Review: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, the first Toronto location of the Japanese noodle chain

Review: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, the first Toronto location of the Japanese noodle chain

(Image: Karolyne Ellacott)
(Image: Karolyne Ellacott)
 

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka  ★½
91 Dundas St. E., 647-748-1717
santouka.co.jp

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The influx of ramen bars in Toronto has spawned a new class of nerds who furiously debate the relative merits of broth, noodles, roast pork and toppings at each establishment. This Japanese import nails all the components. The signature toroniku ramen wins on the pork front, bringing slabs of tender jowl beside a bowl of creamy, salty broth and chewy noodles. The tsukemen ramen, however, has the better broth. The super-concentrated pork stock comes in a smaller bowl crammed with marinated soft-boiled egg, mushrooms and more delicious pork, with a plate of cold, thick noodles for dipping on the side. Portions are on the smaller side, which turns out to be a blessing—this is heady, filling food, and not for the feint of stomach. Expect quick-moving lineups, no matter the weather.