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noodle houses

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  • littleparsnip Jun 23, 2006 07:33 AM
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Good morning Chowhounds!!

I'm wondering if there are any noodle houses in Toronto that are known for making delicious homemade noodles (soba,etc.) and broths. Thanks!!! lp

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  1. I don't know about homemade sobas... but Tokyo Sushi (Bay & St. Joseph's) makes a delicious fish broth for their seafood udon.

    1. p
      pinstripeprincess

      this is limited, but check out hiro on sundays.

      they have a chef who makes handmade sobas only on sunday with a sort of mini menu. haven't been yet but dying to go. a little on the pricey side.

      Link: http://tongueandcheek.ca

      3 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        like you, i've been dying to try and will finally be going for this sunday. to make reservations you don't call hiro sushi, but should contact soba canada, the guys who take over hiro's restaurant for this:
        416 436 7997
        http://www.sobacanada.com/

        check out the link below for a detailed description of the whole soba making process.

        i'll be sure to post a followup.

        Link: http://hungryinhogtown.typepad.com/hu...

        1. re: num nums
          l
          littleparsnip

          Wow. Soba sundays sounds fantastic -- num nums, when you post your follow-up, please let us know how much it costs, thanks!!!! lp

          1. re: littleparsnip

            We went there a few Sundays ago and it was fantastic - more authentic an experience than any other I can remember.

            There are several options but I remember the bill coming to 50$ for 2 w/ tax so I think each choice is ~$20-25. The menu is very confusing Japlish so keep in mind every dish is cold (even though only half of them indicate it's cold) and the last one which is a trio of your choice might just be two choices if you choose the more expensive items.

            The noodles were amazing, perfectly cooked and chilled so that it slides delightfully into your mouth. It has a hearty density so you can taste the actual noodle itself and the sauce or broth underneath is incredibly light but compliments all the natural flavors. Each plate is a large dinner plate of noodles with another component on top, like fish eggs, radish, or crab. I had the trio which were all three in small plates that was marvellous. My friend had just the crab which was fresh crab shelled by hand and was excellent.
            Keep in mind the price includes the main dish, a pot of 'soup' which is the broth from cooking the noodles, and a small desert (kinda of an Asian panna cotta).
            Service was very uneven - there were maybe 2-3 tables when we sat down yet had to wait in excess of 10 minutes for menus and tea. The server seemed terribly frantic yet took a terribly long time when asking for the bill, more water, etc. But it was offset by the fact that he was very, very apologetic and nice and I don't know if he was actually part of the kitchen and they didn't have proper waitstaff.
            All in all was a great experience and will go again sometime - perhaps when they hire some actual service staff. Also keep in mind that it's actually another company that runs Soba Sundays and thus it's just cold soba and no other items from the normal Hiro Sushi menu are served.

      2. there's dong bei wang in pacific mall where they make northern chinese hand-pulled noodles. it is a small stall in the food court upstairs. the chef makes the noodles out in the open, putting on quite a show. if you've never seen it before, this technique involves absolutely no cutting utensils. after a series of stretching, pulling, kneading and pounding manoeuvres, loose strands of noodles magically result. you can hear the pounding of the dough as you near the place. the noodles are served in a very light broth with different choices of meat and seafood. the potsticker dumplings are also amazing.

        i haven't been up to pacific mall in a while and, unfortunately, i believe i read it's not there any more. hopefully i'm mistaken. can anyone confirm?

        is there any other place in t.o. that makes this northern style noodle?

        1 Reply
        1. re: num nums

          It's still there. I went to Pacific Mall earlier this week and I could hear the noodle making as I was wandering the food court.

        2. Hi,

          If your looking for Japanese Ramen I would suggest Aji Sen Ramen at Steeles and Warden near the T & T Plaza. Not sure of the address but I'm sure you can google it... Although its run by Chinese people its on par and arguebly even better then some of the Ramen I've had in Tokyo... To my knowledge this is one of the most authentic Ramen places in GTA (Not esthetically but food wise)

          With regards to Hiro's Soba, my buddy went over to the Sunday offering at Hiro and had less then favourable results... All in all he said its really expensive for what your getting ($20 bucks!! for soba) and the Soba tastes the same as any generic soba from any other restaurant in Toronto.

          I've also heard there are good things going on in the little J-town complex at Steeles and Woodbine where city buffet is.... I think there a small number of Japanese businesses that have authentic Japanese food including Ramen/Noodle bar...

          Lastly, if your interested in Taiwanese Noodles I might recommened a Taiwanese place beside Congee Wong at Sheppard and Midland... The place is call Beef Noodle house and serves pretty good Taiwanese Style Noodles...

          Cheers,

          Pat

          8 Replies
          1. re: Patrick

            I have been to the ramen restaurant at warden and steeles...the noodles are ok, but way over priced for what you get. And they charge $1.50 for making the soup spicey...which was not worth it at all. I could make better ramen at home using instant noodle. For two people we paid 40 bucks for 2 bowls of noodles and an appetizer of soft shell crab. I don't think i will be back there.

            1. re: cat

              The noodles aren't the best but the soup (not the miso nor the spicy) is actually pretty tasty and hearty. At $6-7 for a bowl of noodle soup I don't know how you racked up that bill.

