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J-Town Ramen

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da9920 Aug 6, 2009 10:44 AM

I go to j-town on the weekend to buy meet from the FAMA meat shop and the ower told me 1 week ago that there's going to be a new ramen shop opening soon in J-town. Can someone confirm? thanks. Danny

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  1. t
    tjr RE: da9920 Aug 6, 2009 12:05 PM

    Yep, there's supposed to be a ramen-ya opening soon, but I'm not sure of the date (or if there is one yet). Maybe aser knows?

    3 Replies
    1. re: tjr
      Notorious P.I.G. RE: tjr Aug 6, 2009 01:20 PM

      Sweet jesus let this place be good. I really need this.

      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
        t
        tjr RE: Notorious P.I.G. Aug 6, 2009 01:24 PM

        This is my hope as well!

      2. re: tjr
        d
        da9920 RE: tjr Aug 6, 2009 05:48 PM

        thanks! J-town delivers one of the better Japanese product/food/grocery in Toronto, I'm really looking forward to this one! I remember about 15-20 years ago J-town used to be a tiny supermarket @ Finch/Victoria Park, it has really expended over the years.!!

      3. Chester Eleganté RE: da9920 Jul 27, 2010 12:23 PM

        Well, it's finally open. All I'll say right now is that the tonkotsu is far superior to anywhere else in the city. Strong, creamy, milky-white broth with discernible structure, porky sweetness, minimal saltiness with pretty good quality imported noodles. Egg was overcooked, red ginger present. Tasty green tea mochi to close the meal. I'll certainly be back. But I'm a ramen novice though, so get over there quick and have at it. Btw, they mentioned next door at Ju that they expect their liquor license in a month or so.

        17 Replies
        1. re: Chester Eleganté
          c
          cheapcheap RE: Chester Eleganté Jul 27, 2010 07:43 PM

          Recently tried J-Town's new ramen shop and must say that it "made me very happy"! The tonkotsu broth was wonderful and not too salty, the noodles were cooked just right, enjoyed the red ginger and the "char sui" was very moist and tender. YUMMY in my tummy! Also had the gyoza but it did not taste quite right to me...had a bitter after taste?!
          You can order just the ramen or try the set menu (3 choices of ramen, a choice of: gyoza, salad, rice, curry,etc, PLUS choice of dessert). Service was very attentive!
          Would go back for my ramen fixes!

          1. re: cheapcheap
            p
            Piggy Smalls RE: cheapcheap Jul 28, 2010 07:16 AM

            can anyone compare the quality of ramen to Konichiwa on Baldwin? i'm not uptown often so would like some sort of idea of the ramen before making the trip up. thanks.

            1. re: cheapcheap
              Chester Eleganté RE: cheapcheap Jul 31, 2010 11:45 AM

              I'm with you on this. This place is gonna make a lot of people happy, and continually satisfy a longstanding craving. btw I had a fattier cut of chashu the second time around, and the noodles and broth were just as good.

              Niwatei
              (905) 513-6492
              Tues-Fri 5:30pm-10pm
              Sat 12-10pm
              Sun 12-9pm

              1. re: Chester Eleganté
                Charles Yu RE: Chester Eleganté Jul 31, 2010 04:16 PM

                Glad to hear! Must have read our posts!!

            2. re: Chester Eleganté
              Charles Yu RE: Chester Eleganté Jul 28, 2010 05:26 PM

              Just came back from trying their Tonkotsu. Agree with CE that this is the best rendition of this noodle dish in town! Better than Kenzo, Konichiwa, Ajisan Ramen...etc. Very good broth and noodles. My egg was perfectly cooked too!. Only downside was that the Char Siu was sliced a bit too thick and not tender and fatty enough. Room for improvement there. Otherwise, considering this is Toronto, I'm pretty happy with what they are bringing out! Using a score of 10 for some of the best one I had in Tokyo, this TO ramen place deserves a score of around 8.0.
              Next, we would need our true Japanese food master SkylineR33 to try and confirm?!! Anyone who had spend over 1 hour lining up for the '2nd best ramen in WHOLE OF JAPAN' should know!!!

              -----
              Kenzo
              138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA

              1. re: Charles Yu
                w
                Wil RE: Charles Yu Jul 29, 2010 05:17 AM

                Now I am dying to go, how big is the shop? I assume pretty small? Basically, will I be able to take my toddler :)

                1. re: Wil
                  Charles Yu RE: Wil Jul 29, 2010 03:20 PM

                  Small but not too small. About 8 tables plus a counter sitting about 5-6. When we were leaving, a party of five came in with a kid. The staff even provide the party with a children high chair! So, you should be fine!

