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Ajisen Ramen in TORONTO

k
kb913 Oct 16, 2005 11:28 PM

Went to ajisen ramen (warden & steeles) yesterday (saturday) and it was absolutly PACKED with people. I had to wait a while in line for it, but it was definatly worth it. great friendly atmosphere. With as much people eatting as people waiting to be seated and the frequent japanese phrases that they yell, it was definatly a unique experience. But more importantly, the ramen was really good. Alot better than some of the ramen that ive tried at other japanese places around. I was talking with one of the people that worked there and apparently they ship the noodles in from overseas!? does anyone know if this is true? I had the ajisen spicy noodle and it was VERY SPICY! i ended up having to buy 2 pops. price wise, its only cheap compared to other japanese places. i think its definatly worth my money. it was definatly worth the long line up.
anyways, has anyone else been there? what are your thoughts? also, does anyone know what they are saying every few minutes in japanese?

  1. b
    Bumblegirl Oct 16, 2005 11:39 PM

    Is this the chain where the logo is a cartoon girl holding a bowl of noodles? I ate there a couple times while travelling in Asia and liked it in a comfort food sort of way.

    1. p
      pinstripeprincess Oct 17, 2005 09:07 AM

      so how much were these noodles actually? and how much variety was there in the menu?

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess
        w
        Wil Oct 17, 2005 10:49 AM

        Prices are about 5-6 for most of the noodle soups. The most expensive was the "tenderous pork" one which was 7 I think. Most of the appetizers are around 3. Small place, but the owner is really nice, they definately have more than enough staff for such a small location, but the lineups are quite long. If you don't mind an early dinner, 6 on a weekday seems the best time to go without the hectic crowds that show up later/weekends.

        1. re: Wil
          p
          PhuFighter Dec 2, 2005 01:11 AM

          Hmm I've been there a few times, and it's a welcome change from the other noodle places that I go to.

          The last time I checked, a majority of the dishes were in the $7-$8 range. I found some of the appetizers expensive. E.g. the enoki beef is better elsewhere. But I enjoy my food whenver I go there.

      2. r
        Ronin Oct 17, 2005 09:30 AM

        Seems to be the same old chain in a new setting. It's commodified, fast-food style ramen that's grabbed simply because there's so little else available.

        1. h
          halo Oct 17, 2005 05:47 PM

          T&T Supermarket sells all kinds of ramen- dried or non-dried in refrigerated Japanese food section

          you could easily make your own ramen noodle soup.

          1 Reply
          1. re: halo
            c
            Charles Oct 17, 2005 06:24 PM

            Even though the quality of the noodle is important, however, when rating Chinese Won-Ton noodles, fish balls 'Ho-Fun', Vietnamese Pho or Japanese style ramen/soba/udon...etc, the quality of the soup base is equally important. In the case of Ajisen, the soup base is made in accordance to the formula first derived by a Japanese master 30 years ago. Pork bones and chicken wings are simmered in excess of 7 hours to create the 'milky' appearance and deliciousness of the soup. I don't think any 'make your own' supermarket ramen noodles can duplicate this uniqueness!

          2. g
            garp Dec 4, 2006 04:19 PM

            Ajisen Ramen opened another branch in GTA, this time in North York, just a couple of blocks north of the North York Civic Centre (5229 Yonge). They have only been open for a few weeks at this location, but I have seen it and been curious about it, so I finally wandered in there on friday. We were only going to stop and get take out but we were easily persuaded to stay and had great noodle soups (Kimchi Beef Teppanyaki and Curry Deep Fried Pork). Both broths were excellent (which to me is the critical taste factor), and the texture of the ramen was better than any I have eaten so far (I hate the standard udon noodle soup they serve at the restaurants here and the dried ramen they sell in supermarkets does not compare).

            I think along with the Korean pork bone soup & fish stews and the newly opened Vietnamese Pho restaurant, the Yonge strip between Finch and Sheppard should be officially renamed soupland.

            1. f
              Foodie_gal Dec 4, 2006 04:25 PM

              I love their noodles. I usually go with 50 chillies =) and yes, the appetizers are pricey.

              1. e
                ersatz Dec 6, 2006 01:07 AM

                I haven't tried Aijsen, but I've been to Kenzo Ramen in North York (just south of Yonge & Steeles) and enjoyed that.

