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Ajisen is open on Spadina

It's north of Dundas, just north of Dumpling House. Just last week I walked by and it was still papered up so was really surprised to see it open today. There's a big anime-like statue outside so you can't miss it.

I've never been to their other locations. It's too bad I just had dinner or else I would have tried them out. It'll be interesting to compare them with Konnichiwa and Kenzo.

Anyone been yet? Or anyone have recent experiences with their other GTA locations?

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Konnichiwa
31 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

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

Dumpling House Restaurant
328 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E7, CA

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  1. I find it's ok and slightly pricey/portion wise; especially the "snacks". Everyone else is gonna slam it as not being authentic. A lot more variety than Kenzo.

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

    1. I've always found the ramen at Ajisen to be of good quality. It doesn't have the homemade feel of Konnichiwa or Kenzo, but it's definitely a solid place for a bowl. I'd definitely give it a try.

      I'm not sure what people are saying about it not being authentic. The vast majority of people have no idea what they are talking about in this regard, they've only tried ramen in New York or Vancouver at best. I've eaten ramen all over Japan and this place is fine. It is a chain - I think based in China - and they have branches in cities around the world.

      As far as ramen in Toronto, I'd put Kenzo and Konnichiwa on top and Ajisen second. The ramen selection alone is worth the visit.

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      Konnichiwa
      31 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

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

      3 Replies
      1. re: dibpal

        Ajisen Ramen is not good quality Ramen. If you had only tried Ramen in Vancouver or New York at best, you would still have the good sense to figure out that it doesn't compare to the places there. And if people can't make that deduction then they should throw their tastebuds in the garbage.

        I've also eaten Ramen all over Japan and this place is not worth a mention in comparison to even the worst places there. You're right about them being a chain though. They are the 3 for 1 Pizza of Ramen where I to make a comparison.

        Authenticity in Ramen is debatable as it's such an evolving bowl of noodles. People that would call it non authentic for not having Shinachiku, Kamaboko, Bean sprouts, and three slices of pork have been watching Tampopo too much. However, that's not the issue, the quality is, and I must say it's of the poorest.

        1. re: dibpal

          Ajisen Ramen (Japanese: 味千ラーメン)(SEHK: 0538) is a Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan based-chain of fast-food restaurants selling Japanese ramen noodle soup dishes.. The corporate name is SHIGEMITSU INDUSTRY CO., LTD
          Since its inception, Ajisen Ramen (simplified Chinese: 味千拉面; traditional Chinese: 味千拉麵; pinyin: Wèiqián Lámiàn) has made significant headway into the Chinese market, especially in the metropolis of Shanghai, where it has 86 locations. There are a total of 362 Ajisen restaurants in the Chinese regions as of August 2009
          Info from Wikipedia.
          I ate there once or twice in Hong Kong. Not the worst noodles in the world. Not the best either. They are an acceptable fast food fix in a hurry, which is the same role they fill in China and Japan. Plenty of people in those countries like 'em well enough. Plenty of people here like Mickey D's. Read that as you will.

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          Ajisen Ramen
          7010 Warden Av, Unionville, ON L3R5Y3, CA

          1. re: munchieHK

            Plenty of people in China and HK and Japan like Mickey D's too....

        2. I am excited that they have opened up downtown! I had walked by on the weekend and it was still papered up as mentioned above. I find their ramen meals to be pretty satisfying but I am not a heavy eater. (Let me qualify that I am not an expert on ramen, but I did like what I've tried.) They are indeed a chain as dibpal points out, that first opened in 1968 and now has over 300 locations worldwide with a location in Vancouver and 2 others in Toronto/GTA. I've tried the other locations here but have plans to go try the downtown location now. Much more convenient for me!

          1. Is it true that another location of this chain is opening soon on Carlton, between Yonge and Church?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Gary

              Really? Do you know where it will be?

            2. When the Ajisen in Markham opened a few years ago, it had line-ups outside the door for quite a few months. I went there to see what the fuss was about...it was OK, but nothing special and I've never returned despite living in the neighborhood. I had a better impression with Konnichiwa and Kenzo downtown. Whenever I walk by Markham's Ajisen's door now, they don't seem to have much business...so I guess their customers have spoken by staying away!

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              Konnichiwa
              31 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: T Long

                I don't get it either, this restaurant is not good at all IMO. Ramen? More like spaghetti noodles....

              2. i find Ajisen very salty. when i leave there i'm thirsy for the rest of the day. the noodles are ok, but i prefer Kenzo. Kenzo has fast and friendly service, with a good broth and nice texture of noodles. I had gone to Konnichiwa a couple of times with horrid service. the noodles there were unremarkable.

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

                1. do any of these ramen places have a vegetarian broth?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: helenhelen

                    I just went there today. I thought I try it out instead of dim sum.

                    It's different. I had miso soup with the tender rib, one of the recommended. It's more like beef tendon and brisket mix. It is sort of salty. It's different. It's a first for me for Japanese ramen. I usually have the instant ones at home.

                    And like 'swz' above, I thought the noodle was like al dente spaghetti noodles. I like my noodles over cooked. So, the noodle was a tad hard for me.

                    I'm not sure if I'd go back. But my friend thought it wasn't filling for the price. I was full.

                  2. We just tried it on Friday night and thought it was pretty good.

                    The style of the noodle is clearly different than the more common type of ramen many people might be used to. It is not as translucent and curly and has a different bite to it. As far as we understood it, this is a particular style from a particular region from Japan. That said, we thought the noodles were enjoyable.

                    The broth is a cloudy-white pork bone broth, different from the standard shoyu and miso broths elsewhere. It might have been a tad salty, but otherwise was well flavoured. There are a wide variety of toppings and accompaniments. We tried scallops, which were the whole body with roe. Unfortunately they were a bit fishy tasting. We also tried the version that comes with a ribeye steak. The steak was tender and tasty, but not particular worth a separate trip.

                    Comparing it to the usual suspects, we'd say it is at least as good as Kenzo (more flavourful broth, fairly equivalent noodles) better than Konichiwa (where the noodles have been overcooked each time I've been). We still prefer Tokyo Grill though for the more typical shoyu ramen, at least for the noodles. They seem the closest in style to the ramen I had in the Tokyo area, although they are more on the level of cheap and cheerful rather than stellar.

                    -John

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                    Tokyo Grill
                    582 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y1Z3, CA

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