Rarely, during the dead heat of summer, does someone crave a hot noodle soup (unless of course you're like me :P). That's precisely why every young noodle restaurant seeks to find a cool, refreshing soup-less version of their signature dish that can thrive throughout the scorching months. Lucky for me, while taking a short break from my customary bowl of ramen, I was chosen to sample Chef Paul's own summer concoction on a recent visit to Wonton Forest.
Still without an official name (suggestions are now being taken), this WoFo Summer Noodle is a cross between Sōmen and Hiyashi-Chuuka with everything you love about the "classic" WoFo tradition. You know what that means--scrumptious wontons! Basically the same toppings as the Wonton Forest Noodle Soup (pork & shrimp wontons, choy sum, sliced pork, flavored egg, green onion, roasted garlic, chopped lettuce), the only difference is a rice noodle minus the soup.
Served with a small bowl of a prepared menmi base, there are two ways to eat this Summer Noodle: You can either dip it sōmen-style or just pour the entire menmi base on top.
After trying a few dips of the sleek rice noodle, I enthusiastically poured the rest of the menmi base over everything and proceeded to massage and mix things up. My first reaction was "wow, this is pretty good!" And then I added some homemade chili sauce and was like "WOW, this is DAMN good!" It really reminded me of those hot summer days spent during college (without a/c) when I would slurp down some cold sōmen or zaru udon in bliss, while my roommate bit**ed about the heat. Those were the days...
As you can see from the pic below (please excuse my mess) I really enjoyed myself and my new favorite summer noodle. Although it would surely beat the heat of a hot summer day, I personally would enjoy it in any weather. You can take it from me or you can take it from someone who likes to eat--Wonton Forest is highly recommended!
It's not on the menu (yet), but Chef Paul will be more than willing to prepare it for you if you ask. He's still working on perfecting it for summer (e.g. replacing the flavored pork with a slice of black forest ham) so your honest opinions will be taken very seriously. Do me a favor, give it a try and let me know what you think. Take a stand against deforestation!