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Ramen Downtown

e
Ender Jan 11, 2007 07:12 PM

I know its hard/impossible to find "real" ramen in Toronto but the one at Double Happiness was pretty good and wonderfully inexpensive. Since its departure I haven't been able to find anything to take its place and I was wondering if anyone else knew of a location that does something similar (obviously I'm not looking for pho!).

  1. f
    food_lover Jan 11, 2007 07:18 PM

    for Ramen I usually go to Kenzo's on Yonge/Finch area. It's the best I've ever tried.

    1. pinstripeprincess Jan 11, 2007 07:24 PM

      what was your ramen of choice at double happiness? my lament is mostly that my other options downtown don't have the tonkotsu... i shall miss that beautifully milky broth.

      i would either go to konnichiwa on baldwin st, which is a heft $10ish price range. they do give you a nice quantity of greens that double happiness doesn't. their meat options are different however.

      another alternative is ema-tei on patrick. the only ramen choice they have is with bbq pork and corn. it's good, but more on the passable side than per se crave worthy.

      another option i am keen on trying would be r-shop at king and spadina. they are however only open during the weekdays and during specific hours. it's a funiture/cafe and it's got simple home style japanese offerings.

      4 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess
        skylineR33 Jan 11, 2007 08:33 PM

        Is Konnichiwa owned by Japanese ? Thanks.

        1. re: skylineR33
          pinstripeprincess Jan 12, 2007 01:50 PM

          i pretty sure it is... someone else might be able to confirm.

        2. re: pinstripeprincess
          jennjen18 Feb 25, 2007 04:30 PM

          where is r-shop? havent heard of it.

          1. re: jennjen18
            Joobu Feb 25, 2007 04:48 PM

            433 King St. W, (between Spadina and Bathurst)
            rshop.ca

        3. xtal Jan 11, 2007 09:05 PM

          Tokyo Grill at Yonge and Wellesley is quite good, and very inexpensive.

          1. wasabi_girl Jan 12, 2007 09:08 AM

            I agree, Kenzo has the best ramen in Toronto. Please just stay away from Izakaya's ramen. I was silly enough to go there the day after I came back from living in Tokyo. The ramen resembled the instant noodles you get out of a plastic packet...and I believe you have to shell out about $10 for it. A total disappointment!

            1 Reply
            1. re: wasabi_girl
              pinstripeprincess Jan 12, 2007 01:50 PM

              izakaya is dreadful. i'd almost liken their ramen to chinese egg noodles. the broth is also very bland and lacks a serious depth of flavour. it should be just as important as everything else in that bowl!

            2. f
              food_lover Jan 12, 2007 01:07 PM

              yah Kenzo's is my fave for Ramen. Also I was there last weekend and the owner mentioned to us that they are opening a new location on somewhere on Highway 7. I forget the other intersection.

              1. y
                yellowjello Jan 12, 2007 02:05 PM

                Ajisen ramen is good for a simple meal but if you want something more traditional and delicate I would suggest somewhere else like others have said.. Kanzo, etc..

                1. d
                  downtown Jan 12, 2007 05:15 PM

                  I agree with the above assessments of Izakaya. Big disappointment, and if you have a drink or two will put a serious dent in your wallet. All style, no substance.

                  1. aser Jan 13, 2007 03:26 AM

                    Kenzo is the be all and end all for ramen in Toronto, but they win on default. Toronto ramen options are pretty much non-existent.

                    FYI Kenzo is Korean owned, hence the spicy theme to the menu. Looking forward to their new location, much more convenient for me.

                    Ajisen is not ramen, it's gross.

                    Best downtown option for ramen is Tokyo Kitchen, just south of Yonge & Bloor. I haven't been in a while, but I recall them offereing a shoyu and a miso version. I found Konnichwa's broth to be tepid.

                    20 Charles Street East
                    Toronto, ON M4Y 1T1
                    416-515-0387

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: aser
                      m
                      mauie Jan 13, 2007 02:17 PM

                      Where will the new Kenzo be located?

                      Thanks!