                2. re: Charles Yu
                  y
                  Yum2MyTum RE: Charles Yu Jul 29, 2010 05:23 AM

                  Awesome. I will have to try this place out ... I've really enjoyed the ramen at Kenzo previously. :) thanks for the review and comparison, Charles Yu.

                  -----
                  Kenzo
                  138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    c
                    cha_siu_bao RE: Charles Yu Jul 29, 2010 08:34 AM

                    Thanks Charles_Yu. Can't wait to go to J-Town soon to try out the ramen. I tried the ramen at Kenzo and thought it was decent. Then again, I have not tried the ramen in Tokyo before so...my standards may not be as high as yours or SkylineR33's...lol...

                    -----
                    Kenzo
                    138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA

                    1. re: Charles Yu
                      t
                      tjr RE: Charles Yu Jul 31, 2010 11:54 AM

                      I'll be heading there as soon as I'm back in Toronto. Is tonkotsu their specialty?

                    2. re: Chester Eleganté
                      Crispier Crouton RE: Chester Eleganté Jul 29, 2010 09:45 AM

                      Just went last night for the tonkotsu. Really liked the broth. It was flavourful, but tasted clean. The saltiness was perfect for the ramen, but a touch on the salty side for drinking straight after the noodles were done. So I can't fault them, not sure if you can reach the perfect balance to satisfy both. My egg was overcooked, maybe it just got cooked by the broth it sank into. Some of my fellow diners had perfectly cooked eggs. The noodles were also the best I've had in Toronto. Easily better ramen than Kenzo, which was just okay, and Ajisen (whose noodles I despise).

                      The cha shu was a bit lean but I didn't mind. Loved its texture, and the flavour was good. For the appetizer in the set, we got a takagomi gohan, which was alright, we make a better one at home. The mini gyu-don was really nice. Loved the flavour and texture of the beef. The mini curry is just what you'd expect, a standard, yummy japanese curry. Portion size of this was pretty decent. The dessert we had choice of green tea ice cream (pass) and mame-mitsu, which was gelatinous yellow (or green) bean cubes in syrup with canned fruit and adzuki. Didn't love it, but it's definitely suited for japanese palates. Green tea was $2, which annoys me, but they use a very decent tea.

                      Definitely going back for the ramen, not sure if I'd pay the extra $3-4 for the set, or the $2 for tea. I'd probably get a second bowl of ramen instead.

                      1. re: Crispier Crouton
                        Charles Yu RE: Crispier Crouton Jul 29, 2010 03:15 PM

                        Hello C.C! Welcome to the 'tea club'!! I too made the mistake of ordering a green tea only to find they charge me $2 for it! Should have use the money and head next door for a skewer of yakitoi instead! Ha!! Like you said, good ramen though!

                      2. re: Chester Eleganté
                        m
                        mussetto RE: Chester Eleganté Jul 29, 2010 06:44 PM

                        thanks so much for the heads up! I am a total ramen addict and have never found good ramen in TO so will definitely try very soon.

                        Curious as to how this place compares to Ipuddo in NYC or Momofuku Noodle bar.

                        1. re: mussetto
                          Charles Yu RE: mussetto Jul 29, 2010 06:52 PM

                          Momofuku is more 'fusion'!
                          This place inside J-Town is a simple ramen place, very Japanese, with a very limited menu of 3-4 choice of broth and toppings. IMO, closer to Ipuddo in taste and presentation, which I recalled is Japanese own and run.

                          1. re: mussetto
                            Notorious P.I.G. RE: mussetto Jul 29, 2010 07:14 PM

                            I find Momofuku's Ramen pretty weak, hope this place is better. I wouldn't compare it to Ippudo but if it's anything close to Minca, Menkuitei, or even Rai Rai Ken I'd be satisfied.

                            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                              m
                              mussetto RE: Notorious P.I.G. Aug 3, 2010 08:30 AM

                              Haven't been to Momofuku but have always wanted to try. I really liked Ipuddo the Tonkotsu was expertly balanced and berkshire pork the right amount of fatty ratio.