                Izakaya (downtown) has excellent toppings...Cumbrae Farms meats, full flavoured broth, but obviously pricier than most 'fast-food' ramen places.

                1. a
                  ascendance Dec 7, 2006 11:30 AM

                  I've eaten at Ajisen Ramen. Somehow, the noodle texture doesn't come across as quite right to me. It's too reminiscent of spaghetti or some other pasta. I guess that's the result of a dry noodle.

                  Their soup base is good, though. I just don't care to put up with the line up.

                  Will have to try Izakaya sometime.

                  1. g
                    galambo Dec 9, 2006 02:24 PM

                    Went to Aijsen in north york. Tried the spiciest soup (200 chilies) and it was good. My better half was not as impressed. Service was very Japanese (shouting when you arrived and very attentive service).

                    overall a 3.5 out of 5 (my wife opinion does count... or at least i tell her it does)

                    1. t
                      Torabo Jun 13, 2007 09:13 PM

                      You have got to be kidding me, best noodles ever? flown in? Give me a break, hell it was the place with the LEAST ramen-like noodles of all the ramen that I've ever head. Hell, the soup base was really good, but the noodles tasted as if it was spaghetti tossed into ramen. I've been to japan and asia quite often, and the noodles they used at ajisen just doesn't cut it. In the words of my japanese friends, "The soup base is excellent, the noodle is crap". Of course it COULD just be the North York location that's like this, but as far as I am concerned, this ramen chain is crossed off from my list. Kenzo's is definitely a much better place for authentic ramen, though they do have less variety, but that is to be expected of true ramen places.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Torabo
                        oohlala Jun 14, 2007 07:56 AM

                        I always walk out of that place super thirsty. I do not believe that the place does not put any MSG in their broth! I do agree with the qualify of the noodle, it IS crap~ You are basically paying 8 dollars for high-end instant noodle! It's a shame that Toronto doesn't have any decent ramen shops. What happen to other soupbase? Miso? Seasalt? I was shocked to see every single noodle Ajisen has are swimming in the same soupbase.

                        1. re: oohlala
                          p
                          phylao Jun 14, 2007 11:26 AM

                          Ajisen is the WORST noodles (i won't say it's ramen as it is NOT RAMEN) place in TO!!!!

                          Honestly the cheap dried ramen from supermarket (nissin, etc) are way better than ajisen's noodles.

                          I've been to japan few times and the ramen texture is totally different from ajisen's. i agree that ajisen's is like spaghetti.

                          1. re: phylao
                            skylineR33 Jun 14, 2007 12:49 PM

                            The style at Aijsen is Hakata Ramen which the noodle is supposed to be non-curly and hard. There are many different style of ramen from different region in Japan.

                            I hate the shouting they do every 10 seceonds.

                            1. re: skylineR33
                              aser Jun 15, 2007 02:29 PM

                              Unfortunately Ajisen is a plague inflicted upon the world, they have locations in various countries (USA, China, etc).

                              Ajisen = McDonatlds of ramen.

                              Seriously, just go to Kenzo, save yourself the agony.

                      2. r
                        ricetea Jul 19, 2008 08:12 PM

                        Just to feed your curiosity (though it's almost three years too late), the wait staff are Chinese but they say "Irrashaimase," which means "welcome" in Japanese.

                        The ramen at Ajisen is definitely only for a quick bite.. there is very little authenticity in its quality; their other dishes and sides are passable though. The selection is what sets this chain apart because it does not serve your average western-influenced Japanese menu. Go to Ajisen to get a glimpse of Japanese cuisine aside from sushi, tempura and teriyaki.

                        1. s
                          southpaw_1979 Mar 23, 2010 12:08 PM

                          I haven't been to Ajisen yet, but I'm told that they have Kumamoto style Ramen here (by a Japanese collegue) If so this is definately worth trying

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: southpaw_1979
                            Notorious P.I.G. Mar 23, 2010 01:58 PM

                            Trust me it's definitely not worth trying.

                          2. c
                            csillams Apr 26, 2010 09:33 AM

                            I went there for the first time yesterday. The decor was cute and I loved the seating. I don't recall any of the often mentioned shouting. The miso broth was delicious, the marinated cucumber side dish was yummy, the ginger lamb was not very gingery or flavorful. When I ordered the bubble tea they were out of tapioca. But I would go again. Lots of interesting looking menu items.

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