Santouka Ramen – Toronto

I love when Spring comes around. To me, that means family day Sunday. As a bonus, because of the beautiful weather we’ve been having, we got to go downtown! I can’t remember the last time we went as a family. But I sure had a productive and good day!

For lunch, we stopped by my mom’s favourite restaurant (I’m pretty sure she 100% likes this place) – Santouka. I must admit, the ramen is quite the noodle.

Photo 2016-04-24, 11 56 21 AM

We all ordered different ramen bowls, I can’t remember what I last last time I was here.

Dad had Miso Ramen – blend of akamiso (red miso) with the tonkotsu broth.

Photo 2016-04-24, 11 53 50 AM

I opted for something spicy – Spicy Miso Ramen (three kinds of chili peppers with miso). Oddly, there was a kick of spice, but not over powering the rest of the dish.

Photo 2016-04-24, 11 53 42 AM

Mom had Shio Ramen. Apparently this is the speciality ramen because of the white tonkotsu broth.

Photo 2016-04-24, 11 53 53 AM

Dennis ordered the Tokusen Toroniku Ramen – restaurant’s original dish. The ramen comes with a side of pork cheeks.

Photo 2016-04-24, 11 53 08 AM

We all found the broth and noodles a bit too salty for our taste. You might want to ask the waiter/ waitress to have a light hand when making your order.
This tiny restaurant fits about 30 people (on average). You can sit at a table or at the bar. Every time I’ve been here, it’s packed with a long line up. But we were lucky today. We arrived just in time as we got the last empty table. After minutes of sitting, people began filing for the line.

Photo 2016-04-24, 11 56 31 AM

Check out my first post about Santouka here. Visit Santouka website here.
Photos are via  iPhone 6.

Ramen at Niwatei

IMG_4716

I’ve been to Niwatei twice, including today. And the restaurant moved to a ‘new’ location. It’s a nice near by ramen restaurant, saves the travel time if you’re craving ramen but don’t want to travel all the way downtown for lunch.

IMG_4717

Things have definietly changed since my last visit. They have more items on the menu and a bigger seating area.

IMG_4718

I can’t read Japanese, but I think it’s a St.Patrick’s Day dessert special. Thankfully, we had 5 people for lunch and all 5 of us ordered different mains.

IMG_4719

Mom and A ordered this as their side: Japanese curry.

IMG_4720

Miso Ramen. It’s a light salty ramen, for days when you don’t feel like going all out with your taste buds.

IMG_4721

Tonkotsu Ramen: this is the soup base that every ramen place is known for. It’s milky soup base contains hours of pork bone stock being simmered.

IMG_4722

Shio Ramen: fish stock with noodles.

IMG_4723

Chashu Ramen: it’s a bit different from the tonkotsu ramen..the meat here is barbequed pork.

IMG_4725

Mom’s and A’s dessert, green tea with mochi.

IMG_4727

D’s dessert: mitsumame.

Everything here can be found on Niwatei’s website (under products). They have expanded their menu as they now serve deluxe and have combos. If you’re not in the mood for ramen, they also serve udon. And it’s definitely reasonable pricing for a combo (main, side and dessert) or if you decide to order the deluxe.

Santouka- Hokkaido Ramen

Ramen restaurants have been popping up in Toronto, in these past two years. There are always new restaurants and not enough money and time on my hands. I’ve been complaining to Dennis (my brother) to take me to one of these new ramen restaurants because he’s always eating at new and gourmet places. Today was the perfect day. He had a few days off work and it so happened that friday is my day off. After he ran his morning errand, we met up at Finch Terminal Station to go eat ramen and work together to make this blog post possible. The fact that we both had a day off, the weather was quite cooperative, as the morning clouds were disappearing and the sun was shinning by the time we were downtown.

DSC_2517

This is the outside building/ restaurant. According to Dennis, this restaurant is a chain from Japan. Near the entrance to the restaurant, there were cute but fake noodle bowls. Dennis couldn’t capture it because there would be a glare in the picture.

DSC_2534

DSC_2543

This is where the food comes out from the kitchen. The waitresses set out trays and have the utensils ready for the bowls and orders. This is a convient way of organizing a restaurant, especially  if the restaurant is small like this one.

DSC_2531

Simple lighting is always an added bonus for me. Delicate but yet fashionable. A must for my future home.

DSC_2522

DSC_2526

Very cute condiments for noodles and gyoza (Japanese dumplings).

DSC_2562

DSC_2551

Dennis’ ramen– he ordered the Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce flavoured). The side plate comes with a few slices of pork, nori, green onions, Japanese fish paste  (I think, moulded into a flower like shape) and golden needles (from Daylily flowers, it’s an asian flower edible species). ~$15

DSC_2561

Shrimp and tofu salad. Contains shrimp, fresh cold tofu, lettuce, tomatoes and alfa sprouts with a nice light soy dressing, kind of simliar to the salad dressings at ayce sushi (all you can eat sushi). ~$6

DSC_2556

Gyoza dumplings, a tad bit salty though, plate of 6 ~$5.50

DSC_2547

DSC_2548

My order–Tokusen Toroniku Ramen, a bit of kick with spice but not over powering. Different sides compared to Denis’, pork cheek, golden needles, green onion, bits of red think edible strings of unknown plus black fungus (mok yee, 木耳). ~$16

Verdict: Good, average service, nice lighting (big windows, I’m not a fan of dark restaurants). I’m always willing to try new foods. But this meal was quite pricy. Once is good enough (for me at least).

Santouka- Hokkaido Ramen website