Restaurant: Hokkaido Santouka Ramen
Location: 91 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON M5B 1E1
Price Range: $$
From 2012 – 2013, Toronto was suddenly hit with a ramen craze and there were one or two ramen restaurants popping up every month. Luckily I am a huge fan of ramen and I have tried most of them. Albeit there are some new restaurants over the years but I got tired of ramen after a while, hence I didn’t bother trying unless something new was being offered..
On a chilly winter night, I revisited Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – an international ramen chain – with a good friend (who whole heartedly support my blogging life <3). Since the restaurant is located near Ryerson University and Eaton Centre (tourist alerts!), I strongly recommend you to come early as there can be a long line up. Although I was lucky enough to get a table within 10 minutes, but if your party haven’t arrived yet, they will not seat you. Also, the restaurant does not take reservation so if you decide to come with a large group of people, it will be extremely hard to get seats.
Loveeeeee the simple open concept restaurant of Santouka. This time I got to sit at the bar seat and was able to “check out” all the ramen making actions!
Just joking. I was too short so I couldn’t see anything. Lol #ShortPeopleProblem.
I got the Kara Miso Ramen – a salt flavored ramen with a spicy and creamy pork broth. They had an option to either upsize or downsize the portion for +/-$1. My friend and I chose to downsize our ramen bowls as we usually cannot finish the regulars. The ramen noodles had a great texture, not too soft and still chewy while the broth is rich and just right amount of salt. Although the soup looked red, my ramen was unfortunately not spicy at all, more like 0 spicy.. so I felt it was a bit misleading to describe this ramen as spicy or even mild. I was also disappointed they didn’t give me a soft-boiled egg (Aji-tama) and it cost me $1.60 for one egg, so my bill came out to be $13 in total. For me the soft boiled egg with a custard-like-yolk is an important component of Japanese ramen!! Maybe it was my fault that I didn’t read the description of the ramen in detail… but I remember the normal sized or combo version had an egg..
My friend got the Shio Ramen – a salt flavored broth with a mild and creamy pork broth – and she said the soup was so creamy!!! and just PERFECT.
Santouka also offer Gohan (rice) combos ranging from $14 – $16. I have tried the combos before (above is old picture) and it was alright. I remember the rice wasn’t hot and there isn’t anything special about the side order of rice. If you decide to try the combo, I suggest you try the Ikura as it is my favourite. Some people might not like it ie. my mom – since the fishy taste or smell in the salmon roe can be quite strong.
I would definitely recommend Santouka if you are around the area. The service is great as well; very efficient and friendly – just like all of the authentic Japanese restaurants that I have been to :). Additionally, do note the price of Santouka ramen is higher than other ramen restaurants in the area, so remember to ask questions about the toppings in your ramen order, as you might have to order extra toppings which will cost more money in the end.