                    2. f
                      food_lover Jan 14, 2007 03:17 AM

                      Kenzo is korean owned but the owner was born and raised in Japan....and the Kenzo's is somewhere in Highway 7. I think it should be opened soon.

                      1. w
                        Wandering Foodie Jan 21, 2007 04:41 AM

                        I used to love Kenzo and Double Happiness until I visited Japan. Now what can't we get ramen like that in Toronto? Ematei's BBQ pork is heavenly.

                        1. a
                          artificialard Jan 21, 2007 05:34 AM

                          Double Happiness is gone?! When did it close? It was such a charming down-to-earth kind of place and I'll miss it...

                          Konnichiwa is the next bet (and I remember trying to take a similar ramen journey a few months ago for places around downtown). It's a clear broth but the vegetables and beef and noodles are all top notch. If you're ordering take-out do call ahead though because it takes 15-20 minutes..

                          1. b
                            bluedog Jan 22, 2007 03:06 PM

                            I agree with the consenus on Izakaya: anyone who has been to a REAL izakaya shuld be incensed they use the name (anyhow I've always thought its a silly name it would be like naming a bar in Japan "BAR").

                            I also like Konnichiwa, but for good noodles I have been going to the Noodle King at the Sheraton Centre for the last year: its a lunchtime place but the noodles are cheap (<$5 with BBQ pork etc.) and the broth is tasty. More Taipei than Tokyo to be sure, but still gives me a "ramen"-like fix.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: bluedog
                              skylineR33 Feb 25, 2007 06:45 PM

                              The noodle at Noodle King is not Taipei style, it is Hong Kong style. The owner is Cantonese. All the noodles from Noodle King are not ramen at all, even though you think it is like Ramen, they are two different things. Noodle at Izakaya, Kenzo are ramen.

                              1. re: skylineR33
                                b
                                bluedog Feb 26, 2007 06:29 AM

                                Thanks skylineR33. I didn;t realize they were HK style. Well aware of the difference between ramen and noodle king, though not taipei and HK. Just trying to address Ender's need for noodles downtown.

                                I'd be very interested if you could elaborate on the differences between Taipei style and HK style.

                                BTW, I would never go back to Izakaya: the noodles may be ramen, but the fixings are faux.

                                1. re: bluedog
                                  skylineR33 Feb 26, 2007 03:13 PM

                                  Wow, there are too much information to write here..

                                  Anyway, Taiwanese style (not just Taipei, it is famous at Taipei though) is mainly braised beef noodle soup in a strong/rich beef broth and thicker noodle (the best one is Mei Nung Noodle House, not sure about the English translation, at the outside of First Markham Place), it is a variation from China and is very similar to Shanghai beef noodle soup (eg. the one you get from Ding Tai Fung in First Markham Place).

                                  There are different kinds of noodles at Noodle King. The shrimp Wonton noodle soup and fish ball noodle are very popular noodles you can find in Hong Kong, it is quite good but there are better one you can find in Richmond Hill/Markham. The BBQ pork noodle soup again is HK style, it is ok but not authentic, you can find much better one uptown, the pork is different from the pork slices you get from ramen.
                                  The braised beef noodles again is HK style, the soup base is relatively clear and mild, not a rich one.

                                  Ramen is originated from China ...................... too much too write............

                                  1. re: skylineR33
                                    jennjen18 Feb 26, 2007 05:40 PM

                                    I understand that we can get MUCH better stuff uptown, Skyline, but the thing is .................. working downtown, I think Noodle King is the best noodle place on the PATH. Any noodle freaks out there agree?

                                    1. re: jennjen18
                                      skylineR33 Feb 26, 2007 05:44 PM

                                      Yes, I agree that it is the best in the financial district.

                            2. aser Jan 23, 2007 10:04 PM

                              I stopped by Kenzo tonight (Tuesday) but unfortunately they were closed. It appears to be a new policy starting this year (2007), they'll always be closed on Tuesdays from now on. A notice was posted on the door.

                              All you downtowners beware if you're planning a trek up to Kenzo.

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