By Jamie Drummond

Do not judge a book by its cover... or its name for that matter.

It has oft been said by friends, lovers, and parents alike that I have a little bit of a death wish when it comes to food.

I’ll concede that yes, I do have this fabulous perversion whereby I get a kick, a genuine adrenal boost, from daredevil dining in some of the strangest places in the city of Toronto, occasionally restaurants that I’m pretty sure the Health Department don’t even know exist.

Forever seeking out that hidden gem, like some foolish culinary Indiana Jones with a backpack full of anti-parasitic medication and Immodium.

Hence I love our irregular Lunch Under $10 column…

This week finds us in deepest, darkest Parkdale… well, actually just around the corner from my humble apartment.

From the exterior Noodle Menu doesn’t look too promising… and don’t get me started on the name.

The interior of Noodle Menu.

Inhabiting the spot formerly occupied by the extremely disappointing Pho Queen, Noodle Menu is the perfect model of immaculate renovation.

The staff have been nothing but cheery upon each of my visits, even going as far as to lend me one of their china bowls to take home for the photo shoot.

Having experimented with a number of the dishes I would say that my favourite choice as an Autumnal/Winter warmer would have to be item P7: Curry Chicken and Vegetable.

A thick, satisfyingly creamy broth cradles two handfuls of rice noodles, potatoes, tomatoes, beansprouts, and an astonishing amount of bone-in chicken, topped with the requisite torn basil and coriander.

What with both noodles and potatoes sitting together one would imagine it to be a bit of a carbohydrate overdose, but with a little bit of hot sauce it works a treat.

By virtue of my Scottish ancestry I certainly do have an inherent eye for value, and I have to say that Noodle Menu’s Curry Chicken and Vegetable is perhaps the most fantastically enormous bowl of tasty goodness that one could possibly find for under $10.

$10 goes a long way at Noodle Menu: Famous Rice Noodle Soup P7: Curry Chicken and Vegetable

Noodle Menu is located at 1265 Queen Street West, between Dufferin and Brock, on the south side of the street.

Hours are Monday – Thursday, 11am – 9pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm – 11pm.

The LARGE Curry Chicken and Vegetable is $8.25 plus tax.

On another day it looked more like this. That's a big bowl. Teapot is there for size comparison.

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… and he doesn’t actually have the iron stomach he often professes to have. Quite the opposite actually. He’s a sensitive soul.