Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sansotei Ramen- Toronto, ON

On a trip to Toronto, ON, my companion and I had been starving for some authentic Japanese ramen. You know, the real stuff! Not those MSG-filled instant noodle packages you buy at the local grocery store. Ramen, a popular meal, is a Japanese wheat noodle dish served in usually a meat or fish flavored broth. After doing a bit of research, we decided to head to the core of Toronto's Downtown district to a place called Sansotei Ramen. Located at 179 Dundas Street West, Sansotei is in an easy and accessible location where you can also get all your shopping done.

Tonkotsu Ramen
After waiting ~30 minutes outside, we were finally seated in this small but quaint 25-30 person restaurant. The menu consisted of four main types of broths that accompany the ramen: Tonkotsu, Miso, Tonkotsu Shoyu and Shio broth. As well, there were Gyoza (dumplings), fried rice and other sides to accompany the main course. My companion decided to try the Tonkotsu Ramen, priced at $9.25/bowl, which is a pork bone flavored broth orginating from Kyushu, Japan. The bowl of ramen came with a poached boiled egg (yolk still runny!), the choice of thick or original noodles (dependent on the type of broth you choose), 2-3 pieces of fatty pork belly, some seaweed vegetables and green onion for garnish. I decided to try the Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen, priced at a resonable $8.90. "Shoyu" in Japanese means "soy sauce" flavor. My ramen came with all the same components as the Tonkotsu with one exception; instead of seaweed, there was pickled ginger.

Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen
The bowl of ramen came out at a mild warm temperature, something that left me unimpressed. The three slices of pork belly were rich and salty but too fatty for my liking. The pickled vegetables were quite a surprise and turned out to be one of the highlights of this dish; they were a nice compliment to the salty broth and gave the meal a nice sour tone. The poached egg added a nice luxurious and silky taste to an already rich broth. The ramen was cooked perfectly al dente, which gave nice resistance when biting into the noodles. However, the broth was the biggest let down for me. I was expecting something with a powerful pork taste with a clean, soy sauce note but instead got a salty, underwhelming broth.

I'd have to say after tasting my companion's tonkotsu flavored ramen, I much rather preferred that over the Shoyu. The broth had a much stronger pork flavor with a milky, creamy texture. The noodles were relatively the same consistency. Although the bowl of ramen looked relatively small for our large appetites, we were surprisingly full at the end of our meal.

Overall, the service at Sansotei was above average as the servers were pleasant and very quick. Once seated, food came out very fast and lunch in general took about 1 hour. And if you're looking for a quick ramen fix, I would definitely recommend Sansotei as one of the places to try! I was however, disappointed in the fact that this restuarant charged $2.00 for green tea, whereas at many other places, it is usually free of charge and that my broth was underwhelming. But if going to Sansotei Ramen with a large group (5+), be prepared to wait; this restaurant is not well equipped to handle a massive quantity of people. I will say this though: if you are looking for a bowl of ramen, perfect for a cold winter day in Toronto, this place is one of the better ones; but be warned, it might mean braving the harsh outside... at least a little while...


4/5 Erics

Sansotei Ramen on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Hi Eric,

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