The best kind of experience is the one that surprises you. As someone with a busy schedule, I rarely have the opportunity to go out on my own and look for unique eating places that serve up adventurous and out of the box dishes. Thus, when I do find one, I feel like it is my utmost duty to share it to the world. I recently got the opportunity to dine at Noonchi in Industrie Food Loft. Noonchi surprised me with its playful, colorful and delicious meals that truly gave me a surprise in every bite. The flavors they served were unlike other meals I’ve tasted. Though dishes from Asian countries inspire each meal, the chef was able to give them their own unique twist.
THE STORY BEHIND NOONCHI
“Noonchi” is a Korean word with no English translation. It means having high emotional intelligence or being able to gauge or understand the moods of others without the need of verbal communication. In Filipino culture, this would best be understood with the word “pakikiramadam”. The owners of Noonchi decided to use this word as their branding because they believe that the food and service they give is a nod of understanding to what their customers want without them saying or even knowing it.
Noonchi is starting out as a food stall in Industrie Food Loft; but, I personally think that the quality of their food is at par with high rating restaurants. The innovative ideas, careful preparation and beautiful execution of the dishes they serve truly give you an elevated dining experience. There is no doubt that Noonchi will go places.
WHAT TO EAT
Bulgogi Marinated Shaved Steak topped with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Melted Cheese in a Squid Ink Bun
The Bulgogi Cheesesteak is simply mouthwatering. This appetizer is a perfect mix of cheesy, sweet and salty bulgogi sitting on a soft and crisp squid ink bun. It’s actually quite filling already because of the generous amount of beef and the long bun. If you’re a meat and cheese lover like me, it’s a sure winning pick!
BAD BAOS OF NOONCHI
1 pc. – PHP 80, 2 pcs. – PHP 150, 3 pcs. – PHP 220
Bibimbao - Bulgogi shaved steak, pickled carrot and cucumber, kimchi
Birdhouse Bao - Fried Chicken, Sweet/Spicy Glaze, Roasted Sesame
Barako Spam Bao - Teriyaki Spam, quick pickled cucumber, coffee aioli
Don’t be fooled by the name, the Bad Baos of Noonchi are so GOOD that you won’t be satisfied with just one piece! I’d say that it’s pretty much the Asian version of a taco or a hamburger. You can’t go wrong with the Bibimbao because it’s a sandwich version of the regular Bibimbap go-to meal. The Birdhouse Bao is my personal favorite. It’s chicken thigh infused with Noonchi’s home made salted egg, tugarashi and roasted peanut sauce – making it absolutely flavorful. On the other hand, the Barako Spam Bao has a familiar Filipino taste because it’s a combination of crispy spam and pickled cucumbers shaved thin. These two create a great texture and explode with flavors in my mouth.
Fun Fact: The owners share that they don’t like the processed salted egg powders so they make their own salted egg from scratch! #Effort
Noodles in a Rich Spicy Khao Soi Broth, served with Chicken and Ramen Egg
The Khao Soi is unique because it’s made with Noonchi’s own blend of curry. The savory broth mixed with crunchy noodles gives the dish a great texture. The chicken has that smokey taste because of the red curry paste and smoked paprika. Aside from these, the hint of fish sauce gives it just the right amount of saltiness mixed with a squeeze of lime to give that bright and lively feeling with every bite.
BACON TONKONTSU RAMEN
Noodles in a Rich Pork Bone Broth and Bacon Dashi, served with Bacon, Ramen Egg and Nori
The Bacon Tonkontsu Ramen has “comfort food” sprinkled all over it. It’s a wonderful combination of sweet and spicy broth. The bacon strips are juicy and the soup is absolutely flavorful. The noodles are handmade and have a certain quality that allows it to absorb the taste of the broth. I also liked this dish even more because it definitely tastes as good as some Ramen restaurants but at a cheaper price point! Win-win!
CHICKEN AND HANGOVER NOODLES
Noodles Stirfried in a Spiced Garlic Peanut Sauce with Chicken Glazed in either Sweet or Spicy Sauce
I must confess, the Chicken and Hangover Noodles is my FAVORITE dish at Noonchi. Aside from the splendid mix of sweet and spicy chicken with soft thick noodles and garlic peanut sauce, this dish has a pretty interesting backstory. The owners shared that one time, their head chef had a horrible hangover and woke up feeling hungry. He decided to rummage his refrigerator and look for something to eat. When he couldn’t find anything he wanted, he threw in all the ingredients he found and VOILA! Their best selling dish, Chicken and Hangover, was created!
To sum it up, Noonchi is definitely one of my new favorite places for delicious comfort food. The head chef of Noonchi, Moshe Baldo, actually belongs to a family of cooks. I was VERY surprised when Moshe told me that he never had formal culinary education. He tells me that cooking has just always been his passion – and the food they serve truly emanates that. He tells me, that even as a young boy, he would volunteer to help his mom with her catering business because he loved being in the kitchen.
“Everyone’s favorite cooking comes from their mothers”, he expresses. “It’s because a mother will always give careful preparation and effort with every dish because she knows how you want your food.” In the same way, at Noonchi, he promises that they don’t make any compromises and ensure you that each dish is served just the way you like it.
Want to try their food? Visit: Noonchi
Industrie Food Loft, 2/F CityGolf Plaza, Julia Vargas Avenue Pasig 1556
Time to make your own memories!
♡ , Pat