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Raijin Ramen and Guu

pescatarian Nov 21, 2012 06:45 AM

Anyone been to Raijin Ramen? Good? Is it crazy busy there? Looking for a place to take my cousin for casual dinner in that area. Also, is the Gerrard location of Guu still crazy busy?

  1. jlunar Nov 21, 2012 07:50 AM

    Broth is super milky, good noodles, not busy when I went (lunch, Saturday). Very roomy. No licence yet. The char siu is better at Santouka. They're in soft open right now though, so keep that in mind.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jlunar
      pescatarian Nov 21, 2012 09:10 AM

      Thanks!

      1. re: jlunar
        Teep Nov 22, 2012 08:35 AM

        Yeah, Santouka Thurs 8 pm, 20 people in line. Raijin Weds 8 pm, 2/3 full.

        I was happy to find they have ramen in chicken broth - I actually don't like pork but enjoy ramen - so I went for it. But the broth is too light, it's really missing the full richness of the pork broth.

        Their noodles have nice texture but stronger alkaline taste then others - you can visually tell because they are of a darker colour.

        Trivia: Raijin means Thunder God.

        1. re: Teep
          jlunar Nov 22, 2012 09:27 AM

          Teep! I was there last night too! XD

          I've had all three pork broths now and I think the plain miso is the best. It's got a great robust flavour. Found that their bowls are huge though. I can eat a whole one, but it's nap time afterward.

          Their gyoza is really light - thin wrapper, not-packed filling. You could pass on their karaage right now.

          1. re: jlunar
            pescatarian Nov 22, 2012 12:06 PM

            I'm trying it tonight. Truth is I'm not an expert on ramen though. Sounds delicious though.

            1. re: pescatarian
              pescatarian Nov 23, 2012 11:23 AM

              I had a good experience. Got there early at 5:10. They told me nicely that they weren't open til 5:30. I was meeting my dining companion at 5:30 anyway, so I just sat on the bench at the front while they were getting ready to open. By the time they opened, there was a line waiting outside. As soon as they were open, the hostess took me and my companion to our table. The whole staff welcomed us as we were seated. It was a nice touch (don't know if this is common in ramen joints). I had the miso ramen and added the preserved egg. It was delicious and hearty, albeit a little salty. The service was excellent overall.

      2. l
        limitedtimeoffer Nov 22, 2012 01:14 PM

        Tried to go to raijin last sat...…not sure if this was just because they were in the soft opening phase, but at 2:30 pm on a Saturday when two possibly 3 of your competitors within walking distance and are open for services at the time when you are closed….take my rather simple advice...might want to re-think this...…suffice to say, last saturday, walked in, was told they were closed and come back at 5pm….sorry, computer says no to that. Guess your doing AOK in this economy and given how much you must be bleeding $$$ from your delays to turn away any business.

        2 Replies
        1. re: limitedtimeoffer
          pescatarian Nov 23, 2012 11:23 AM

          But it is a soft opening and they were closed. What would you like them to do? Take you when when the restaurant is closed?

          1. re: pescatarian
            l
            limitedtimeoffer Nov 23, 2012 12:44 PM

            actuallly, if you read my comment, it was not clear if this was because of the soft openning or whehther they intend to be closed from 2:30-5:30...if the latter, bad idea. if soft openning etc. to get up to speed, fine but put a closed sign on the door then...BTW, this place is worth waiting for and Santouka, is not...well, in fact, no ramen is worth waiting for in line IMO.

        2. elvisahmed Nov 23, 2012 11:32 AM

          Are the Ramen places the new Izakayas
          Check out the lineups outside Santouka today!

           
          4 Replies
          1. re: elvisahmed
            jlunar Nov 23, 2012 12:13 PM

            It was longer last Saturday - we were past the building's edge. So we went to Raijin instead. No line!

