Location: 2222 Queen Street East, Toronto
The Beaches is a bit of a culinary wasteland; there are a lot of restaurants along the main stretch of Queen, but almost none of them are particularly good.
There are exceptions, however. One of them is Kyouka Ramen; it easily serves some of the best ramen in the city.
I ordered the namesake Kyouka ramen: “daily chicken + pork broth, kombu dashi, aromatic sesame oil, green chives, bean sprouts, pork + chicken chashu, egg, naruto fish cake, wood ear mushroom, chili paste.”
The broth — a mixture of chicken and pork — is delightful. It’s got that rich roasty, meaty flavour that you want from a top-shelf bowl of ramen, and it’s got it in spades. It’s really nicely seasoned, with a good level of salt that helps all the other flavours sing, but never feels overwhelming. It looks a bit greasy, but it doesn’t feel oily at all. It’s top notch stuff.
The rest of the bowl is hit and miss, but the soup itself is so good that it barely even matters.
The noodles were probably the biggest issue. They were slightly overcooked, and didn’t quite have that satisfying chew that you’re looking for from a great bowl of ramen.
The pork chashu was tender and delicious, with a mild smoky flavour that was quite tasty. The chicken, however, was slightly dry and a bit tasteless.
The egg was perfectly cooked, with a nice gooey but not runny yolk — but it was underseasoned and bland. Everything else was quite good.
Still, that soup was tasty enough that the bowl would easily be in my top five in Toronto. It’s so good.