office, be prepared to put it into a glass bowl as eating out of the container is ackward and a little unsatisfying.

A friend of mine put it well, the soup is tasty but is it fourteen dollars of tasty?  I will go to this place every other week.  It's not because it is so awesome but rather because the tastes are different from what is available in the area.  The value for money is right on the edge but with a few tweaks, these soups can be excellent.


  1. I have eaten at this wonderful, palette awakening new eatery which has finally graced my Yonge and St. Clair.
    I too have had the beef ribs,the amazing crispy pork belly and my ultimate favorite Asam Chicken...this is the one with a bit of 'bite' and a tanginess which i believe is from fresh lemongrass.
    Agree, a few tweaks....but small ones.For a new place ,they really have gotten our attention and curiosity to what this great chef will prepare next.
    I don't mind the price, quality is top notch.

  2. It's closed. Deadpool. I do wonder if I should delete these? I think I'll keep 'em around for a while and then figure it out.