RYUS NOODLE BAR

Ryus Noodle Bar

Located on Baldwin St, Ryu’s Noodle Bar opened in 2013 on the increasingly noodle-centric street. I found myself in the neighbourhood during the week and stopped by for a quick solo lunch.

Atmosphere: Ryus had plenty of seating for single diners or couples, perfect and appropriate for a noodle bar. The room was divided in two with a bar along one wall and another along the divide. The other half of the room had tables for larger groups. At lunch, the majority of customers were students and I overheard lots of exam talk. Turn over was quick and while the restaurant was busy, there wasn’t a line up and plenty of seats were free.

Service: With the restaurant being quieter, I was able to choose a seat (one with good lighting) and my server dropped off menus. I think Ryus would benefit from selling their specials a bit more. No one talked to me about the Make Your Own ramen feature or explained how I should use their special oil. My server was efficient but shy. The noodles arrived hot from the kitchen and was identical to the menu picture.

Food: It hailed the day I had lunch at Ryus, in April. Needless to say, I was craving something spicy and comforting. The Spicy Miso ramen topped with Mapo Tofu was perfect. This wasn’t a traditional ramen but the fusion of worked for me. One unique offering at Ryus is the choice of a special oil or sauce with each bowl of ramen. The oils are Seasoned House Spicy, XO sauce, Garlic and Shallot Oil, Sweet and Spicy Ginger Paste or Truffle Oil.

With the Spicy Miso, there is already house spicy oil added, so I chose the Garlic and Shallot oil as a side. I also added a marinated soft boiled egg. The oil had a strong garlic flavour and added a good touch of bitterness when I used it. I kind of dipped my chopsticks in the oil and then rubbed it over a spoonful of noodles, not sure if that’s how it’s meant to be enjoyed. It was a nice touch and a differentiator from other ramen houses.

The thick noodles were bang on, perfect texture and chewiness. For the topping, there was plenty of Chinese vegetables and soft tofu, but a serious lack of ground pork. I couldn’t find much. There was plenty of soft tofu, so the dish didn’t lack protein but for $10, I would’ve loved more ground pork.

I was won over by the broth, thick, creamy, heavily seasoned and a touch sweet. Each spoonful was satisfying. Overall, I enjoyed the ramen at Ryus but it was a few dollars over priced. However, given the choice between lining up the neighbouring ramen shop or Ryus, Ryus wins no contest.

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