Japanese Ramen in Toronto became an emerging trend with the arrival of Kenzo and has continued to thrive with a slew of new restaurants opening the past few years. Today, the downtown core has to offer a plentiful variety of choices when one is craving a hot bowl of noodles.

My love of ramen started with a package of Mr. Noodles when I was in elementary school. I always drank all of the broth (yes, salt, I know!) and of course ate the noodles raw, crushed, and shaken with the seasoning. As my family moved around Canada and eventually settled in Toronto, suddenly I had access to so many more brands and types of instant noodles. Nong Shim, Nissin, kimchi flavour, udon noodles; needless to say I was a happy girl. The cup noodle has a special place in my heart for it’s convenience and ability to brighten my lunch in a compact package but I’ll always love cooking instant noodles and adding my poached egg. During my two trips to Japan, my diet consisted of sashimi and ramen and for once I didn’t get odd looks for drinking all my broth!

xiaoEats at the Cup Noodle Museum in Japan

xiaoEats at the Cup Noodle Museum in Japan

What I look for in a bowl of ramen are three things:

  1. The noodles – are they chewy? has a good texture? not doughy and not over done?
  2. The broth – is it rich? how much fat is there? is it bland? and even for me, is it too salty?
  3. The toppings – what’s included? is there an egg? how’s the meat cooked? garlic paste? bamboo? seaweed? is there a good portion and balance?

Based on these criteria, here’s my ranking of Toronto Ramen shops (as of Jan. 30th 2014)

  1. Sansotei – 5.0 $ @ 179 Dundas St W
  2. Santouka – 4.5 $ @ 91 Dundas St E
  3. Niwatei Ramen – 4.5 $ @ 3160 Steeles Ave E
  4. Kinton Ramen – 3.5 $ @ 51 Baldwin St
  5. Ramen Raijin – 3.5 $ @ 3 Gerrard St E
  6. Touhenboku Ramen – 3.5 $ @ 261 Queen St W
  7. Ryoji Ramen – 3.5 $$ @ 690 College St
  8. Kenzo – 3.5 $ @ 4860 Yonge St
Toronto Ramen, Who’s the Best?

Still to come:

  1. Momofuku Noodle Bar
  2. Ryus Noodle Bar
  3. Ramen Isshin



Last Saturday, I had my 3 wisdom removed. Just three, the fourth decided to not exist. My procedure was a straight forward extraction, no digging required. This still meant eating only “soft foods” for the past 3 days which included a lot of apple sauce, turnip cake and chicken broth.

While I’ve been loving the results on the scale; I am so sick of baby food. It’s a reminder of how important texture is in a dish. I miss the crunch of biting into something or being able to chew an al dente noodle. I don’t know how babies do it. The first bowl of pureed carrots is pretty good, the second one however…was disgusting. It might be awhile before I’m able to eat carrots again.

To survive, I’ve tried to eat different foods everyday for dinner. Last night was a wintermelon soup and the night before was udon noodles (that’s soft right?). At least I’ve had an excuse to have a daily dose of ice cream.

This morning, I managed to drop my antibiotics in the elevator at work. I spent a good ten minutes trying to call back that one elevator out of the eight in our building with no luck. Thankfully someone found them and turned them into an admin. Phew. I am not cut out to be a good patient.

Good thing I should heal just in time for Winterlicious and Poutine Week, because I do plan my life around food.


Does this section feel redundant? A blog for…my blog?

Perhaps, but there are days when my fingers are keen to type about topics other than food because my brain doesn’t shut up and 140 characters on twitter just doesn’t cut it. So here we are. A truly personal area of the site for me to just babble about life, the universe and everything (everything will mostly still be food with some shiny things thrown in).

No promises about post frequency or content quality. If you happen to stumble across this page, welcome.