- The Entrée:
- The Sides/Drinks:
- The Atmosphere:
Sansotei Ramen is another Japanese Ramen joint that quietly opened in September 2012. Located around Dundas and Chestnut, the area is getting dotted with a number of Ramen options. Though opening without a major bang like Momofuku Noodle Bar or Santouka, they quickly made a name for themselves. The proof is in their line ups.
I had the chance to check Sansotei Ramen for dinner with a good friend of mine before 2012 ended. Even with the winter months hitting Toronto, the line ups were unfortunately still there. The wait was about 30 minutes for a table of 2. From what I’ve heard from fellow foodie friends of late, the line ups are a little more manageable now in 2013.
179 Dundas Street W
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8
Michael Zhang the owner and chef of Sansotei Ramen took the time perfecting the art of making great ramen over in Japan. The restaurant itself is relatively small and can probably hold a maximum of 30 patrons. Though being a small restaurant, they do not try to jam you in which I thought was really nice. Unlike a few places I’ve been to where you were definitely packed like sardines. Seating was comfortable and the decor was simple and modern. In fact, I liked the large rope hanging from the ceiling. I felt it gave the restaurant a unique characteristic to it.
My friend and I were starving and decided to order two appetizers to share before diving into our bowl of ramen. We ordered the Zangi which is deep fried chicken and the gyoza. The Zangi came piping hot and fresh with 4-5 pieces. They were nicely fried and tender. The gyoza came with 4 pieces that were pan fried well with a nice crispness to each bite. Unfortunately, both appetizers did not really stand out in our minds though being executed well. I can not say I would recommend any of these two.
Moving on to the main attraction, the ramen came with five different soup based options to choose from. If you’re not familiar with these options, here’s a quick breakdown of Sansotei’s options I’ve made for just you peeps (this can be applied to most ramen joints as well).
Tonkotsu – pork bone that’s usually in a cloudy white coloured broth. A more creamy and sweet tasting brooth
Miso – miso that’s blended usually chicken or fish broth. Heartier soup based that’s a little thicker and nuttier
Shio – combination soup based that’s usually chicken, fish and vegs. It’s a yellowish soup based that’s pale and clear
Tonkotsu Shoyu – a pork bone based soup blend with soy sauce for a more salty taste. This usually turns the broth to a more brownish colour.
Chilled Ramen – served cold with a vinegary soy dressing
We both ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen which is their most well known ramen. It come out nice and hot and the broth, delicious. It was milky, rich, creamy and full of flavour. The bowl of ramen was served with green onions, black fungus, a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg and a few slices of pork belly (chasu). The pork belly had a good fat ratio and tasted good. However, I felt like Momofuku’s pork belly is still probably one of the better pork bellies I have tasted. The noodle were good, but the real stand out was the broth.
Overall, I enjoyed Sansotei Ramen. I felt the appetizers were weaker than expected, but the true star is the ramen. And not just any of the ramen, the tonkotsu ramen was truly memorable. I do remember being pretty thirsty after, so I’m sure the sodium content may be high. But I’ll be more than happy to return to see if it was just me not drinking enough water. But if you are ever in the area, I would say drop by and give them a try. Some of you may ask, Brian, what’s the best ramen joint in Toronto? In my opinion, I would have to say Santouka, for now. =P
The Damage: $31.08 after tax