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Miso Ramen discovered in Toronto at last!!!!


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Miso Ramen discovered in Toronto at last!!!!

Yermum | Feb 13, 2004 09:37 PM

Early on in the life of the Toronto board, I submitted a plea to you all for a restaurant serving authentic Miso Ramen anywhere between Hamilton and Kingston and came up pretty much empty.

Someone suggested Yokazuna on Hwy 7 - but that is too far for me. Maybe one day.

After a long trip out to the very end of the beaches to Otabe (a recommendation from the board)I was very dissapointed to find it closed. I think it was a Sunday.

Last weekend, I happened to pick up Town Pages Toronto, a telephone directory for Japanese Canadians and what should I find while flipping through? An image of bowl of steaming noodles!

KENZO - Japanese Noodle House.
6180 Yonge St. North York (South of Steeles)

I asked a Japanese friend of mine and she confirmed that there had been rumblings that a new restaurant had opened and that it was run by a chinese couple with a chef who had trained in Japan.

Good enough for me.

I made a plan to go up after work on Friday and I'm back to let you know - this is the real deal. You know that if it's a place you are thinking twice about sharing so that you can keep it to your self it's fit for Chowhounds.

I called ahead to make sure they would be open (they're open from 11am-10:30pm) and to get directions. The restaurant is located on the West Side of Yonge Street at Moore Park across from a Mazda Dealiership. The sign is easy to identify - chopsticks drawing noodles up out of a bowl. It is easy to get to from downtown on the TTC - if a bit of adventure for some. Take the subway to Finch station and get on the Steeles East Local bus (53) or the 90 (ask the driver before you get on - I don't want to lead you astray) and ask the driver to call out Moore Park. Cross the street and it's a couple of doors south.

Upon entering, the fact that a gaijin was walking in seemed to cause a bit of a stir. Perhaps it was just that they were expecting me after my phone call.

There were a couple of Japanese families there having ramen and Yudofu - or some sort of nabe. Good sign, neh?

The dining room has 7 or 8 tables and a bar with stools and is pretty utilitarian. Specials are listed in Kanji on the walls. There are lunch time specials listed in English too.

The menu is english and lists a number of different sorts of Ramen (Shio, Shyu, Miso...).

I also noticed that they do have some Maki Rolls, but you're not here for the sushi baby! Good to know, though, that if you are accompanied by a vegetarian, you should be safe.

Also on the menu are Tonkatsu and Yakitori.

I ordered Miso Ramen and Gyoza.

Three of the servers came up to me to ask me if I've even had Ramen before and how I found out about their restaurant. They have been open for 7 months and I gather word hasn't spread outside of the Japanese and Chinese communities.

I waited a little bit while the Gyoza cooked and it was brought to the table followed shortly after by the Noodles.

GYOZA - The Gyoza is home made and really hit the spot. The sauce that come with it is prepared for you in the kitchen and is garnished with green onion. I did miss being able to make my own balance between shoyu, vinegar and chili oil (I prefer a spicier and more vinegary combination) but other than that very little thing they were delicious. $5.95 for six pieces (I think - I ate them too fast to count)

MISO RAMEN - At last! While the broth is not as complex as the best that I have had in Japan (why I would expect that in Toronto, I don't know) and the noodles are slightly predictable, this is the real deal people! The bowl came topped with 2 pieces of chashu pork (delicious), bean sprouts (just the right amount) and Bamboo shoots (fresh and not canned thankfully). What can I say, I drained the bowl. $6.95

YAKITORI - I was fortunate enough to get to try the yakitori and it was delicious. Like home cooking. Chicken, onion, scallion and carrots in a delicious home made teriyaki sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds. Highly reccomended. 2 pieces - didn't catch the price.

Next time, I'll be trying the Tonkatsu and a couple of other kinds of Ramen. I'll take my camera too.

So if you have ever lived in Japan and have been missing a good bowl of Ramen ever since, plan a pilgrimmage up to North York.

If you ever had the instant Ramen and are curious to learn what it should taste like, first read the ABC of Ramen at before heading up to Kenzo.

I have included the link below, but it appears their site is down.



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