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May 1, 2013 12:24 PM

Ramen Choices in Toronto

I posted earlier on downtown dim sum restaurants and received very helpful replies, so I'm hoping for help regarding ramen. We're staying near Queen's Park and have come up with some ramen restaurant possibilities.

They are Santouka, Kinton and Raijin. Any favorites among these? We usually order shoyu or miso ramen, gyoza and karaage (fried) chicken if on the menu. Comments are also welcome. Thanks for your help.

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  1. where are you from? socal? sf? nyc? van?

    if so don't bother.

    if not then santouka shio reg or toroniku.

    karaage save it for izakaya like kingyo.

        1. I've been on a Vancouver ramen tour for the last month or so - but haven't had a chance to visit their Toronto counter-parts - best bets would be Santouka, Kinton, Sansotei, and A-ok, the last heralded as having the best noodles in TO, and one which I attend every couple of weeks. Broth is good, but not great.

          7 Replies
          1. re: justxpete

            Update on A-Ok. I brought the SO in (whos' been in Van) to sample the Ramen at Aok. She was excited about the noodles. When we got there, we asked about the broth - as she has a shellfish allergy. Unfortunately, the broth at A-Ok has shellfish, which is fine - but when we asked if they could serve her broth without the shellfish, the answer was not that they couldn't, but they wouldn't - saying it "wouldn't be Ramen". Really? tell that to Santouka, among others, who only use pork/chicken to make their broth. In any case - we were willing to accept that it wouldn't be quite as good as normal - and the place is closeby to home, so that's why I've been going regularly - but for the "chef" to be able to accommodate a shellfish allergy, but refuse to do so, irrespective of 'artistic license', is absurd.

            And if, in fact, the broth would have been horrible, then the 2nd time I asked the server to check (because what he said initially was terse and confusing), the "chef" should have come out and spoke to us about what the issue was.

            I don't mind chefs or restaurants refusing to alter their dish based on artistic license, but to refuse to alter a dish due to an allergy when you are able, is another matter entirely.

            So we got up and left. I won't be going back - and based on how busy it's been every time I go, they could really use the business.

            1. re: justxpete

              That ain't right. I feel like they could've put that better, like maybe they don't want to stray from their recipe because they don't want to compromise but to say that it's "not Ramen" is pretty ass.

              Tons of really great Ramen shops make broth without shellfish.

              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                Or if the "chef" came out and explained why his broth would have been bad w/o their shrimp powder or whatever, that would have been ok too. Or hell, even the server - but to decline such as they did was inexcusable.

                A bunch ok Aokholes, are they.

                1. re: justxpete

                  Yeah, it's a little bit Ramen high horse. And that's coming from a Ramen high horse.

              2. re: justxpete

                Are all the broths at Santouka shellfish-less? My SO has the same allergy.

                1. re: jinxie

                  Best to ask them. A lot of places will say that their broth is made from such and such pork bones but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Could be shellfish in the Tare, you never know.

                  1. re: jinxie

                    We were able to eat at a number of Ramen places w/o issue in Van, although at Motomachi, she had to settle for the Vegetable/vegetarian broth, which left much to be desired.

                    We call and ask (time permitting), each time we go to a new place. First we ask if they use shellfish in their broth, second we ask if they can serve it w/o the shellfish, and lastly we ask if they have vegetarian broth (which they quite often do).

              3. Santouka looks like the favorite here. Thanks everyone, I appreciate your input!

                1 Reply