It was only a matter of time before Edmonton’s ramen game was elevated with a restaurant making its own noodles from scratch. Unfortunately, since Nudoru’s opening in early April, it hasn’t been smooth sailing. The Old Strathcona eatery has fielded numerous lukewarm reviews relating to inconsistent service, incorrect orders and questionable food quality. In some ways, a slow start for new restaurants are inevitable as they try and find their footing. However, with the added pressure of being the first to craft the alkaline noodles in-house, expectations were higher than normal. Mack and I chose Nudoru as a pre-theatre dinner option on Friday before a show at The Backstage Theatre.
Mack had already been to Nudoru once before a few weeks prior, and enjoyed the experience well enough. Friday was probably an even more ideal evening for ramen though, with the drizzly cool temperatures conjuring up the desire for warming soups. It seemed many others had the same inclination, as Nudoru was completely full by the end of our visit.
I liked the clean wood-based interior, and the fun pops of orange throughout the space. The feature mural was definitely eye-catching, with a samurai pictured fighting various elements of a bowl of ramen, all while wearing Nike sneakers. It was also nice to be able to see inside the kitchen, with windows offering diners a peek.
We elected to each try one of their sake-based cocktails. I probably should have known better than to order one named Pretty Princess ($10), with sake, peach schnapps, cranberry juice and calpico, but it was much too sweet and lacked any nuance at all. Similarly, Mack’s Island Hopper ($10), with sake, malibu, lime and cranberry juice was also fairly one-note.
On the food end of things, Nudoru offers several small plates and three pre-assembled ramen bowls. But no doubt, besides the in-house noodles, they are unique because of their build-your-own ramen option ($13 for one meat protein and 3 toppings). Mack and I both chose this route.
Our orders arrived promptly, steaming hot from the kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised with the creaminess of the miso broth, and thought it was well-seasoned. The pork belly (which we had both selected as our protein), was on the fattier side, so I would likely choose the pork shoulder next time. The soft boiled egg was perfectly prepared, with the yolk a creamy yellow. The noodles had a nice chewy consistency, though to be honest – in a blind taste test, I’m not sure I’d be able to distinguish the freshly made variety.
Miso broth with pork belly, egg, bean sprouts and scallions
Mack went with his usual shoyu (soy sauce) broth, and found it fairly consistent with his previous visit. He commented that the serving size seemed fairly generous, and I had to agree that I was very satisfied by the end of our meal.
Shoyu broth with pork belly, egg, bamboo shoots and pickled onion
It’s been great to see the proliferation of more ramen options in Edmonton, from the fusion stylings of Prairie Noodle to concepts like Nudoru’s create your own. My visit to Nudoru was also better than I was expecting, so I will certainly be back. I hope they’ve managed to work through their early kinks and can maintain this level of experience!
10532 82 Avenue
Tuesday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 12-5pm, closed Mondays