Before my friend Andrea and I unexpectedly met Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, at an art gallery last week *, we went out for a meal that was so delicious that I just have to tell you about it. (* really we did, you can read about it here if you'd like!).
Now, I've only ever had ramen in a restaurant three times before so I'm not much of a connoisseur, however Andrea once lived in Asia and is quite familiar with the dish -- including knowing how to eat it with some semblance of grace! -- and she confirmed my opinion, that the "Authentic Japanese Ramen" we had at Touhenboku, (261 Queen Street West, near Duncan Street), was indeed, delicious. To quote her, "A good bowl of ramen is determined by the flavour of the broth, and theirs was very good".
According to their website, their "tori-paitan style soup is made according to Japanese tradition. At Touhenboku Ramen, our ramen’s distinctive taste comes from our traditional Japanese slow-cooked chicken broth, called mizutaki. We then add your choice of thick or thin ramen noodles and your choice of lean pork, rich pork, or chicken chashu. We throw in a little seaweed, a Japanese soft boiled egg, some delicious wood ear mushrooms, and top it off with fresh green onions."
There are quite a few pre-determined combinations for how to have your ramen, but I couldn't quite find what I was looking for amongst those, so went for the "make your own" version, selecting spicy chicken broth seasoned with soy sauce, with chicken and thin noodles. Then, the chef went ahead and added the toppings of a soft boiled egg, seaweed, mushrooms and green onions, which I hadn't expected but enjoyed having.
With each order of ramen you can have an appetizer at a reduced price, so we shared the Chicken Karaage and Takoyaki. They were both generously sized and very tasty, but we didn't end up eating everything, because we were full. In hindsight, we would have been fine with one appetizer between us, but everything sounded so good and we couldn't choose just one.
Their website contains no mention of whether they were licensed to serve liqueur or not. They are, so we had a Sapporo beer to drink, which came with an icy cold glass.
We were there on a Wednesday evening, arriving at around 5:30pm. We had our choice of tables when we got there, but the place filled right up. A half hour later, all but one table and a couple of spots at the counter were occupied. Service was very quick though, so if there is a line-up when you arrive, I imagine the wait won't be very long.
There now ... have I made you hungry? :)
Wishing you a great weekend, xo loulou