                              Went to Niwatei couple days ago. Agreed best so far in Toronto. Tried the Char-sui, Miso and Tonkotsu. The Charsui broth ( I forget what type of broth maybe Shio?) was slightly too salty, the Miso was interesting with a twangy note of some sort tasted like muted shiso, the tonkotsu was gentle and smooth. Pork with a good amount of fat, meat slightly tough, this could be that the pieces were cut a bit too thin. Sides of rice with beef, rice with veg, karake and gyoza were ok not exceptional. Definitely has good potential I will definitely go back to get my ramen fix.

                          2. re: Chester Eleganté
                            w
                            Wandering Foodie RE: Chester Eleganté Aug 14, 2010 05:06 PM

                            Perhaps they're having consistency problems or something because when I went their broths were very pedestrian. The only good thing was the texture of the noodles. Also their gyoza tasted like a badly steamed dumpling; only one gyoza had a slightly browned crust. I might go back after they've stayed in business for longer and only if I'm in the area. I wouldn't make a trip just for it.

                          3. b
                            Bunni RE: da9920 Jul 29, 2010 02:57 PM

                            Where exactly is this ramen shop? Inside the mini-mall or outside the mall?

                            You can buy ramen in the refrigerator section of T&T Supermarket.

                            Make some miso soup. Add ramen and some toppings.

                            If not miso soup, open a can of Campbell soup. Add noodles.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Bunni
                              c
                              caitlink RE: Bunni Jul 29, 2010 08:25 PM

                              I went yesterday but not sure if i found the ramen place. We peeked inside the yakitori outside the mall but it closes mid afternoon. So is that the ramen place (across from Jtown FAMA)? Or is it another store altogether? I don't think you mean the food court inside the J-town mall where they have the adjoining stores, correct?

                              1. re: caitlink
                                Charles Yu RE: caitlink Jul 29, 2010 09:06 PM

                                Not the food court!!
                                Walk all the way down the alley. Past the fountain. Up a ramp on your left.. Unit #2, next to yakitori / Izakaya place

                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                  Paulustrious RE: Charles Yu Aug 7, 2010 12:09 PM

                                  Added it to Chow. You may want to edit the good-to-know bit

                              2. re: Bunni
                                Chester Eleganté RE: Bunni Jul 31, 2010 11:46 AM

                                yaaa....you're probably right about the campbell's.

                              3. l
                                lsk RE: da9920 Jul 31, 2010 12:32 PM

                                Went yesterday to Niwa-Tei and had the tonkotsu ramen, gyoza, and curry rice. I liked the ramen, as it had a good soup (fantastic creamy aftertaste, but too salty for my liking) and decent noodles which were cooked to a toothsome texture, which I liked. The chashu for all five bowls of ramen at the table was dry and too thick, but had more flavour than any other "chashu" I've had in Toronto on ramen. Egg was fine, if you're going for hard-boiled, but for shoyu and tonkotsu ramen, I would much prefer a ni-tamago.

                                The gyoza was stuffed pretty full and was packed with meat which was cooked decently, but improperly fry-steamed. Not much of a crispy bottom to speak of and the wrapper for a few was torn.

                                Curry rice was standard, but nicely done: ok rice, mild-sweet curry with a hint of heat and a scattering of thinly sliced beef.

                                I would go again because the broth for the tonkotsu is quite good and they cook the noodles to my liking. The only "problem" is that I will probably never be able to finish a bowl by myself as the bowl is deceptively full of noodles.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: lsk
                                  s
                                  szw RE: lsk Jul 31, 2010 08:52 PM

                                  Brought my parents here. We all enjoyed our ramen and actually we liked the gyoza a lot.

                                  All of our eggs were overcooked (they were hard boiled)....I was disappointed with that but will ask them to cook them less next time.

                                  I did not think there were too many noodles, in fact I felt it was quite a small portion for the price however its the best we have here so I guess I can't complain. Next time I'll probably order two bowls...

                                2. p
                                  Pandagirl RE: da9920 Aug 1, 2010 07:36 PM

                                  Just went and was underwhelmed considering the positive reviews I have read so far on this board. I agree that the tonkotsu broth was rich and flavourful, but the ramen was similar in quality to frozen ramen that you can buy from J-town.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Pandagirl
                                    lilith RE: Pandagirl Aug 1, 2010 08:46 PM

                                    Does anyone know if they are open tomorrow on Civic Monday?

