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ramen... again...

pinstripeprincess Feb 7, 2006 09:28 AM

i know we hashed this out in the summer for all the survivors on this board...

but i'm now at queen and university and i'm dying for an awesome local ramen joint. previously i was a block away from double happiness and let me tell you, i couldn't have been any happier.

now i know that there's konichiwa up on baldwin, and ema-tei on st. patrick... but are there any more place? and how do they compare?

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  1. d
    Dan RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 7, 2006 03:13 PM

    Konichiwa noodle house on baldwin has excellent japanese noodles!


    1 Reply
    1. re: Dan
      Teep RE: Dan Feb 9, 2007 12:02 PM

      I was there last night and had the ramen ($7.95) with the miso broth option. The noodles themselves were great, however the broth had a red pepper flavour, making it a little spicy hot, and the pepper oil flavour lingered at the back of my throat, like those spicy korean packaged ramen. Finally had to have some chocolate to wash it down.

      Also, I selected the tofu option; they seem to be the fried brick tofu you get in Chinatown, and not too fresh. So not too impressed with the experience.

    2. c
      chrispa RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 7, 2006 07:17 PM

      You're not that far from Izakaya which, as I recall, is at church and front. A bit more money than double happiness and not actually as good (except for the pork and beef that they put in their soups) but it's kind of a fun spot.

      8 Replies
      1. re: chrispa
        pinstripeprincess RE: chrispa Feb 7, 2006 09:53 PM

        i personally... really don't like izakaya.

        it's cute, but the ramen really doesn't compare and in general the food really isn't that great. the duck dumplings that people rave about barely taste like there is any duck in it.

        highly disappointing.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess
          Juniper RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 8, 2006 11:25 AM

          I am so glad I'm not the only one who thinks this of Izakaya! The place is really just eye-candy with very little substance. I've always been confounded by the good reviews this place gets on this board. The food is overpriced (hello, $12 for ramen??) and nothing special. In fact, you're right - it's downright disappointing for the price. Not to mention that the service was rather cold the times I've been.

          1. re: Juniper
            pinstripeprincess RE: Juniper Feb 8, 2006 02:19 PM

            the one thing that made no sense to me upon my first and last visit...

            that i ordered exactly the same thing as someone else, ramen, and it arrived 10 minutes after hers. her order already showing up 10 minutes later than everyone else's.

            i don't get it?!?!

            1. re: Juniper
              moo RE: Juniper Feb 8, 2006 04:26 PM

              reminds me of near-by Spring Rolls. :D

              all flash, no sizzle.

              1. re: moo
                qtxniki RE: moo Feb 13, 2006 04:38 PM

                asian legend make their own ramen. It's an extra dollar to use the housemade noodles to any of the noodle soup. Try chunk beef noddle soup with ramen.

              2. re: Juniper
                artificialard RE: Juniper Feb 26, 2006 02:01 PM

                Went there and was equally underwelmed. Also dissapointed in the duck dumplings (where's the duck!?) And service is generally OK except where they scrawl in black marker over your placemat your order for the bus staff to bring over. Do they still do that? Because really, their menu is not that complicated.

                Still, it's a fun spot for a quick lunch.

                1. re: Juniper
                  jellyfish RE: Juniper Feb 11, 2007 07:55 PM

                  the noodles used at Izakaya is not ramen, and not japanese either. other items were equally not japanese and underwhelming.

                2. re: pinstripeprincess
                  chinese RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 8, 2006 02:20 PM

                  Ramen may have multiple meanings, some of which were mentioned already.

                  Ramen in Japan sometimes means the hand-pulled noodles, with a more "al-dente" mouthfeel that's part of their appeal.

                  some restaurants use the instant freeze dried deep fried stuff.

              3. j
                justto RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 8, 2006 05:02 AM

                village by the grange food court .... has a japenese, vietnamese restaurant that serves noodles soup. average quality.......

                also sheraton centre food court has a noodle place (serve shanghai/udon noodles)and huge line up during lunch.

                beside it there is a chinese restaurants that has noodles soup. the noodle place has a light soup base while the chinese restaurant has a heavier stock.

                the chinese place has a surprising good beef brisket noodle soup.

