Amazing Ramen at Nobuya

NobuyaLocation: 285 Royal York Road, Etobicoke
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Ramen-Restaurant/Nobuya

Generally speaking, if Suresh Doss recommends a restaurant, I immediately add it to my list of places to check out.  The man has an almost supernatural gift for sniffing out unsung gems, and his recommendations are always stellar.

But I was particularly excited after reading his write-up on Nobuya, in which he raves about the ramen and calls the karaage “some of the best fried chicken you’ll ever have.”

Nobuya

Nobuya is an interesting place.  The restaurant is decked out in sports paraphernalia, and is entirely a one-man show.  It’s staffed entirely by the owner, who shuttles back and forth between the small dining room and the kitchen.  As you might expect, the service is leisurely, but very friendly.

I started, of course, with the karaage, which was a bit of a let-down.  It’s well seasoned, with a nice light crispiness on its exterior.  But the best versions of karaage are made with juicy dark meat; this was made with dried-out white meat.  It certainly wasn’t bad, but the dryness was a bummer.

Nobuya

But of course, the ramen is what you’re there for.  They have a few varieties on offer, but the owner identified the Tokyo ramen as his favourite, so that’s what I ordered.

Tokyo-style ramen is very, very different than the rich, hearty tonkotsu ramen that’s so omnipresent in the city; it has a much lighter consistency and a delicate flavour which makes it a very refreshing change of pace.

Nobuya

It’s also seriously delicious, with a complex meatiness, a very mild fishy funk, and a subtle sweetness to round things out.  It pulls off that delightful magic trick you’ll find in the best bowls of ramen, where every spoonful seems to bring something new to the table.

The many toppings — things like garlic, green onion, and pickled ginger — only amp up the already delightful flavour.  It’s fantastic.

Nobuya

But then there’s the noodles.  I’m assuming this was a one-time mistake (the bowl was too delicious for it to be anything but an unfortunate glitch), but the noodles in my and my dining companion’s bowl were overcooked to the point of mushiness.  Given how good the rest of the bowl was, this was particularly unfortunate.  But I guess if you’re one guy running an entire restaurant on your own, little slip-ups are bound to happen.

The chashu wasn’t great either, with a slightly tough texture and a gamy flavour.  But again, that soup was so damn good that it really didn’t matter.

Holy Mint Ice Cream at Sweet Jesus

Sweet Jesus - Holy MintLocation: 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke (inside Sherway Gardens)
Website: https://www.sweetjesusicecream.com/

The latest featured flavour at Sweet Jesus is Holy Mint, and if you like the mint/chocolate combo, you’ll almost certainly enjoy it.

Personally, I like that combo, so yeah — I enjoyed it.

Sweet Jesus - Holy Mint

Holy Mint, as per the Sweet Jesus website: “Mint soft serve, chocolate mints, chocolate mint cookies, milk cookies, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce.”

It’s quite tasty.  In particular, the mint soft serve is fantastic; it’s nice and creamy, and the mint flavour is perfect.  Some mint desserts can be a bit overwhelming and toothpasty, but the flavour here is nicely balanced.  It’s also sweet, but not too sweet.  It’s great.

Sweet Jesus - Holy Mint

I will say that I’m a bit concerned about Sweet Jesus, particularly their Sherway Gardens location.  I visited on Saturday — i.e. the last Saturday before Christmas — and the mall was, not surprisingly, wall-to-wall people.  And yet Sweet Jesus was as deserted as it always seems to be.  I’ll be very surprised if this particular location makes it through 2020, and that makes me sad.

The Truth About Milkshakes

Sweet JesusLocation: 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke (inside Sherway Gardens)
Website: https://www.sweetjesusicecream.com/

I’m just gonna say it: milkshakes are for jerks.

Well, okay, maybe that’s not true.  Milkshakes are perfectly delicious, but generally speaking, if I’m going to eat ice cream, I want to eat ice cream.  I don’t need to drink it.

Still, I don’t mind a milkshake every now and then, and since I’ve tried all the cones at Sweet Jesus, I figured sure, why not?

Sweet Jesus

I got the Peanut Butter, Pretzel & Chocolate Hazelnut shake, which features “vanilla soft serve, peanut butter sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, hazelnut-chocolate sauce, salted pretzel crumble.”

Yeah, it’s a lot of stuff.  And it’s quite tasty — it tastes pretty much exactly what you think it’s going to taste like based on that description.

I find a lot of milkshakes to be unpleasantly thick; if I have to struggle to suck it up through a straw, then what’s the point?  Just let me just eat it with a spoon.  This, on the other hand, was easily drinkable.  It was the perfect consistency, though I suspect milkshake aficionados might find it too thin.

Halibut House Fish & Chips

Halibut House Fish and ChipsLocation: 2814 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Etobicoke
Website: https://www.halibuthouse.ca/

Halibut House is a fish and chips chain with over 20 locations around the GTA, though I didn’t even know it existed until very recently.

I don’t think it’s going to blow anyone’s mind, but if you’re looking for a tasty plate of fish and chips, you could do a lot worse.

Halibut House Fish and Chips

It’s also a decent deal.  You can get a half plate for about eleven bucks, which comes with a piece of halibut (of course), fries, and coleslaw.  The fish is on the smaller side, but the pile of fries is generous enough that it’s pretty much guaranteed to fill you up.

Halibut House Fish and Chips

The fish itself is a bit overcooked (it was quite dry), but the flavour was nice, and the batter was just right.  A lot of places tend to overwhelm the fish with a thick, overly-crunchy coating, but the batter here was nice and crispy while still allowing the fish to be the star of the show.

Halibut House Fish and Chips

The fries are the highlight.  They’re crispy, creamy, and very tasty.  The coleslaw is a bit bland, but it’s fine, and the tartar sauce is creamy and zesty (if a bit overly oniony).  It’s a solid plate of fish and chips.

Cupfections at Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen CupfectionLocation: 5449 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke
Website: https://www.dairyqueen.com/ca-en/

Though Dairy Queen comes out with new Blizzards on a regular basis, new sundaes are much more rare.  Maybe once or twice a year?  If that?

They recently came out with not one, but two new sundaes called Cupfections; obviously I was all over it.

There’s the Brownie and Oreo Cupfection, and the Summer Berry Cake Cupfection.  I tried the latter, which comes topped with berries (blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries), vanilla cake, and chocolate pieces.

Dairy Queen Cupfection

It’s basically a trifle, but with a whole bunch of ice cream instead of custard.

So yeah, it’s good.  I think if you replace any component in a dessert with a whole bunch of ice cream, you’re pretty much guaranteed to wind up with something delicious.  The soft serve at Dairy Queen isn’t exactly great, but with all that other stuff, it’s tasty.

I watched the guy make it, and it was kind of interesting — I assumed the cake would just be cake crumbs, but he actually pulled out a full sheet cake from the fridge (frosting and all) and then dug into it with an ice cream scoop.

It would have been nice if the berries weren’t so cold (they were partially frozen), but otherwise this was a tasty dessert.  I think it’s a summer-only thing, which is too bad — it would be a solid addition to the permanent menu.