A couple of months ago, Ryu’s Noodle Bar made a bunch of headlines by being one of only two non-Japanese ramen joints invited to set up a stall in the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Japan.
Obviously, a visit was inevitable.
(And yes, technically the place is called Ryus Noodle Bar, without the apostrophe, but I’m not spelling it that way. Get out of here with that.)
Their specialty is “RYUS rich shio,” which is similar to the porky tonkotsu style of ramen that’s so popular in Toronto, but made with chicken instead of pork.
It’s basically Touhenboku, but better (sorry, Touhenboku, but you’ve been bested).
The chicken-based broth at Ryu’s is fairly similar to what they’re serving at Touhenboku, but with a richer consistency and a more satisfying depth of flavour.
All the issues I had with Touhenboku — the one-note flavour and the greasy consistency — are completely absent here. Yes, the bowl has an intense chicken flavour, but there’s enough going on that you never get sick of it. Once you hit the bottom of the bowl, you’re sad to see it end.
And despite its incredible richness, there’s absolutely no greasiness.
I can’t say enough about the flavour — it’s basically like the best roast chicken that you’ve ever had, but condensed down into a soup.
The noodles and toppings are great, too. It’s topped with a slice of chicken along with the typical chasu (which is delicious); the chicken is white meat, but it’s cooked perfectly, making it incredibly tender.
They suggest you add an egg to the bowl, which is an additional charge, but totally worth it. The yolk is creamy, custardy, and perfect. I wish it were a little bit hotter (it was actually quite cold, which is maybe my only significant complaint about the whole bowl), but that’s a minor issue.
Suffice it to say, Ryu’s is a very, very strong contender for the best bowl of ramen in the city. It’s so good.