Monday, December 3, 2012

Santouka Ramen

Santouka Ramen recently opened it's door back on Nov 10th, we went there within the first week and there was a line up already. We waited in line for about 45minutes since the wait staff was rather slow in clearing tables and you can see at least a few tables empty at all time. I was expecting it to be a soft opening with limited menu items but except for a few appetizers, everything was available.

 Their tonkotsu style broth are made by simmering pork bones for two days and is paired with medium sized noodles that come from a factory in California. On top of the roast pork, toppings include fermented bamboo shoots, jelly ear mushrooms, cured surimi and a single pickled plum (chashu, menma, kikurage, kamaboko and ko-umeboshi)

 Toroniku Shio Ramen $15.90
~ Santouka's Toroniku Ramen comes with their special simmered pork jowl (cheek) toroniku meat and toppings which are served separately. 
I recommended Ben to order this since this was their signature dish and of course we tried the Shio (salt flavored) first since that was their most popular flavor but also because that's also the best way to taste the full flavor of the tonkotsu broth.  The broth was very flavorful, milky and dense but somehow not perfect (feel like something was missing)

 Ben ask them for harder noodles which came perfectly cook but there was a slight soap-y flavor, probably due to the "alkaline" water added to the noodle for the springy texture.

 I have to say that the pork jowl was melt in your mouth good, definitely my favorite so far.

Ikura (salmon roe) Bowl Combo $16.50
 ~ combo comes with regular size ramen 
I choose the Shio Ramen as well but somehow this soup taste totally different than than the Toroniku although both of them was Shio.... use different broth?!?  This one was slightly denser, saltier and less flavorful. I have to say that I really like the added pickled plum on top which cut the richness of the broth a bit and love the amount of the other toppings (love the fermented bamboo shoot).
We didn't specified the hardness of the noodle when ordering and it came way too soft.

 I would expect the Ikura to be cold served on warm rice but it was on the warm side which didn't make it taste as good (no burst of salty salmon flavor here). I will probably not order this combo again and would probably prefer to fill up on the ramen instead of the rice here.

Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen $15.40 
 ($16.40 - $1.00 for small portion)
Ben wasn't full yet and decided to order a small portion of the spicy miso to try but for only $1.00 less, the portion is a lot smaller. I find the miso a bit too salty for my taste and although we asked for harder noodles, it was definitely softer than the first Toroniku Shio Ramen we got.

Verdict :
The broth here was rather salty which left me rather thirsty the whole night 
Love love the roast pork here, definitely the best I had in Toronto but I still prefer the broth from Sansotei Ramen (here) and the noodle from Kinton Ramen (here) better.
Wish I can have a bowl that combine all three... when is Ippudo coming to Toronto?!

P.S :
I don't like their bowl here, they are very narrow which make drinking soup with spoon really difficult (>_<)

Santouka Ramen on Urbanspoon


  1. Great, informative post! I'm going to hit up Santouka on Friday (or at least that's the plan lol). I've only been to Kinton and Sansotei so far and I completely agree w/ you re: the broth from Sansotei and the noodles from Kinton :)

    1. I still need to go try the Charcoal broth from Raijin =P