What is a milk bar? According to my quick Google search, in Britain it is a snack bar that sells milk and other refreshments. In Australia, it is a suburban café or general store, similar to a tuck shop, a delicatessen or a corner store. In Poland, a milk bar (also known as bar mleczny) is a cafeteria which sells relatively cheap but nourishing food (it stems from the World War II era/Great Depression).
Well, based on a friend’s recommendation I went to try a milk bar myself – Momofuku’s Milk Bar. It’s located in Toronto, unexpectedly on the second floor of their Noodle restaurant. Although I expected to see a typical bar layout, the Milk Bar was an area that was segregated from the restaurant by a glass room. It was nothing at all like I imagined. Rather, it was a room surrounded by clear glass walls that was essentially like walking into a cold refrigerator full of goodies.
I decided to try two of the most popular items: the compost cookie and a slice of crack pie.
The compost cookie is a random mishmash of ingredients – the most notable ingredients included pretzel and potato chips. Taking a bite into this $2 CAD cookie, it was soft and chewy. It was a bit overly sweet and the texture was clumpy, but it was an interesting cookie. I’m not sure if I would go back for the Compost Cookie, but there are other interesting treats in the fridge!
Next on the list was crack pie:
The pie slice comes in a simple cardboard box. Upon reading the ingredients, it also seemed quite simple. For $6 CAD a slice (or $45 for a whole pie), this is what you get:
Wrapped in parchment paper, opening it reveals this thin-crusted slice of pie. There is nothing visually different about this pie, but taking a bite you get a sort of chewy, sweet experience which is disrupted occasionally with chunks of oats. The pie tasted very similar to a butter tart, but the filling wasn’t as gooey or as thick. It was a good dessert and for $6 CAD, that isn’t bad. I enjoyed the pie slice a lot more than the cookie, but it didn’t give me the “addicted to crack” effect. It was yummy though!
Overall, the Momofuku Milk Bar probably best fits in between the first and second category of milk bar definitions. I personally don’t like the way the store is laid out and how there aren’t any employees around to provide assistance, but it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. If I ever go back, I’ll give the birthday truffles a try next time.
190 University Ave
Toronto, ON M5H 0A3