Location: 646 Queen Street West, Toronto
I don’t need a whole lot to convince me to try a new ramen joint. Ramen Misoya is a Japanese ramen chain that’s been featured in the Michelin guide, with locations all over the world.
Michelin-featured ramen? That’s pretty much all I need to hear. I’m sold.
(Though the last Michelin-adjacent ramen joint that opened in Toronto, Konjiki Ramen, was pretty disappointing.)
I ordered the gold kome special, which is a pork- and miso-based soup that comes with chasu, half an egg, ground pork, and a couple of potato wedges.
It’s a solid bowl of ramen. The broth has a decent amount of complexity; it’s got a porky richness and a nice miso flavour, and it’s livened up by a mild gingery and garlicky bite. The level of salt is a bit too intense, but it’s otherwise above average.
The noodles were also quite satisfying, with a perfect thickness and a nice firm texture.
The add-ins, sadly, were hit-and-miss. The egg was tasty, with a great gooey yolk. But the chasu was so tough I could barely even bite through it, and had a vaguely gamy flavour.
The potato wedges were just weird; even if these had been perfect I’m not sure they would have worked. And they were undercooked and crunchy, so they definitely didn’t work.
Location: 9255 Woodbine Avenue, Markham
If you’re looking for bang for your buck, you’re not going to do much better than Ho Garden, a delightful Hong Kong-style diner in Markham. I ordered the egg sandwich, which comes with a generous bowl of noodle soup with beef, and a mug of milk tea. The price? Seven bucks. Delightful.
I was a little bit skeptical about the egg sandwich, but aside from the fact that it’s a Hong Kong comfort food staple, a friend strongly recommended it.
I’ll admit it — I was wrong to be skeptical. It was surprisingly delicious.
It’s the definition of simplicity: it’s just a plain omelette served inside of crustless white bread. No mayonnaise, no condiments — just eggs, salt, and untoasted bread. Sounds way too plain, right? Wrong.
The eggs were fluffy, creamy, and perfectly cooked, and the slightly sweet, light-as-a-cloud bread complimented them perfectly. Considering its utter simplicity, it was shockingly good.
The noodles — which feature a generous amount of toothsome noodles in a flavourful, slightly spicy broth, topped with tender beef — were quite tasty as well, but it’s that egg sandwich that was clearly the star of the show.
Location: 5310 Dixie Road, Mississauga
Well, here it is — Australia, the last stop on McDonald’s World Taste Tour (though there’s also the Mexican breakfast wrap, which I guess I should try at some point).
McDonald’s describes the Aussie BBQ & Egg Burger as coming topped with “a fresh cracked egg, crispy beet chips, processed cheese, leaf lettuce and a smoky BBQ sauce on a brioche-style bun.”
I’m not even going to bother complaining about the burger patty itself. It’s not good — but then it’s McDonald’s, so no one should be surprised by this. I will say that I really wish they’d use the thinner patties from the regular hamburger and the Big Mac on all of their burgers. When it comes to the beef at McDonald’s, less is more.
But then no beef patty could have saved this burger — it’s easily the worst of the World Taste Tour. It’s mostly pretty good: an egg is always welcome on a burger, the beet chips and the lettuce add a satisfying crunch, and the gooey cheese helps bring it all together. But the smoky BBQ sauce (which is mayo-based, unlike a standard BBQ sauce) completely ruins it. It’s the absolute worst. It’s cloyingly, aggressively sweet, with no smokiness at all. It’s just awful.
BBQ sauce tends to be quite sweet, but with a vinegary bite to help balance things out. No such balance here; just in-your-face sweetness.
The burger kind of reminded me of the trifle Rachel made on Friends, but in reverse. It’s got a bunch of tasty burger ingredients… and a sugary-sweet sauce that would be more at home on a slice of cake or a scoop of ice cream. It’s one of those things that’s so bad, you have to wonder if anyone even tasted it before they added it to the menu.