Japanese Noodle House/Restaurant
- garlicscapes Aug 22, 2007 09:44 PM
I'm looking for a place to celebrate my son's birthday. He's gets to choose, and has requested Japanese Noodles (Udon, Soba etc). We will be a group of 10.
Do you have a price range for entrees, and particular area that you are willing to travel within? And is your son a young child, or a young adult? Do you care about authenticity, or just overall atmosphere and service?
There are inexpensive noodle places (like the Ajisen chain -- I think it's decent but others may differ), and the price point can increase if you consider Japanese restaurants that serve a more varied menu. I really like Ematei's chasu ramen, and they have private tatami rooms, although they can easily accommodate a group of 10 in the main seating area as well if you book in advance.
There are also some good suggestions here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/433532
Then my first instinct would be to suggest Ematei (30 St. Patrick St., just north of Queen StW; 416-340-0472).
It's not a "noodle restaurant" per se, but does have good noodles and other cooked dishes. As other posters on this board have noted, it's described as authentic (i.e. frequented by Japanese businessmen) and known more for their cooked dishes than their sushi and sashimi. If you could get a tatami room, that would be a great experience! Even if you cannot get a private room, much of the resto is partitioned, so your group can still have some semi-privacy in the main area.
I've recommended it to Jfood newbies and visitors from Vancouver (i.e. people who expect inferior Jfood from Toronto due to their own widely-available excellent sushi) and it's always been well-received. If you or any of your party plan to order the omakase, it's best to let them know a couple days ahead. Unless you order extravagantly, expect to spend between $20-50 per person + any alcohol.
as far as i know only hiro and only on sundays. they may have slowed down during the summer and be starting up again in the fall.
as for ematei, really good for cooked items but i'd stay away from the sushi/sashimi... didn't find their raw fish to be as good as other places. deep fried oysters fantastic! the ramen is mediocre but will do in a pinch considering the other options downtown.