                                    1. re: Pandagirl
                                      T Long RE: Pandagirl Aug 6, 2010 06:35 AM

                                      Went to Niwa-Tei last night and had the tonkotsu and a side of gyoza. It was OK and I liked the gyoza in particular but agree with sentiments of being underwhelmed after reading the majority of reviews here. While I've only been to Kenzo on Dundas the one time, I thought the ramen experience was comparable. However service was excellent and much better than Kenzo's

                                    2. pinstripeprincess RE: da9920 Aug 2, 2010 09:07 AM

                                      i like it, a bit better than kenzo, but it's still not quite there for me. i really miss double happiness.

                                      soup options are soy sauce, miso, tonkotsu shio, and chicken. except for the tonkotso shio, the broths are chicken based. they've been receiving comments about how the broths aren't salty enough and so have been adding more and more of the flavour pastes. i found it quite salty in its current rendition but you can request it less salty and they will just add less paste or alternatively more salty and add more. the increased saltiness is taking away from the natural sweetness of the pork broth (i only tried tonkotsu), which i found disappointing. it should also be noted that they're purposely not making a true tonkotsu, so while it has a good milky colour and a decent body... it will not have the same richness and intensity as a proper one. i also found it quite dry on the finish, odd. with tonkotsu expectations it is less satisfying and not as nuanced, but as its own style it is tasty.

                                      the noodles are just a good quality commercial brand. nice texture but not quite right in flavour. the egg cookery is variable, they don't seem to be too careful about it. mine was just under fully cooked. i like something yolkier but i also think the local eggs just aren't providing the intensity of flavour.

                                      the cha siu is actually what won me over the most. it has flavour! it's a touch too sweet but at least it tastes like something more than a soggy slice of pork. it is a little dry, mine had a good balance of fat, but it was also cut too thick.

                                      14 Replies
                                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                        t
                                        tjr RE: pinstripeprincess Aug 2, 2010 10:39 AM

                                        Thanks for this, as I was really waiting for your review. Very detailed -- now I know what to expect and will go in with the right expectations :-)

                                        1. re: tjr
                                          pinstripeprincess RE: tjr Aug 2, 2010 10:53 AM

                                          i'm glad i could help. i should also mention that the toppings are quite minimal in variety, which makes it homier to me. not even any nori (which i like, but have to set aside immediately because when its soggy it just has no impact) and i was personally craving the marinated bamboo, but none to be had. you can get additional cha siu, corn and/or egg for a small cost. also, the kamaboko had a very smooth light texture but was quite sweet! i don't know much about the varieties of fish cake though.

                                          1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                            t
                                            tjr RE: pinstripeprincess Aug 6, 2010 03:41 PM

                                            I went to Niwa-Tei with a couple friends and sampled the shoyu and miso ramens, as well as having an entire bowl of the tonkotsu shio. I didn't have the gyoza or any of the other sides.

                                            It's probably my favourite ramen in the city (though I haven't eaten any ramen in Toronto for at least a year), but there are still quite a few issues. The eggs were hard-boiled and, well, your average Canadian egg. Toppings were, as pinstripeprincess mentions, pretty minimal. Each soup was topped with half an egg, 3 or so pieces of chashu, green onion, and 2 slices of naruto kamaboko. The shoyu ramen also had menma. The corn was canned (a missed opportunity, perhaps), and there was no butter. There are typical spices/oils (rayu, togarashi, etc.) on the table to add to taste.

                                            There was a decent amount of soup and noodles. The soups weren't overly or underly noodled, and the noodles were okay. They aren't made in-house, but the texture was fine. Other than the eggs, the toppings were fine. The chashu was actually quite good, and probably the best chashu flavour-wise of any of the competitors. All of ours were cut quite thin, so I imagine there's quite a bit of variability in just about everything here.

                                            The biggest failure was the soup. The miso was okay: it was miso-y. The shoyu and tonkotsu, however, were both pretty bland. The tonkotsu looked like tonkotsu, but there was very little flavour. The body was fine, and there was a hint of sweetness, but without condiments it had very little flavour. We all agreed that the soups were pretty devoid of salt and fat, and definitely didn't notice oversalting.

                                            The restaurant itself is okay (though it was quite cold), but the staff are warm and friendly, and the service is speedy and attentive.

                                            Overall, considering the price, it was a pretty decent bowl of ramen for Toronto. I was neither disappointed nor impressed by the food, but it was more than decent enough to warrant return visits if you're close. Plus, service was great.

