Ramen… I remember the very first time I had ramen that was not instant “ramen” – it was at Kintaro Ramen in Vancouver and it was pretty much a life changing experience. Every since then, I have been on the hunt for the rich, umami taste that I experienced back in Vancouver. I have had ramen-ish experiences in Edmonton but nothing that was reminiscent of that very first bowl. But I think Prairie Noodle Shop is out to change the ramen landscape in Edmonton and I, for one am 100% on board for the Edmonton Ramen revolution.
Prairie Noodle Shop has been hosting a series of pop-ups over the past year to help them develop and refine their core recipes and I have had the privilege to make it to all four pop-ups. The frenzy surrounding the pop-ups have involved all seats (100-150 bowls) being sold out in 5 minutes or less! The good news is that Prairie Noodle Shop is going to be moving to a permanent bricks and mortar location on 124 Street some time this year – the timing is dependent on when the City approves their development permits etc.
The very first bowl I had from Prairie Noodle Shop was in October of last year where they sold the bowls as a first come first serve – the line for the 8pm seating started early and was sold out by 7:45pm. Edmonton was definitely chomping on the bit to get their first taste of Prairie Noodle ramen. The initial bowl was an Alberta pork based ramen using Irvings Farm Berkshire Pork – I vaguely remember hearing something about smoking the bones outside, so they did use every part of the pig that they could. The Alberta pork ramen had a shio style broth that was made with the smoked bones, dashi and dried shrimp. The toppings with this included pork done not one, not two but three ways: char-siu style, shredded ham and shoulders, and a crispy chicharon, sweet corn and an umeboshi (Japanese salted plum) egg. For someone who doesn’t love eggs, this umeboshi egg is *almost* enough to change my mind… I just end up giving the egg yolk to one of my friends and eating the rest myself. Finally, I want to talk about one of the most important things in a good ramen, the noodles – the Prairie Noodle Shop partners did try making their own noodles, but in the end decided it was a better option to have them made fresh by a Chinese lady (who remains a secret) instead. The noodles are very good and have that delightful “bite”/chew that you want in your ramen noodles.
Alberta Pork Ramen – Shio broth with pork done three ways (char-siu style, shredded ham and shoulder, crispy chicharon), sweet corn, and umeboshi egg
June has a been a really beautiful month so far and best of all my garden is starting to bloom! My flowers are popping up in all their glory, so I’ve been taking some inside and I have to say it’s been an absolute pleasure having a fresh bouquet on my table at home, so I thought I’d share a look at them with this month’s topbox.
Oh the trials of being a food enthusiast (and occasional blogger)… some weeks I pack my schedule with so much eating that food eventually becomes public enemy number 1 (cues up a very tiny violin). The last few weeks have definitely been food heavy as I rarely had dinner at home – of course that means a much healthier eating plan for the next few days. While I eat my fruit and salads, I want to recap a fantastic meal I went to at Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse. June is Pork Month and as we have it, BaconFest YEG is back for a second round on June 30. Pampa is participating in BaconFest YEG and as part of that, they are offering a special BaconFest menu for the month of June. My awesome friend Brittney of Gastropost Edmonton fame invited me + a date (my sister Bel) and a few others (like Linda – who is also giving away tickets to BaconFest Yeg!) to head out to Pampa to try the Pampa BaconFest menu.
Pampa’s BaconFest Menu
Well… May just completely breezed by and it definitely ended with several very warm days here in Edmonton. And with nice weather comes all the crazy fun events and no time to blog, which is why I forgot about my May Topbox until now. May’s Topbox was filled with brands I have never tried like The Face Shop (is it one word or three separate ones??). The Face Shop has opened a few brick and mortar shops here in Edmonton and I have seen them, but never bought anything from them before. My understanding is that The Face Shop is a Korean company that is introducing North America to the wonder of Korean beauty products… as a fan of Asian beauty products, I was very excited to see and try their products in this month’s box!
It’s been awhile since The Common has hosted a pop-up dinner… I think the last one was way back in 2013, so I was pretty excited to see a tweet a few weeks ago saying a pop-up dinner was going down on May 26. Of course as soon as I saw the date, I cringed because it’s the end of the month and I am over my monthly budget. I was going to have to pass on the pop-up but I got really lucky because Andrea had a contest giving away tickets to the event… I didn’t win at first but the original winner wasn’t able to make it to the event so I was able to get myself a spot at her table! The theme of this pop-up with “Honey and Hot Sauce”, which I thought was great – there is nothing like a good sweet and spicy pairing, although hopefully not too spicy since I am a wimp when it comes to spicy things.
Honey & Hot Sauce Pop-Up Menu