Restaurant: Ryu’s Noodle Bar
Location: 33 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1L3
Price Range: $$
By now, I’m sure everyone is somewhat familiar with Ryu’s Noodle Bar as it has been opened for a few years during the ramen craze in Toronto. Ryu is conveniently located on the restaurant strip at Balwin Street, along side with Kinton Ramen.
If you don’t know where to go for ramen at Baldwin, I would say go to Ryu if you don’t like the crowded seatings and noisy background at Kinton. Also, this is the only ramen place I know of that has a patio at the front, which is perfect for a hot summer days!
The restaurant is quite small and bright, with several bar seatings on the sides so it’s great for people who want to dine alone :). I don’t think there is anything wrong to eat by yourself in a restaurant at all! It can be a fun experience and sometimes when I’m unsure of a restaurant, I rather dine alone than letting my friend pay if the food turns out to be bad lol. 😛
Ryu’s Noodle Bar offers a slight different concept than other ramen joints. With each bowl of ramen, you get to choose a type of sauce to go with it, and you can pour in the soup to enhance the flavor. My favourites are Garlic and Spicy oil, as I like to have a spicy kick to my ramen. I wouldn’t recommend the truffle oil as it can be overwhelming and completely mask the flavour of the noodle soup.
Whenever I go to the restaurant, I would always get the Shio Plum as I prefer a clear and light soup broth, and Ryu’s version is perfect! The noodle was a bit firm and chewy, but that’s how I like my ramen noodles… Correct me if I’m wrong, I believe customers can also choose how they like the noodle to be done from soft; regular; hard. If not and you prefer a softer texture for your ramen noodles, I strongly recommend you to ask them to cook the noodles longer.
As usual the poached egg and chopped pork cha-siu were done well, and I appreciate that they didn’t give me just fatty pork pieces. The plum was described as “sweet honey plum” on the menu but it was definitely not sweet. In my opinion the plum was pickled as the paste was slightly sour, which I didn’t mind as it went perfectly with the light shio broth.
My friend got the Shio ramen as well but instead of having a clear broth, hers was a bit oilier which I think came from the cha-siu pork. My friend enjoyed it but in my opinion the serving size was quite small with only two pieces of meat (pork and chicken).
My only complain of Ryu’s is how the ramen broth is always lukewarm. In summer it’s not bad, but in winter I wish the broth would be slightly hotter, because who wouldn’t enjoy a hot bowl of soup in Toronto’s winter?! I find the price is quite fair for the portion and obviously cheaper than Kinton. In general the service is always impeccable from my multiple visits, and the restaurant’s atmosphere is quite and relaxing, so I no longer need to yell at my dining partner over loud music ;).