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Oct 17, 2004 01:07 PM

The Worst Ramen Place Ever

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I had to share this with fellow Chowhounders who may like ramen.

Last night I tried the worst Ramen place ever called Yokozuna Japanese Noodle House at 505 Hwy 7. First of all not only is it NOT run by Japanese people (surprise surprise) but the actual ramen was atrocious. I got sick afterwards. Their broth was not made hot enough, it was slightly above luke warm. Plus the soup tasted weird, not Japanese at all. The noodles were the worst part of the dish. Please do not eat here. I suspect Takebashi Noodle House, which is in the same plaza, is no better. Also we ordered deep fried gyoza, which tasted of MSG and like the frozen canadianized salty weird kind of pastry shell and filling. BAD gyoza, the worst I've tasted ever.

The only decent ramen I've had in Toronto so far is Ko-nichiwa, which is on Baldwin St. and it is run by Japanese people. It is kind of expensive however (because portions are small), and two pieces of gyoza on the side cost $3.95. But at least they are real gyoza.

Wish they had ok ramen noodle houses in Toronto like in Vancouver... Vancouver has Kintaro's on Denman St and Ezogiku on Rubson St (and even they are much inferior to Japan's....).... why won't they open real ramen noodle houses.... ARGH!

Frances in Toronto

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  1. I've passed by a ramen restaurant on Yonge between Finch and Steeles (west side), right in the heart of Koreatown II (as I like to call the neighbourhood). I think it's called Kenzo Ramen. I have not tried it.

    I used to get wonderful ramen in the food court at Village by the Grange. I'm not sure if they're still there.

    11 Replies
    1. re: shan

      That would be "Sakura" at the Village by the Grange. The original Japanese owners are long gone, but one of them owns Tokyo Grill (on Yonge, just north of Wellesley on the west side) and you can get pretty good ramen there.

      Kenzo Ramen, further up on Yonge is good as well.

      1. re: MJN
        Frances in Toronto

        Tokyo Grill - I heard that the "ramen" there is questionable because they tell Japanese people who try to eat there not to order it because the soup base is not the real ramen soup base but the miso soup that you get on the side when you eat bento box combos.

        I have heard about Kenzo Ramen too. Maybe I will try that next weekend. I hope I don't get another stomach ache like at Yokozuna (I PAID $8.95 FOR THE "YOKOZUNA RAMEN" AND IT WAS SO BAD, $4.50 for 4 HORRIBLY BAD GYOZA).

        Would appreciate any more tips on the Ramen search in Toronto. I am going to ask my karate sensei about it, as he is Japanese... hopefully he might know of some secret place that most Torontonians may not know of.

        1. re: Frances in Toronto

          I've had a bowl of miso ramen at Tokyo Grill. As you suspect, Frances, it is a miso-soup-ramen, including tofu and wakame (seaweed)! How could they be so confused?! I was speechless when they brought it out. It is nothing like the miso ramen you get in Japan.

          1. re: Mary
            Frances in Toronto

            what a shame, Tokyo Grill making noodles in miso soup, that is just gross. argh!

            looks like Ko-nichiwa is the best bet so far, i might try this kenzo ramen place... anything has to be better than that Yokozuna (bleh).

            thanks for all the tips and feedback everyone, if anyone finds decent ramen in Toronto, please say something.

            happy chowhounding

            1. re: Frances in Toronto

              I'm here in Toronto for the weekend. I'm from Seattle and my band played a show at Opera House last night. We got a day off and I'm craving REAL Japanese food. Curry, Crocquet, Tonktsu, Saba-Shioyaki, etc.. Anyone has an idea for the cheap lunch?

          2. re: Frances in Toronto

            I would consider myself as a Ramen master, I cook pretty good Reman myself, I want to recommand Kenzo to all of you..... first of all, this place is quite good, because the noodles are not too much, but the King Reman got so many different toppings, which makes the whole thing interesting, the Pork slices are really nice, more like the grilled thing... I would not say this is as good as the Japanese tradtional Reman, but for the standard in Toronto, it is already one of the best you can get... and most of all, they made their own noodles.. that is hard to find... and soup base is Korean influenced, spicy flavour, whis is nice in the winter time.

            I like it, for a Ramen craving.. Kenzo is definetely the place to go!

            Image: http://www.seoulnavi.com/food/images/...

          3. re: MJN

            Thanks for the heads up about Sakura and Tokyo Grill.


            1. re: MJN

              Tokyo Grill is located at 582 Yonge St (416) 968-7054.

              This is my favorite restaurant in town for a simple but well prepared homemade style japanese meal. Decor at this restaurant is very simple, prices are reasonable, and it is very popular among university students.

              Not having ever been to Japan, I cannot comment on the authenticity of the ramen server there, but I can tell you that is is good and inexpensive. I find the texture of the chicken served with the ramen a bit strange, but that is just my opinion.

              One of my favorite dishes there is the chicken katsu, juicy and tender chicken brest perfectly breaded, served with steamed rice, a small side of salad and miso soup. Another dish I like there is unagi don, the BBQ eel serving is generous; the only problem I found is that the preparation is not always consistent, but it is nonetheless satisfying.

              Tokyo Grill has its faults, but I still find it a great place for a homemade style japanese meal.



            2. re: shan

              It is looking like a Koreatown up there and is actually moving northward toward Centre with some new Korean markets and restaurants past Steeles.

              Isn't Toronto/GTA great?

              1. re: Goober

                I agree Toronto/GTA rocks! I wouldn't trade the variety of quality restaurants for anything! :0)

              2. re: shan

                shan, this is also a Chinese-run restaurant.

              3. I went to Kenzo a few times and I would say it is acceptable. It cant be compared to the ones I had in Japan but in Toronto, I would still go there when I really want a bowl of ramen. They offer miso and shio soup base and both of them are okay. If you like spicy ones, try the middle column in the menu. Mind you, this restaurant is operated by Korean, not Japanese.

                The other restaurant operated by Japanese is called Otaru. It is actually a Japanese restaurant, not a ramen place. It does offer 3 different kinds of ramen (goma, shio and miso). I found the soup base a bit greasy and salty but that's very personal. It is at Queen and Beaches if you want to give it a try.

                1. Where is the exact address of Ko-nichiwa? I've been dieing for a bowl of good ramen in Toronto for so long. However, the only one I found is Kenzo Japan Noodle House that has good comment. I've tried several "Chinese like" ramen, and really wanted to try a bowl that is "japanese like". Please reply ASAP. Thanks.

                  Jen in Toronto

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jan


                    Konichiwa is located on the south side of Baldwin Street, a few shops west of the corner of Baldwin and McCaul Street. That's north of McCaul and Dundas where the AGO is. hope that helps.

                  2. hello, I'm a fan of ramen too....I think 1/2 the reason goes to the fact that it's just so hard to find a decent Ramen place in Toronto, Not to mention finding an "authentic" japanese restaurant!

                    KENZO is good! but cannot compared to Japan.

                    there's also a good NICE little CAFE restaurant located south of SHEPHERD / Pharmacy, called MICHI CAFE. owned and served by Japanese.

                    prices are fair. Lunches menu start from $10 with salad, Miso soup, main dish, CAKE and gree tea or coffee. be sure to go there early on weekend as it is packed during lunch hours.

                    Enought talks about the Ko-Nichiwa, has anyone actually been there and give some review about the Ramen ?? Otherwise I'll have to try it out myself!!!

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