With the recent surge of ramen places in Toronto, I must say I am one of the happy foodies around. I have a love of the comfort that a ramen can give. The soup warmth always that satisfaction of having a good meal. Everything in one bowl, noodle for carbs, pork belly for protein and having a soft egg is like icing on the top of a cake. I have the intention to go around Toronto trying out the new places and I am on a search for my go-to place for ramen. Today I went to Sansotei.
I made an impromptu call to my friend, Diona, to come to a late lunch with me. I know that most Mondays, she is free from her crazy schedule at Kanto. I took a chance and was so happy when I found out that she have free time today. Taking the subway, I alighted at Dundas station and started my 5 minute walk westward. I did not realize that this area was a whole host of Asian restaurants and the further I walk, I make a mental note of some places I want to try too. I finally arrived and I would have missed the place had I not checked out the façade before getting there. The front of the restaurant has an understated take on signage. It was a bold graphic design on the lines and logo but was with restraint with the name.
I walked in and saw Diona already waiting for me. It was a good idea to have a late lunch as the place was virtually empty. I know from reading other posts that this place can be full to the brim of ramen-loving foodies just like me. The restaurant was a long narrow space with 6-seater-tables on one side and two booths at the end of the room. The texture of the wall was quite appealing and as was the choice of lighting. I like the contemporary taste of the space that was also peppered with whimsy as there was a fisherman’s rope dangling on the ceiling. As I take my seat, the smell of the ramen served on an adjacent table wafted towards my direction and I can feel my stomach churn. The smell was appetizing enough and I can’t wait to have my own bowl.
Seeing from most reviews that the most popular was Tonkotso ramen. I was most curious why this was almost always the mentioned item in most reviews I have read. Diona, meanwhile, opted for the Miso Ramen. It didn’t take long for them to serve up our bowls. I don’t understand why there were complaints about the serving being small. What they have placed in front of me was quite significant. After my round of pictures, Diona and I dug in and I find that I am most in-love with the depth of flavor of my Tonkotso Ramen. Garlicky and creamy, I would be so happy to have this broth on a really cold day, curled up in my sofa, watching TV reruns. I wish they would succeed in their business and open one close to Yonge and Finch. If that would happen, I would be a regular. It was THAT good. Diona’s Miso Ramen was more oniony and less intense than mine. That is not to say it wasn’t good. I just preferred the deeper and savory flavor of my Tonkotso.
Finishing my ramen, I impulsively ordered dessert too. I always have this habit of looking for green tea ice cream when dining in a Japanese restaurant. What was a pleasant surprise was that Sansotei’s green tea ice cream is in a form of a Mochi ball. Lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar, the Mochi ball (glutinous sweet dessert) encased my favorite green tea ice cream inside. It was such a pleasure to have two textures of chewiness and creaminess in my mouth without the heavy wallop of sweetness. I rarely love desserts and just like the broth of the ramen, I want to bring it home and eat lots of it in the comfort of my own space. I think I would go searching in my Korean/Japanese neighbourhood if that is something available in the groceries.
I have been to several places and I dare say so far this is my most favorite. I might eventually take that back if I find another impressive ramen. Like I said, I am most happy with the new surge of ramen in Toronto. It is a comfort food that I would be willing to have over and over.