Location: 217 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
I love ramen. If you browse through this blog a bit, that much should be apparent. I think it’s one of the world’s few perfect foods; I could live off the stuff (it would be a short but happy life).
Crafty Ramen — a lauded ramen joint from Guelph — recently opened their first location in Toronto, on the Ossington strip, and yeah, it’s good. It’s not the best bowl of ramen I’ve ever had, but there was a lot I appreciated about it.
I ordered the Northern Warmer with pork, which the menu describes like this: “A hearty miso ramen inspired by the Hokkaido region of Japan, featuring our very own Miso Robot! Pork chashu, chili miso butter, roasted corn, cabbage, carrot, and menma in our chicken broth.”
There are a lot of neat touches here — there’s the “miso robot,” which I guess is just miso-infused butter shaped like a robot, and the corn is nicely charred, giving it a bit of a smoky flavour.
The broth is very, very salty, however, which does somewhat drown out the would-be complexity from the miso. I certainly didn’t dislike eating it, but it’s a bit one-note and in-your-face.
I added on an egg, and it was perfectly cooked, with a great, jammy yolk. But like the soup, it’s a bit salty — it basically tastes like eating soy sauce with the texture of an egg.
Still! It’s ramen. It is inherently great, even if it’s not the best bowl I’ve ever had. The noodles were maybe a touch overdone, but were otherwise chewy and satisfying.