Location: 354 Broadview Avenue, Toronto
Oji Seichi is the brainchild of Mitch Bates; he was previously the chef at Grey Gardens and the sadly defunct Momofuku Shoto, and in case those credits aren’t enough to tell you that the guy knows what he’s doing, let me tell you: the guy knows what he’s doing. Based on my recent visit, the ramen at Oji Seichi might just be the best in the city? It’s right up there, that’s for sure.
The menu also features an assortment of sandwiches, and I’m sure those are delicious too (how could they not be, given the quality of the ramen?), but trust me — you need to get the ramen.
The classic ramen features a broth made with chicken, pork, and seafood (a vegetarian option is also available) and comes in either shio or shoyu. I got shio, and holy moly it was so good.
The broth is (mostly) perfect. It’s a bit too greasy (your lips feel slick with grease almost immediately), but other than that, it’s outstanding. It’s lighter than the rich tonkotsu style of ramen that’s so common in the GTA, but it’s absolutely exploding with flavour. It’s got a deep roasty/meaty flavour that’s abundantly satisfying, with a subtle seafoody kick that hums along in the background without ever calling attention to itself. It’s also lightly smoky, but again, in a way that complements all the other flavours in the bowl so well.
I’ve mentioned this before, but the best bowls of ramen have this magical ability to keep revealing something new with each mouthful, and this is definitely that. The flavours are not subtle, but it absolutely never feels one-note or tiresome.
They make their noodles in house, and like the rest of the bowl, they’re top-notch; they’re perfectly chewy and have a very subtle, almost nutty flavour. So good.
The toppings are outstanding, too. The egg looks like it might be a bit undercooked in the photo, but trust me: it’s great. Perfectly jammy yolk, super flavourful — my only complaint is that the bowl comes with half an egg and I needed about a million of them.
And the chashu, with its silky, melt-in-your-mouth texture, is even better. They finish it on the grill to give it a smoky flavour, and good god I want to dive into a swimming pool filled with the stuff like Scrooge McDuck but with pork belly instead of money. Crazy good.