            2. re: Patrick

              J-town doesn't have a ramen/noodle bar. Only a sushi place and a Japanese home-style cooking (curry, tempura, tonkatsu) bar. The bakery does offer fresh soba on Tuesdays, call ahead to make sure.

              Double Happiness on Bloor, west of Bathurst does make a decent ramen. There should be some old reviews below.

              1. re: Gorb

                The J-Town bakery will take orders for their Tuesday hand-made soba. You can eat in or also take-away. The take-away is the noodles (raw), sauce, accompaniment (if ordered). The chef has printed instructions and is very insistent that you not overcook them. I liked his attitude...someone who loves his product and wants you to treat it with the care that will give you the best experience.

                It was somewhere in the $10-15 range I think.

              2. re: Patrick

                Oh, let's not forget the previous thread regarding Kenzo

                Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. re: Patrick

                  Can I say EWWWWW to Ajisen???? It is the most pretentious little noodle house there is. I say that because everytime I walk by and stop to oogle at the amount of people thats inside, the restauranteur comes out in a LOUD and BOISTEROUS voice and asks enthusiastically, "SO HOW MANY PEOPLE TONIGHT?" Ugh.

                  Anyway, besides from how the different restauranteurs conduct business, I find that Double Happiness is quite good. I had it first a month ago, and had the pork ramen (tonkotsu, I think?). It was SO yummy. Noodles were very al dente chewy, the soup was rich and flavourful, and they gave me chilli sauce because I cannot get pass a bowl of noodles without chilli. They have a spicy soup base for their wok noodles, but not for ramen. Its good that they dont switch the soups around, I guess, since it shows that they're serious about flavour and foods.

                  Price-wise, it was the cheapest ramen (and value-worth) I've ever had. $5 for the bowl (and it fills ya!) with a dessert even. Their standard dessert is a banana tempura, which my friend didnt like 'coz the banana was too soggy. Well, it wasnt a big piece anyway, just a portion, but the batter was yummy!

                  1. re: Patrick

                    I guess you went to crappy ramen places in Tokyo...the *ramen* in ajisen is just like spaghetti!!!!! it tastes so bad.

                    I think Kenzo has the best ramen in Toronto, but wait for the winter special tonkotsu, it's the best in the store. The next favour i like is the salt favour.

                    1. re: Patrick

                      Oddly enough, I felt that the noodles I had recently at Ajisen were more akin to northern Chinese la mian than Japanese ramen: less stylized, and much more robust in the flavoring of both the broth and the meat (I had one of the spicy ones). Way less salty, too.

                      However, my one Ajisen experience was in Shanghai (which seems to be blanketed with them!) and perhaps they accommodate local tastes.

                    2. I am always on the look out for good ramen shops. Having lived in Japan for three years, I am extremely picky. Personally, I like Kenzo - it's a bit of a drive, but it's worth it. I've been there several times - no other place has been given as good a review as Kenzo. I am from London, and there aren't any ramen places here!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Satsuki

                        Hey Satsuki, I'm also looking for a good, genuine ramen joint. But it seems that Kenzo is run by Koreans.. Would you know of any good ramen places run by Japanese?

                        1. re: jennjen18

                          Kenzo is the best you'll get in Toronto, unfortunately ramen is severely lacking in our city. It's decent and certainly a lot better than any of the other places mentioned in this thread. Since it is Korean owned, quite a few of the broths tend to be on the spicy side. I will have to agree w/ the above poster and say the tonkotsu special is your best bet. It's not on the printed menu, but pasted as a wall special.

                          I would avoid Ajisen like a plague. It is a franchised chain originating from Japan which has expanded agressively across Asia and N. America. It really is not that good....

                          http://fc.aji1000.co.jp/index.html

                          1. re: jennjen18

                            Hey .. sorry, I don't know any! It took me a long time to find Kenzo .. we're lucky here in London as we have a restaurant called Wonder Sushi that has an all you can eat menu - coming from someone who lived in Japan, the food is INCREDIBLE.. you get an hour and a half and for lunch it's a mere $12... it's awesome.. :) No ramen tho!!!

                        2. There's also Konnichiwa in Baldwin Village that serves homestyle Japanese cooking (Japanese owned). I've tried their ramen and it's pretty good. Not sure if the noodles are homemade though.

                          Also, the cafe in J-town does indeed serve udon and soba, and my sister told me the last time she was there she had ramen and she loved it (and she's quite the ramen connoisseur). Also Japanese owned.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: n10sity

                            Hey - thanks for the reply - where is Baldwin Village? And where is J-Town? I would LOVE some good ramen.. (other than Kenzo which is soo far away)..

                            1. re: Satsuki

                              Kenzo was also too far for me and I haven't found any better than Konnichiwa downtown. The 'Baldwin Village' is on Baldwin just North of the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario.) Konnichiwa is on 31 Baldwin - Google Map > http://tinyurl.com/nhwqj

                              It's very good there, the broth has a clean and potent flavor, there's some veggies and there isn't a lot of beef but it's really good quality lean and thinly sliced. Delicious! You might want to call ahead for takeout as it does take a good 10-15 mins to make.

                              1. re: Satsuki

                                http://www.japantown.ca/

                                Steeles+Woodbine.