                                            1. re: tjr
                                              pinstripeprincess RE: tjr Aug 6, 2010 08:11 PM

                                              hrm... i forgot that i didn't think that much of the broth until i added the togarashi. i figured my tastebuds were just adjusting to taste more the further i went into the bowl.

                                              i'm not entirely sure why, but they seem to be aiming for low-fat or "healthier" ramen. at least that was the reasoning for the "tonkotsu" being what it is.

                                              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                t
                                                tjr RE: pinstripeprincess Aug 7, 2010 10:09 AM

                                                That's the exact comment we all made: it's too healthy!

                                        2. re: pinstripeprincess
                                          aser RE: pinstripeprincess Sep 19, 2010 10:26 PM

                                          Maybe my sense of palate is completely opposite of yours or I can't taste @#$@, I feel the charshu was the worst part of an otherwise impressive bowl.

                                          The noodles itself had good mouth feel and didn't suffer any loss of texture to the end of the bowl. Given that I'm a speed demon w/ soup noodles in general and try to slurp it down with as little talking as possible. I do not make for an interesting dining companion while food is on the table, the only thing I talk about is the food itself, hah! Noodles are better than Kenzo, no contest for me.

                                          Broth, it had a creamy salty taste, although nothing approaching the knockout richness (too rich for my blood) that someone like Minca brings. Keeping in mind I'm a shio junkie, I had no problems with it being over-salted. I also had no problems drinking the broth down to the very last drop. It again tops Kenzo's rendition by far. Keep in mind it`s not an old school traditional tonkotsu. Once I let go of that, I was able to enjoy it.

                                          Tamago wasn't hard boiled, neither was it hanjuku. It was in the middle of the too, with a slight jelly consistency in certain parts. Kenzo's egg cookery wins on this one, they've been nailing the hanjuku texture.

                                          Charshu imo was neither fatty nor tasty. It felt rather bland to me, with no fat to mask any deficiency in flavour. Perhaps it was an off night....Kenzo's charshu isn't that much better either, but at least it's fattier. They win on default.

                                          Portion size wise, it is slightly bigger than Kenzo. I often feel hungry at Kenzo if I order ramen only, gyozas are mandatory to fill up ze belly. Speaking of which.....

                                          The gyozas are a disaster at Niwatei. They're improperly fried and feel overs-teamed/soggy as a result. Kenzo's strongest point imo are actually their gyozas, so that's def one reason I'll still frequent them.

                                          Service was a bit off-kilter, I received my gyozas right when I finished my bowl. Not a huge deal for me, I don't care about service at a ramen joint. As long as the ramen is good, I'll be willing to take some verbal abuse, no mama jokes though.

                                          At the end of the day, the most important factor for any soup noodle for me are the foundations, the broth and the noodle. Clearly they've measured up in this department, and they would be able to hang with any avg/decent place in NY, Vancouver, LA. No they're not on the level of a Santouka or Ippudo, but it has been the best bowl I've had all my life in Toronto. Whereas Kenzo's bowl wouldn't measure up to those standards. For that I'm very grateful.

                                          Prease work on the charshu and gyozas! Offer kaedama too!

                                          Now if only it wasn't such a trek for me.

                                          -----
                                          Kenzo
                                          138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA

                                          1. re: aser
                                            pinstripeprincess RE: aser Sep 20, 2010 07:02 AM

                                            they were tweaking things when i went and so a month and a half later they could have settled on a different product than what i ate.

                                            i can't imagine that they changed their noodle supplier though.

                                            1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                              aser RE: pinstripeprincess Sep 20, 2010 08:36 AM

                                              Perhaps I temper my expectations while in Toronto, I do not expect in house, super fresh noodles at all. For commercial variety, they were pretty good, and did not lose any texture. Whereas at Kenzo, I've noticed the deterioration of mouth feel as you go through the bowl.

                                              It measured up to avg places in ny like rai rai ken, menkutei, etc......

                                              -----
                                              Kenzo
                                              138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA

                                              1. re: aser
                                                pinstripeprincess RE: aser Sep 20, 2010 09:30 AM

                                                i temper my expectations as well, all my comparisons are against what is available in toronto.

                                                my noodles did lose some texture near the end of my bowl.

