Weekly Lunch Pick: a rich and warming bowl of ramen at downtown’s Sansotei
This year marked the invasion of the alkaline noodles: Ramen restaurants have been popping up around downtown Toronto, and with them, block-long lineups. One of the newer players, Sansotei, opened its doors last month on Dundas, and has already amassed its share of followers for its tiny, five-ramen menu. The narrow restaurant specializes in tonkotsu broth, a slow-simmered pork bone-based soup that’s full of collagen (this is a good thing) and slicked with beads of glistening fat. We opt for the tonkotsu shoyu ramen ($8.90), which mixes the rich, milky tonkotsu broth with darker soy sauce notes. Inside our bowl: a fistful of dense and chewy ramen noodles, chashu (thinly sliced, slow-cooked pork belly), a marinated soft-boiled egg with a molten centre and pieces of crispy and chewy black fungus (these are less about flavour than texture). We add an extra pinch of bean sprouts ($0.50) to double the dish’s veggie quotient (if the small mountain of sliced scallions counts). The perfect foil for the satisfying (and belly-warming) soup is a cold and refreshing cup of roasted barley tea ($2), which cuts through the fat and aids digestion—making conceivable a return to work.
The cost: $15.12 including tax and tip
The time: 32 minutes (the lines are thick at midday, but don’t worry, the room turns over quickly)
Sansotei Ramen, 179 Dundas St. W., 647-748-3833, sansotei.com