In the past five to eight years, the proliferation of ramen shops in the city has blossomed to a point where you can get decent ramen almost anywhere in the city. My favorites are still Yokato Yobabai and Kazu, don’t @ me. At the same time as the ramen rise, there was a variable poke bloom as well. When was the last time you got a poke? No, not that thirsty thing you did on Facebook to get your crush to notice you. I meant poké; the delicious dish of soy sauce marinated raw fish tossed with savoury aromatics like scallions, red onion, sesame.
What if I told you, you can now get ramen, poke annnd the city’s best taro latte all at the same time? That’s right, the newest hotspot in NDG is located at Mia Café Club AKA, Ca Lem AKA Caviar Sushi Poke & Ramen.
Don’t get it wrong; this is not a collab or rebrand; Caviar sushi is located in Laval, but are now operating a takeout counter in the Ca Lem space. If you’ve been awake through the 2000-teens, you’ve definitely had a poke bowl – or a poke salad if you will. Said poke, placed on top of the fluffy seasoned sushi rice accompanied by a mix of fresh vegetables and pickles. Caviar NDG’s menu features classic ramen and two versions of poke and its variations; a choice of salmon or tuna.
My only regret was not getting an extra side order of the truffle sauce to sip on like I do with BBQ chicken gravy.
I got the tuna tataki bowl with truffle sauce. A generous portion of seared tuna tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing, accompanied by a ton of fresh accoutrements of varying flavours and textures. Cool bites of cucumber and cherry tomatoes mixed with sharp red onions and buttery avocados makes each mouthful different from the next. With briny pickled daikon and wakame seaweed salad, this bowl was extremely addictive. The drizzled creamy truffle dressing was bonkers. The umami in the sauce definitely set off the smokiness of the meaty tuna. Order this. My only regret was not getting an extra side order of the truffle sauce to sip on like I do with BBQ chicken gravy.
Classic ramen bowls with a simple ordering formula; pick your broth, original, shoyu or miso then pick your protein; pork, chicken or tofu. Each bowl is topped with sweet corn, fresh bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, pickled ginger, a soft boiled egg, naruto fish cake, and nori.
The thinly-sliced rolled marinated chashu was deep and flavourful. The clean shoyu broth was a great base to this bowl and provided the needed saltiness to each bite. It wasn’t overly oily either that the right amount of soup coated each slurp of noodles – which by the way was ridiculously generous. Regarless of the fact that I ate a quarter of the poke bowl, I was barely able to finish the noodles.
The chicken slices were also gargantuan in size and generous in portion which leaves me to believe that they’re actually using ostrich.
The chicken slices were also gargantuan in size and generous in portion which leaves me to believe that they’re actually using ostrich. I kid, It’s chicken. Probably. No, I’m pretty sure it’s chicken. No, it’s chicken for sure.
Inherently dry, poached chicken breasts often dry out even more over time when left exposed. A short dunk in the broth solves this problem. The noodles in both bowls were perfectly cooked. They were nicely chewy and had some bite.
As I said, Caviar is operating a takeout counter in the Ca Lem AKA Mia Café Club space. Matcha lattes, pastries and select signature ice cream pints still available (check their IG or website).
I can’t explain how happy I am that there is finally ramen in NDG. But not just ramen, GOOD ramen. I’m very excited by this discovery. You can’t tell, but I wrote this entire thing standing because excitement courses through my veins. Or it could be the double-caf espresso I just had to keep myself awake after crushing so much food.
6926 Sherbrooke St W.
Pick up- delivery via apps available.