Above Average Ramen at Ramen Misoya

Ramen Misoya
Location
: 646 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.ramenmisoya.ca/

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.

Ramen Misoya

(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.

Ramen Misoya

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.

Ramen Misoya

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.

TIFF-Inspired Ice Cream at Sweet Jesus

Sweet JesusLocation: 106 John Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.sweetjesus4life.com/

After essentially accusing Sweet Jesus of being empty Instagram-bait, I recently came to the realization that it’s probably a bit better than I’ve been giving it credit for.  Yes, a heavy emphasis is placed on making their creations as visually pleasing as possible, but the soft serve is nice and creamy, and the flavours are usually satisfying.

That being said?  Their new limited edition TIFF-inspired creation, the Marie Antoinette, is empty Instagram-bait.

It’s a collaboration with Nadege, and it features vanilla soft serve, maple sauce, macaron crumbs, mini macarons, and a full-sized macaron on top.

The full macaron is actually the best thing about it. It has a nice, lightly crispy texture, a very subtle chewiness, and a pleasant vanilla bean flavour that isn’t too sweet. It’s a quality macaron.

Otherwise, the rest basically just tastes like plain vanilla ice cream.  The mini macarons are one-note crunchy and don’t really taste like anything, the maple sauce features shockingly little maple syrup flavour (I never would have guessed it was supposed to be maple if I hadn’t known), and the macaron crumbs just add a grainy texture.

The vanilla ice cream is tasty enough, so I certainly didn’t dislike eating it, but there isn’t a whole lot there.

A Unique Japanese Dessert at HCafe

HCafeLocation: 4750 Yonge Street – Unit 119, North York
Websitehttps://www.hcafecanada.com/

I’ve mentioned before that the Japanese Netflix TV show, Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman (about a Japanese businessman who’s obsessed with dessert), is pretty much the best.  It’s frequently hilarious and features some mesmerizing food porn, not to mention enough slickly-shot footage of Tokyo to make you want to get on the next flight.  It’s great.

He eats at least one dessert per episode, and it all looks amazing.  Sadly, much of it is really difficult (if not impossible) to find in the GTA.

HCafe

One of the desserts he eats is called ohagi, and you can actually find it at HCafe, a tiny little Japanese dessert shop near Yonge and Sheppard.

It’s pretty unique.  It features a ball of chewy rice (a mix of glutinous rice and regular rice) surrounded by a sweet red bean paste.

HCafe

It’s not quite like any dessert I’ve ever had — it’s chewy, almost like mochi, but with a coarser texture thanks to the grains of rice.  The sweetness is very subtle, and though the flavour is mostly beany, there’s an underlying fruitiness.

It’s odd, but also surprisingly delicious.  If you like mochi, this hits a lot of the same notes.

Amazing Wonton Noodle Soup at Wonton Chai Noodle

Wonton Chai NoodleLocation: 4040 Creditview Road, Mississauga
Websitehttp://www.wontonchainoodle.ca/

A good bowl of noodle soup is just the best.   It’s the best.  If you disagree, then I’m going to have to respectfully inform you that you’re wrong and that the way you’re living your life is wrong.

Wonton Chai Noodle

And Wonton Chai Noodle’s noodle soup game is strong.  Not only that, but it’s delightfully affordable.

Wonton Chai Noodle

Seven bucks gets you a very large, steaming bowl of noodley, shrimpy goodness.  The ultra-thin and ultra-firm noodles are really satisfying, and the simple-but-flavourful broth is imminently slurpable (especially when you add a heaping spoonful of the inferno-hot chili oil) — but it’s the wontons where this bowl really shines.

Wonton Chai Noodle

The filling of each wonton is crammed with whole pieces of perfectly cooked shrimp.  Shrimp is easy to overcook and turn rubbery, but these were spot-on.  And the flavour was just as good, with a rich seafoodiness that makes me want to order a whole pile of these and eat it like a bag of popcorn.  The wrapper was ever-so-slightly mushy, but aside from that they were seriously tasty.

Perfect Key Lime Pie at La Rocca Creative Kitchen

La Rocca Creative KitchenLocation: 1285 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill
Websitehttps://laroccakitchen.com/

Is key lime pie the king of pies?  It might be!  The contrast between the tart filling, the sweet graham cracker crust, and the creamy topping is absolutely magical when done well.  I have a hard time saying no when I see it on a menu.

And La Rocca Creative Kitchen — which serves the type of little pastries that look so nice it’s almost a shame to eat them — makes a really good one.

La Rocca Creative Kitchen

It’s a little bit untraditional.  The typical whipped cream topping is subbed out for creamy Italian meringue, and the crust is made from speculoos cookies instead of graham cracker.

It’s great.  Sometimes a key lime pie’s crust can be too substantial or dry, but this had the perfect level of crunch without getting in the way, and the flavour of the speculoos set it apart from the norm.

La Rocca Creative Kitchen

The dense, creamy Italian meringue might even be better than whipped cream.  Certainly, it does a perfect job of balancing out the tart key lime custard.

And the custard was just right — it’s sweet and creamy, with just the right amount of tartness.  It’s good stuff.