Today, we went to try out one of the newly opened ramen restaurants in Toronto. Even though a lot of ramen restaurants have opened in Toronto recently, there has not been one that gives me the WOW factor. Therefore, I was very curious of what Santouka has to offer and it definitely did its job to surprise me.
We did not have to wait at all and had the opportunity to request to sit beside the bar after seeing these gigantic pots of soup.
I ordered the Tokusen Toroniku Ramen in Shoyu ramen (soy sauce with pork bone soup) which is their signature ramen. The Toroniku Cha-Shu is simmered pork cheek meat, served separately on the side. It was very tendered, juicy and extremely rich in flavour, unlike normal cha-shu in which i often find them to be a little too fatty and dry. I enjoyed it a lot and it gave me a whole new view and definition of ramen.
JW ordered a combo which came with Shio Ramen (pork bone soup with salt) and a salmon rice bowl. The Shio soup was certainly not too salty but more creamy and strong in flavour than Shoyu ramen. I believe that the Shio Ramen was able to emphasize the richness of Santouka’s pork bone soup. I would recommend this soup over the Shoyu soup to people who are trying Santouka for the first time.
The Cha-shu that came with the Shio ramen was not as tendered and rich in flavour compared to the Toroniku pork cheek meat. I would say it was in par with other ramen restaurants, but nothing overwhelming or crazy special. In Santouka, you can decide the firmness of your noodles. JW chose to have the noodles to have served rather hard and I just the normal noodle. Although mine was normal, it was relatively harder than other ramen restaurants and had the bouncy texture. Overall, I really liked the noodles and they really complemented the soup and made a really yummy noodle!
The salmon rice bowl was just typical japanese grilled salmon rice bowl, just like a oingiri. Nothing too special again. I probably will not order it next time.
I believe that Santouka definitely the best ramen place as of now.