                                                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                  aser RE: pinstripeprincess Sep 20, 2010 11:14 AM

                                                  Keep in mind like I said earlier, I'm a speed demon with soup noodles. I think I finished the bowl in 5-6 mins max. If you're not insane like me and eat at a normal pace, then there will be texture loss I assume.

                                            2. re: aser
                                              t
                                              tjr RE: aser Sep 24, 2010 07:11 AM

                                              I think there's been quite a bit of variability, at least since my first visit. I've been 3x so far and the chashu was either good or bad, the soup salty or not. The noodles themselves are good, but I don't find there's enough flavour in the soup. I'm also a fast eater as well, and have noticed that Kenzo's noodles fall more and more flat as you progress. I've never finished the broths at either.

                                              I do agree that Kenzo's gyoza are way better; in fact, I almost always just have gyoza and skip the ramen. Does Kenzo ever have takoyaki?

                                              -----
                                              Kenzo
                                              138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA

                                              1. re: tjr
                                                pinstripeprincess RE: tjr Sep 24, 2010 07:39 AM

                                                they did at the start, do they not have any when you ask for it?

                                                1. re: tjr
                                                  s
                                                  szw RE: tjr Sep 24, 2010 09:40 PM

                                                  Kenzo (North York location) always has takoyaki, but it is not good. Don't bother.

                                                  -----
                                                  Kenzo
                                                  138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA

                                                  1. re: szw
                                                    t
                                                    tjr RE: szw Sep 25, 2010 12:01 AM

                                                    szw, then I suppose I've been lucky (though I only frequent the Bay & Dundas Kenzo)!

                                                    pinstripeprincess, they always say they're out or have "just run out." Last time I was having a late lunch, and they'd "just run out" at 4pm? If it's even actually available, wouldn't it make sense to make a bit more so that you aren't running out before dinner everyday?

                                                    -----
                                                    Kenzo
                                                    138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA

                                            3. g
                                              gijoeanne RE: da9920 Aug 8, 2010 08:05 PM

                                              I read about this place here and had to make it my next spot to check out on my rare uptown dine outs (yes, the SO and I enjoy ramen that much but have been sorely disappointed in Toronto so far). Agreed that this is the best that Toronto has to offer. We got the tonkotsu with all the extra toppings. The noodles were indeed commercial but cooked just enough (not overcooked like at Ajisen!) to be toothsome. The tonkotsu was creamy and IMO salty enough to be enjoyed with the noodles. My egg was perfectly cooked! The chasu is too lean as well, and cold! That wasn't a welcome surprise. Unlike others, I found the service to be slow and a bit distracted...perhaps I went a time when they were training new staff...

                                              However, I have to comment on the price point. I may be especially cheap, but did no one else find this bowl of ramen a bit...expensive? Despite ordering extra chasu and adding corn and egg, I felt like the toppings were still minimal and it cost like $12! At Benkei in Vancouver, the most expensive bowl with all the extra fixings costs the same, but at least the toppings were so generous (and in such great variety!) that you can't see the noodles underneath. Or go around the corner to Kintaro and I can enjoy a bowl of handmade noodles (with that wonderful fatty broth) for under $8. The prices at Niwatei approach those of Ippudo in NYC, but the concoctions at Ippudo were far more flavourful, and it included handmade noodles too.

                                              Oh well, as said, this is still the best ramen that can be found in the GTA. May we start a CH movement to get someone to open a handmade ramen shop in Toronto please????

                                              -----
                                              Niwa-Tei
                                              3160 Steeles Avenue East, Unit #2, Markham, ON L3R 4G9, CA

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: gijoeanne
                                                skylineR33 RE: gijoeanne Aug 8, 2010 09:07 PM

                                                "The prices at Niwatei approach those of Ippudo in NYC"

                                                I think your calculation is a bit off. A bowl of ramen at Ippudo NYC costs $14US and a bowl of ramen at Niwatei costs $8.8CAD. Both contains normal size ramen, 2 slices of chasiu and 1/2 boiled egg.

                                                1. re: skylineR33
                                                  g
                                                  gijoeanne RE: skylineR33 Aug 8, 2010 10:18 PM

                                                  The tonkotsu ramen cost $8.80. To add 2 extra slices of chasu ($2.50) (and for that I got a grand total of 3 pieces of chasu in my ramen), another half a boiled egg ($0.50), and corn ($0.50) would bring the total up to 12.30CAD. To my recollection, 14USD was the priciest bowl at Ippudo, and I remember 11USD bowls on their menu as well. Multiply by 1.04 where necessary if we care to distinguish between the currencies anymore. Perhaps at a slightly lower price, we would get slightly more toppings at Niwatei, so I may have used "approach" loosely. Nevertheless, this is still the most expensive bowl of ramen I've had in the GTA, only rivalled by Liberty Noodle (ugh).