                2 Replies
                1. re: justto
                  Jones RE: justto Feb 8, 2006 02:10 PM

                  yes, you do not necessarily have to go to a Japanese restaurant to find ramen noodles soup.

                  Ramen is the product name for DRIED INSTANT NOODLES.
                  Ramen is actually Chinese noodles. Chinese immigrants opened noodle shops in Japan. The noodles were popular. Then one day, someone in Japan decided to sell "easy to make instant dried noodles" and he called it ramen. Sounds similar to the Chinese word for noodles.

                  You can easily make any soup and then add the noodles. There is not ONE SOUP for the noodles. Each noodle shop has their own soup recipe.

                  You can easily make ramen noodle soup at home or go to "Tokyo Grill" on Yonge st, near Bloor.

                  1. re: Jones
                    jellyfish RE: Jones Feb 11, 2007 08:15 PM

                    I think you'll agree today's Japanese ramen and Chinese hand-pulled noodles are 2 completely different things.
                    (...perhaps I should have named myself noodle-fan instead of Jellyfish...)

                2. j
                  jennjen18 RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 8, 2006 07:56 AM

                  What are the exact addresses of these places??? So they're really good, these ramen joints??

                  1. r
                    Ronin RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 9, 2006 07:20 AM

                    I'd rather eat Chinese mian. Good, authentic ramen in TO is practically non-existent, due largely to it being a low-value offering that few restos bother with. Good broth is the key and few places take the time. Seems ripe for savvy street vendors to supply but haven't seen anything here that comes close to even second rate ramen in Japan.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Ronin
                      DT RE: Ronin Feb 10, 2006 10:45 PM

                      I agree w/ above. If u're looking for ramen in Toronto, it's better to save ur money and go to Japan. RAMEN in Japan is simply the BEST . U can find better ramen @ Narita Airport Food Court than anywhere in toronto. The only place in TO which I can suggest to u is "KENZO" but that was not until i went to Japan ....

                      1. re: DT
                        Wandering Foodie RE: DT Feb 9, 2007 09:20 PM

                        Couldn't agree more. Every place had their own style. I don't understand why we have such a limited selection in Toronto (when eating out, although I've been trying to duplicate the ones I've had in Japan at home).

                        1. re: DT
                          jellyfish RE: DT Feb 11, 2007 07:59 PM

                          Where is Kenzo? New in town, could really use a authentic bowl of ramen. It doesn't even have to be excellent. I'm only looking for your run-of-the-mill (Narita airport food court quality) offers. Thanks.

                      2. k
                        KAREN RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 9, 2007 07:20 PM

                        has any tried the ramen at R-Shop Cafe on King W?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: KAREN
                          Wandering Foodie RE: KAREN Feb 9, 2007 09:17 PM

                          There's no ramen there. Only somen and soba.

                          1. re: Wandering Foodie
                            artificialard RE: Wandering Foodie Feb 10, 2007 08:43 PM

                            Are we talking about that furniture store cafe beside Calphalon at King and Spadina? They serve noodles?! It always looked like a pastry+coffee cafe...? What else do they serve? Is there sit down room?

                            1. re: artificialard
                              pinstripeprincess RE: artificialard Feb 11, 2007 06:02 AM

                              they have a full menu online.


                              i think they originally came across my radar because someone was looking for a good chicken katsu don and this is apparently one of the few places that does it up in toronto.

                        2. a
                          artificialard RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 11, 2007 01:24 PM

                          Interesting - it looks so unassuming from the outside. I will give it a try for sure as it's on my route to and from work.

                          1. b
                            bluedog RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 11, 2007 07:06 PM

                            Since almost every other place I know of has been mentioned, and some have outlined the similarities between Japanese ramen and chinese noodles (and may I interject that going so far as to say that Ramen=instant dried noodles is a bit over the top, and further suggesting that we save our money and go to japan seems a bit unpractical), may I add Swatow to the list, an easy walk from Queen and University. It is Fukkien, it does vary in quality, but they do make their own ramenesque noodles. It is has been discussed on this board (and I would be surpised if Pinstripe hadn't heard of it), but it it on the east side of Spadina, just north of Dundas.

                            PS Izakaya just plain sucks.

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