            1. re: elvisahmed
              l
              limitedtimeoffer Nov 23, 2012 12:48 PM

              first 100 on each of 23-25 get a coupon for a free bowl another day. ramen is fine but i am not waiting in a line for it cuz even ippudo in Hakata (the flagship shop) is not ever worth that IMO.

              1. re: limitedtimeoffer
                elvisahmed Nov 23, 2012 03:12 PM

                Oh Now it makes sense I was wondering why would there be a lineup midday. limitedoffer I guess I am averse to waiting and now even avoid Guu because of that.

              2. re: elvisahmed
                w
                warlock Nov 23, 2012 02:57 PM

                As jlunar mentioned the lineup on Saturday was almost double this....and I'm talking about 11:45 am...

              3. l
                ladeda Nov 24, 2012 07:54 AM

                I'm probably in the minority, but I actually prefer Raijin over Santouka. Tried the kara-miso at Santouka first, and loved it, but was a bit disenchanted with the shio when I went again last Friday. Service was not the best at Santouka (3 dishes/glasses were shattered over 3 different occasions; waitresses were extremely unattentive).

                Service at Raijin on the other hand was excellent, though that might have had something to do with the fact that the restaurant was far from full when I went. Tried the shoyu and the broth was wonderful. I also liked the noodles (much firmer than the ones I recently had at Santouka, although I probably should have requested them to be done firmer). Pork at Raijin was wonderful, but the other toppings were not the best (half an egg, bean sprouts, some Chinese "choy sum." Still, I'd rather go to Raijin with the better service and without the lines for a bowl of ramen not much worse than that found at Santouka (but at cheaper prices!)

                1. c
                  canmark Nov 29, 2012 09:56 AM

                  BlogTO has posted a review of Raijin (with photos): http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/rai...

                  1. prima Nov 30, 2012 02:47 PM

                    I'm also curious. Is the Church St location of Guu still crazy busy? I read through this thread quickly, but it didn't look like anyone answered the second part of the OP's query.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: prima
                      c
                      childofthestorm Nov 30, 2012 05:11 PM

                      Short answer: yes.

                    2. l
                      limitedtimeoffer Dec 10, 2012 08:37 AM

                      my 2 cents...shoulder best at Kinton, belly better at Raijin, broth, Kinton and Raijin both better than Santouka and Sansotei but overall, all 4 are nice..enjoy the miso flavour at Raijin better....where will i go more often, where ever the line up is not.

                      1. l
                        londonhk Jan 9, 2013 06:56 PM

                        I was very disappointed in Raijin. The only thing I really liked was the egg. Overall though, I'd go with Santouka (broth, noodles) or Sansotei (pork, egg).

                        1. a
                          ascendance Jan 13, 2013 07:47 PM

                          Finally went to Raijin Ramen.

                          There's a reason why there's no line up compared to Santouka, Kinton, or Sansotei.

                          First of all, they don't offer any choice between pork belly and shoulder. I asked for pork belly, and the lady took my order, left, and delivered me a bowl with shoulder. When I asked later what happened, someone else said there's no substitutions. Thanks for making things clear upon ordering.

                          The slice of char siu I got was also very thin. Definitely not as generous on the meat front as Santouka or Kinton.

                          I ordered the shio tonkotsu ramen. The soup was ok. Not as heavy as Kinton, and not as salty as Santouka. Also, the noodles have less gansui taste to them, which some may appreciate. I personally don't mind a stronger alkaline taste.

                          However, I found there were too big problems: one, the black, burned garlic oil they put on top, and two, the big chunks of cabbage in the soup. I think thin-sliced cabbage would have been a distinctive accompaniment. I really did not like the chunky cabbage. The burned garlic oil was not very attractive, and bitter. I actually asked them if they put charcoal in the soup, since there was another dish which was described as a charcoal ramen.

                          I'll probably go back sometime, just because the place was convenient. I saw some people ordering a very attractive bowl with a big pile of seared pork on top, and bean sprouts instead of cabbage. KInd of which I ordered that instead.

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