                                                  1. re: gijoeanne
                                                    skylineR33 RE: gijoeanne Aug 9, 2010 06:01 AM

                                                    You have to compare apple to apple. The Tonkotsu at Ippudo NYC is $14USD which has the same size as the Tonkotsu at Niwatei, both have 2 slices of chasiu and 1/2 egg. It is quite obvious the one at Ippudo NYC is much expensive.

                                                    1. re: skylineR33
                                                      j
                                                      jayseeca RE: skylineR33 Aug 9, 2010 06:19 AM

                                                      How do they compare? I had the ramen at Ippudo, and was seriously underwhelmed and disappointed... I'm thinking there's no point in ever trying the one at Niwa-Tei...

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                                                      Niwa-Tei
                                                      3160 Steeles Avenue East, Unit #2, Markham, ON L3R 4G9, CA

                                                      1. re: jayseeca
                                                        skylineR33 RE: jayseeca Aug 9, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                        I think you mean the Ippudo at NYC, not the one at Japan, right ? What do you not like about the Tonkotsu ramen at Ippudo NYC ? The noodle, broth, chasiu, or everything ?

                                                        1. re: skylineR33
                                                          j
                                                          jayseeca RE: skylineR33 Aug 9, 2010 07:21 AM

                                                          Sorry, yes the one in NYC. It was mainly the broth, thought it was too light and not flavourfuland pork-y enough. Also, the chasiu was a little dry, but thankfully the broth helped combat that.

                                                          Also, they put a huge topping of pickled ginger on mine, which I thought was kinda gross, did not do anything for me and tainted the ramen... although I just don't like pickled ginger.

                                                          1. re: jayseeca
                                                            skylineR33 RE: jayseeca Aug 9, 2010 08:01 AM

                                                            If you do not like it because Tonkotsu at Ippudo NYC is too light and the chasiu is too dry, forget about the Tonkotsu at Niwatei. Maybe you can try the miso-based ramen at Niwatei, my friend said it is pretty good but I did not try it. The shoyu ramen is bland as others reported. I much prefer my favourite shoyu instant noodle, "明星" brand, with a guy blowing a horn on its cover. It is better than the one at Niwatei.

                                                            1. re: skylineR33
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                                                              gijoeanne RE: skylineR33 Aug 9, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                              Okokok, checked the Ippudo website since it's been a while since I've been there. Looking at the prices again I'm reminded of what NOT to line up for when I go there for a few days again. Yes, Ippudo is expensive. Although their ramen for $14 does come with the menma and the kikurage. Enough to justify an additional $5 or so of cost? Probably not. However, I still think what I got for over $12 at Niwa-tei certainly was not the best value ramen I've come across in North America. And the next time I'm uptown for lunch, I think I'll seek out dim sum instead...

                                              2. r
                                                ragged25 RE: da9920 Sep 24, 2010 12:29 PM

                                                I've been a couple of times and both time have gotten the combo. Once with the curry and the other time with the rice with beef. I prefer the rice with beef over the curry. Both times I've gone with the tonkotsu based broth and have enjoyed it both times. I'm no ramen expert but I've been satisfied with it. The combo is a decent deal and you will definitely be full afterwards. Service has been good and the one waiter there is quite enthusiastic.

                                                One word of caution, do not get the KARAAGE there. After trying Guu's version and seeing it on the menu, I was curious. I believe the menu states 5 or 6 pieces for $4.50 or something. When the dish came, my jaws dropped as I'm looking at 5 or 6 tiny pieces of chicken. Tiny as in KFC popcorn chicken tiny. It did not taste like much either and I felt quite ripped off as I didn't think they would charge the amount they did for the quality/quantity of food presented.

                                                Other than that, if you stay with ramen, it's not bad and I would return.

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                                                Guu
                                                398 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, CA

                                                1. Notorious P.I.G. RE: da9920 Nov 19, 2010 03:22 PM

                                                  I really wanted to like this place, however I find myself let down by the ramen at Niwa Tei.

