Last Wednesday night I absent-mindedly forgot to turn off the headlights of my car as I waited for a friend ran an errand. Pouring rain made the night cold and helplessly wet, draining the battery when I stupidly left the headlights on. The supposedly quick errand became almost an hour wait for CAA. Sitting in the car waiting, I tried to find ways not to listen to my tummy growl. I felt guilty that my friends Diona (aka TitaFlips) and her mom, Lina were just as stuck as I was. They waited with me which made the it bearable. After 40 minutes, I received the notice call the CAA truck was about to arrive. Glad to stand in the drench of rain, CAA gave me a boost under 10 minutes and we were back to the business of going for some dinner. Diona has this craving for ramen and I thought this time we would try A-OK Foods.
As we were bogged down for almost a good hour, we walked in A-OK Foods at a time where the dining crowd was thinning out. Apparently my luck was starting to turn for the better as we were seated fast and the food did not take that long to arrive. All three of us opted for the Shoyu Ramen and a platter of Chino Chicken Wings for appetizer for sharing. As we waited, I spent the time gawking at the noodle kitchen. One of the crew had just made a big roll of fresh noodle. I felt like a kid, curious at every step, curious at every turn. That window was a distraction that quieted down my famished tummy.
The Chino Chicken wings arrived first. The platter arrived with 6 pieces, making the sharing easy between three people. The wings came with a Sichuan salt and sichimi and chilli vinaigrette for dipping. Those chicken wings can be a serious addiction. Salty, sweet and with the right kick, I can finish all six, no question, by my lonesome. What I loved most about it was that the chicken was marinated well and it gave that extra oomph even after all the crispy skin was gone.
Before we finished our share of the chicken wings, the server propped three steaming bowls of fresh ramen on our table. What a comfort it was to smell the broth and have that promise of warmth. Being cold from standing in the rain, that first spoonful was heaven. A-OK Shoyu ramen came with house made noodles, chicken broth, duck fat, nori, pork belly, goji berries and seasoned egg. That broth was a blessing that appeased my hunger. It had that satisfying weight on my tummy, exactly what I needed to warm me up once again. The noodles was perfectly pliant and with no alkaline taste on the finish. Everything in that bowl I finished to the last spoonful. I returned a cleaned bowl. LOL.
Having tried most of the ramen places in Toronto, I think I would have A-OK and Sansotei as a toss-up for my number one. This would not be the last time I eat here as I already found two reasons to come back. Not sure if I would do a repeat or taste the other items on their menu. What I am sure about was that I would be knocking by their door to get that warmth once again.