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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tokyo Grill :: Ramen Run #3

I love noodles, noodles, nooooodles!

I'm on a noodle run - this is the third post in a row! The first being the Bad Bun Bo Hue then Sydney's best hand-pulled noodles, and now a highly recommended spot in Toronto for ramen. After trying Konnichiwa and Kenzo, a fellow food-enthusiast and I followed a suggestion to try Tokyo Grill. It was part of a (perpetual)personal mission to find comfort soups and noodles in Toronto.

Tokyo Grill
Verdict: Skip and head to Kenzo if you're in the area & craving ramen
Meal: Lunch
Price: $9 + tax & tip

Tokyo Grill has definitely been around for awhile, which is pretty clear from the exterior and the decor. It has an old-school and comfortable feel to it and was relatively quiet for a weekday lunch, which I found surprising given that it's location. I looked at the specials with interest (middle picture, above) and was tempted to order the Pork Katsu but I stuck to my guns and got what I came for:

Beef Ramen ($7.95)
Beef with Vegetables
Perhaps it's an issue of personal preference, but I think that a good bowl of ramen should be on the saltier side or have a deep brothy flavour. While beefily generous, the broth lacked flavour so I found myself shaking a heap of Shichimi ("seven flavor chili pepper") to compensate:
Heaps of Shichimi
Comparing Ajisan, Konnichiwa, Kenzo, and Tokyo Grill I'd say that Kenzo serves the best ramen in the downtown core. In fact, my friend recently followed my suggestion to try the King of Kings and her group said that it was the best (they all ordered different bowls). Hooray!

Kitsune Udon ($8.95)
Kitsune (with deep-fried soybean pocket)

My friend ordered the Kitsune, driven by curiousity. What is a deep-fried soybean pocket? We pondered, and it pretty much matched what I imagined. They were pretty tasty ( deep fried anything usually is), and her broth was much better than mine. Oddly reminiscent of Konnichiwa's noodle trip.

Anyways, the texture of the soybean pockets were quite nice, and the udon noodles were well cooked. Between the two, I'd say that Konnichiwa's udon noodles are better but Tokyo Grill's rendition is still decent.

L, I'm sorry to say that despite your rave about the noodles, they did not satisfy. The ramen lacked the comforting, salty broth that I fell in love with in Japan. Also, I thought that my intense addition of chili was the culprit, but my friend also spent the rest of the day feeling thirsty which makes me suspect that quite a bit of MSG may have been added to the bowls, despite the lack of flavour. It wasn't a terrible experience, but if I had to go again I'd try one of their non-noodle dishes...but I can probably talk you out of dragging me there :P

Tokyo Grill

Verdict: Skip and head to Kenzo if you're in the area & craving ramen
Meal: Lunch
Price: $9 + tax & tip
Location: 582 Yonge St Toronto, ON
Tokyo Grill on Urbanspoon


Chris said...

Oh ya, I totally remember how incredibly thirsty you were after this meal. I don't even remember what this meal tasted like anymore!!!

Erin said...

I know! my backlog is unreal!

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