                                                  I got the Shio Tonkotsu and found the broth to be pretty pedestrian. It was creamy and salty but that's about all it was. The noodles where overcooked right off the bat, not quite mushy but definitely not firm. Toppings of beni shoga, corn, naruto kamaboko, and green onion sparsely littered the surface of the bowl coming across as a poor man's rendition of Hakata style ramen.

                                                  The Chashu was a bit dry but the taste was alright. Had it not been dry and lean it may have been the highlight of the bowl. Their egg was a total fail. Nevermind Hanjuku Tamago, this was a cold hard boiled egg.

                                                  Upsides? The broth was hot.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
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                                                    szw RE: Notorious P.I.G. Oct 27, 2011 08:43 PM

                                                    Anyone know if this has improved? I went when it opened and thought it was decent but not great.

                                                  2. h
                                                    helenhelen RE: da9920 Jun 26, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                    does this place have vegetarian stock for the ramen? (i.e. no fish or meat-based?)

                                                    1. w
                                                      wchue RE: da9920 Jun 27, 2012 06:32 AM

                                                      Anybody sense MSG?

                                                      if there's none this place has my money!! (atleast once)

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: wchue
                                                        Notorious P.I.G. RE: wchue Jun 27, 2012 10:39 AM

                                                        That's a hard one. MSG is a really big part of Ramen. If it doesn't have a heaping spoonful of MSG you can almost not call it Ramen.

                                                        Maybe phone them and ask. I seem to remember the broth having tasted like it had MSG in it but it was awhile back and I can't be 100% sure. I am mostly going on how Ramen is made with MSG being essential to the recipe.

                                                        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                          Crispier Crouton RE: Notorious P.I.G. Jun 27, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                          It's not like they're putting in a ladle of MSG powder. The bones and konbu and other stuff they boil to make the broth inherently has MSG in it. So yeah, as you said all Japanese broths have MSG.

                                                          1. re: Crispier Crouton
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                                                            scrawledinwax RE: Crispier Crouton Jun 27, 2012 07:11 PM

                                                            Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure that naturally occurring glutamate isn't quite the same thing as MSG. As far as I understand it, the sodium is the difference. MSG is an artificially created salt meant to make glutamate (and its umami flavour) easily to distribute.

                                                            1. re: Crispier Crouton
                                                              Notorious P.I.G. RE: Crispier Crouton Jun 27, 2012 08:19 PM

                                                              I wasn't exaggerating one bit. Heaping ladles of MSG go into Ramen. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part MSG is pretty par for the course.

                                                              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
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                                                                bryanayrb RE: Notorious P.I.G. Jun 29, 2012 11:31 PM

                                                                japanese love MSG... instant dashi is like made of it.

                                                                1. re: bryanayrb
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                                                                  wchue RE: bryanayrb Aug 10, 2012 09:34 AM

                                                                  alright i checked it out the ramen has no msg (i'm allergic)

                                                                  Japanese natural msg is usually made from seaweed dashy

                                                                  japanese love msg but not putting in a Tonkatsu stock is a source of pride for them so you won't find it in any reputable places

                                                                  i've had it in japan no msg there...

                                                                  anyways its msg free so all you food people out there do live =)

                                                                  1. re: wchue
                                                                    Notorious P.I.G. RE: wchue Aug 10, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                                    I've had it plenty in Japan too and I can tell you for a fact that it's alive and well.

                                                                    Another thing to keep in mind is that not only does naturally occuring MSG come from Dashi but it also comes from the dried fish products they use in the Tare. So naturally occuring or not it's pretty much always going to be there.

                                                                    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                                      w
                                                                      wchue RE: Notorious P.I.G. Aug 10, 2012 11:58 AM

                                                                      yeah its the natural stuff i can take not the man made stuff i make the dashi at home to cook with (freeze in icecube trays)

                                                                      yum!

                                                                      you know any other really good ramen places? i goto kenzos allot but this ones better stockwise the eggs a bit over cooked but its still good!

                                                                      1. re: wchue
                                                                        Notorious P.I.G. RE: wchue Aug 10, 2012 12:15 PM

                                                                        You should try Kinton if you haven't already.

                                                                        Other than that, just wait a couple months and you'll have your choice of about 5+ new Ramen spots.

                                                                        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                                          grandgourmand RE: Notorious P.I.G. Aug 10, 2012 12:24 PM

                                                                          that many? wow! great news.

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