It’s a great time to be a ramen lover in Montreal. For a long time, there was a serious lack of options. Thankfully, in the past year, there have been many openings around the city to satiate your noodle cravings. The newest entry is Schlouppe Bistrot Nakamichi, located in the old Cafe Verdure space on Mackay. On the surface, it’s a clean, minimal space with beautiful wooden tables, but there’s much more here to bite into.
The focus is on Toripaitan ramen, a neglected chicken-based cousin of the always delicious pork Tonkotsu ramen. They serve only 3 versions of ramen here – Regular, New Classic & Truffle Soba (vegetarian) – you won’t need more. Nakamichi keeps its menu short and sweet; there are a few salad and donburi, but we’re not there for that!
On my first visit I took the Regular ramen. The broth is creamy and full-bodied, like a great corn potage. The toppings, on first glance, seem normal but upon inspection it’s clear there’s something more to see.
The half soft-boiled egg is perfectly cooked, with a just-set white and runny bright orange yolk. The sliced pork (loin, as opposed to the usual belly), is cooked to just past medium. The reason we’re here though is the noodles, and they are thin and springy, with just the perfect bite to them. Bringing it all together is a deep black garlic oil. WOW! For something so rich, I couldn’t get enough! I literally devoured the whole thing.
Second time around, (once was clearly not enough!) I went for the New Classic. This is even richer than the Regular, and is essentially a chicken noodle soup on steroids. In addition to green onions and the egg, they add a chicken meatball, along with sliced chicken which are both moist and perfectly cooked. Impossibly thin sliced mushrooms were spread around one side, meanwhile the diced red peppers and onions brought a crunchy element to the dish. Spicy miso paste on the side kicked up the heat.
On the side I took a small bowl of Takana (pickled mustard leaves). It did a good job of cutting the richness of the New Classic but I still finished my bowl feeling a bit done in by all the fat. The servers were friendly & kept the water flowing throughout the meal but I couldn’t help but wish that they had an alcohol license – I wanted a cold Asahi to wash it all down!
Overall though, there is much here to like. Although Nakamichi is slightly more pricy than their nearby competitors, they bring something new & delicious to the table – and for that, I’ll be happy to return.
Schlouppe Bistrot Nakamichi
2159 Rue Mackay, Montreal, QC
About Teg Graham
Teg sometimes cooks things in restaurants. He likes music, hockey, painting and reading Gael Green’s restaurant review archives.