Posted on September 24, 2012


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.

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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.
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