Tasty Noodle Soup at Szechuan Noodle Bowl

Szechuan Noodle Bowl
Location
: 400 Dundas Street East, Mississauga
Website: https://szechuannoodlebowl.com/

Look, I’m a simple man.  If you slap a bowl of freshly-made noodles in front of me, my level of happiness is going to go up by like a hundred percent.  Szechuan Noodle Bowl — which, as the name implies, specializes in bowls of freshly-made noodles — makes me a happy man.

Szechuan Noodle Bowl

I ordered the Hand-Made Noodles, which comes spicy or non-spicy with your choice of topping (beef, ground pork, pork intestines, Chinese pickle, or chicken).  I went spicy with ground pork, and yeah, it’s good.

Szechuan Noodle Bowl

Those noodles are great — they’re thick, chewy, and satisfying.  The soup is mildly spicy and has a nice zippy flavour, and the generous amount of tasty ground pork complements it perfectly.

Szechuan Noodle Bowl

I wish there had been some chili oil on the table — the soup was spicy, but could have been kicked up a bit — but aside from that it was a top-notch bowl of noodles.

Tasty Korean Stew at Insadong

Insadong
Location
: 4941 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke
Website: https://www.insadongrestaurant.com/

When you’re in the mood, there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a hearty, flavourful, bubbling hot Korean stew.

(Well okay fine, as a person who generally doesn’t like food to be so hot that you’re at risk of burning yourself, I could do without the “bubbling hot” part — but since the hot stone bowl is part of the package, I guess I’ll allow it.)

Insadong

I ordered the ugeojikug, which the menu describes as “cabbage hangover soup made in a beef broth with rice.”

It’s very good.  The soup is absolutely crammed with cabbage and sliced beef, and the broth is slightly spicy and profoundly beefy.  The beef was a bit on the tough side, but everything else is so tasty that this is never a particularly big deal.  In particular, the soup itself has a very satisfying beefy flavour; they could have served that broth on its own and I would have left happy.

Chicken Tan Tan Ramen at Momofuku Noodle Bar

Momofuku Noodle BarLocation190 University Avenue, Toronto
Websitehttps://noodlebar-toronto.momofuku.com/

The chicken tan tan ramen at Momofuku is a taste explosion.  Its flavour is so incredibly assertive that it seems like it should be overbearing, but it’s not.  It’s so good.

The broth is zesty and creamy and rich, with a roasty sesame flavour and a mild nuttiness (not to mention a bit of a spicy kick) that’s fairly irresistible.  It’s absolutely not subtle, but it totally works.

Momofuku Noodle Bar

It’s topped with a green onions, a whole bunch of tasty ground chicken, and a silky sous vide egg that basically just melts into the soup and makes it even richer.  Add the chewy noodles into the mix, and you’ve got a seriously tasty bowl.

Momofuku Noodle Bar

I also tried the fried brussels sprouts (“fish sauce, yuzu, chili, mint”), which are nice and crispy and feature a great balance of flavours — the fish sauce is the first thing you notice, but it’s also sweet and zippy in a way that’s really satisfying.  Brussels sprouts tends to be a divisive vegetable, but I dare anyone to try this and deny that it’s delicious.

An Onion Assault at Tondou Ramen

Tondou RamenLocation: 596 College Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.tondouramentoronto.com/

I noticed after the fact that Tondou Ramen bills itself as “the one and only Okinawan restaurant in Toronto.”  That being the case, I probably should have ordered the Okinawa soba instead of the shio ramen.  Oh well.

Tondou Ramen

Still, the shio ramen was mostly quite tasty, with a fairly large caveat that, to be fair, mostly applies to me and weirdos like me.  Specifically: people who hate raw onion.

Tondou Ramen

I’m a card-carrying raw onion hater, so you can take all of my opinions on the matter with a grain of salt, but the ramen here was a bit much.  It’s topped with the usual green onion (which I’m normally okay with) along with a generous amount of sliced white onions, and it’s onion overload.

Tondou Ramen

The problem is that the soup itself, which the menu describes as a “light chicken broth,” has such a subtle flavour that it can’t help but be overwhelmed by the raw onion assault.  It’s all you can taste.  It completely overpowers the delicate broth.

Tondou Ramen

Still, everything else about the bowl was quite good, particularly the perfectly chewy fresh noodles.

I also tried the takoyaki (A.K.A. octopus balls), which was very good; oddly, the balls are deep fried (is that an Okinawan thing?), which gives them a delightfully crisp exterior.

Oji Seichi Might Just Serve the Best Ramen in the City

Oji SeichiLocation: 354 Broadview Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://www.ojiseichi.com/

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.

Oji Seichi

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.

Oji Seichi

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.