A-ok foods (ramen by yours truly)
It's open now! sichuan tsukemon is more like a Dan Dan mien than a ramen, but it's a really delicious Dan Dan mien! Better than ba shu jia Ren or sichuan legend Imo. Much better!
Ramen at Yours Truly owned A-OK is sooo good and non conventional. The noodles are Korean styles so more like mein and less bouncy and chewy which is okaaay. The broth is chicken based and the yuzu element makes is Momofukuesque. The soy tea egg actually tastes of soy and tea (hallelujah) so I'm a big fan.
The San Choi Bao duck lettuce wraps were way too saucy and SALTY. Mentioned that to them but hey it's 2nd night out of the gate.
Bonus they're up the street from me, downer, it's a small place so it'll get busy fast.
Service was great, and love the simple fun design isn't "reclaimed" or as dim as a cave!
I have mixed feeling about this place.
Snail Salad - I have never seen this combination in any asian street food (kim-chi snails with sho-mein, I liked it). Could use a tad more sesame oil, but it was a very encouraging start to the meal.
Shoyu - Just perfect. I wouldn't change a thing. The soup was not over-salted, and the noodles soaked up all the beautiful flavours, but still retained that 'spring-iness' as remarked in Tampopo (although, it is FAR from the traditional ramen - be forewarned). My companion, who worships Santouku, was not happy with the portion size. I, on the other hand, was happy with it. It left me more room to sample other things. So keep in mind, it's not a place for you to just have a bowl of ramen and be done with.
The not so good:
The tofu appetizer with chips - really awful. The chips were chewy and stale, and the tofu was oversalted and cut into too big of a chunkful to be 'scooped' in any way.
Drinks - very limited alcoholic beverages. I am sure it will change over time though. There was horchata on the menu - seemed like a popular item amongst patrons.
I enjoy the casualness of the place and the staff. They have many kinks to work out, and also, they need better signage!
Had the ramen a second time and noticed the pork slice was different. Shoulder this time instead of belly? I enjoyed it but not consistent.
Snail salad was ok but wouldn't order again. Noodles with noodles if you're having ramen....
Fried rice was kind of standard issue. It came with a hot sauce that was interesting but overall didn't care for it.
So far only the shoyu ramen has been worth it for me...
Have you tried the tsukemon? (ill keep calling it dan Dan mien!)
Snail salad was okay, but disappointed to see such a standard sauce that is served at every Korean restaurant in Toronto when you order dukboki. It wasn't even a particularly good version of the sauce but I think most people eating here won't notice this stuff so closely.
The tsukemen was ok. Think of the ramen bowl contents drained and in a plate with a warm bowl of oily sichuan peppercorn, chinese bean sauce on the side. Spicing was ok for me and I'd consider it a standard "medium hot" plus the tingle of the crushed peppercorn. (Again to compare to a similar Momofuku's similar dish, it's not as nuanced and seemingly oilier. At Momo they add candied cashews and spinach to the cold dish so it seems more of a noodle salad.) I prefer A-Ok's Shoyu ramen dish to this one.
The snail salad, fried rice and duck san choi bao are off the current menu and they added a ox tongue salad, fish in the weeds (sounds like a sashimi on seaweed salad) and a pork ssam.
The pork ssam is a huge improvement on the duck as it wasn't as saucy messy and the salt was under control. Belly was used here and grilled pork shoulder for the tsukemen.