Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Last month I was supposed to try Halal Guys for the first time but my friend Susan and I switched to trying Hokkaido Ramen Santouka instead, as it worked better with our plans.
Normally I read in depth reviews before trying out a new place but I trusted the star rating on Google for this place, and it sounded decent. I mean, how badly can you screw up ramen? There are three locations in Toronto: Dundas, Bloor, and Eglinton. We went to the one on Dundas. This one is like a five minute walk from the Eaton Centre.
It took some time for me to decide which ramen I wanted but I ended up with the Shoyu Ramen. This is the soy sauce flavour; Shoyu is a Japanese-style soy sauce. The ramen contained pieces of char siu (roasted pork), seaweed, and other toppings.
I was quite pleased with this ramen. The noodles were chewy—a good sign. The soy sauce flavour is apparent in the broth but the overall broth tasted slightly salty for my liking. I believe there were about three pieces of char siu in the ramen. The char siu was tender for the most part but the pieces I had were a bit fatty for me. I still enjoyed the ramen and it was perfect for that day, as the weather was slightly cool.
The ramen also came with pickled vegetables and a soft-boiled egg. Don’t let the purple colour of the pickled vegetables put you off because it was quite nice. Their cold temperature and crunchiness provided a nice contrast to the ramen. I do wish that the soft-boiled egg was a bit gelatinous. It was a little too cooked for me. But nonetheless, letting it soak into the ramen broth…so good.
One of the side dishes you can order is called Negimeshi. You can either order it separately or there is a combo version of the ramen and a selection of the side dishes. The only catch is that the ramen is the regular size, which is a good portion size to be honest. You do save a tiny bit if you order the combo.
Negimeshi is a rice dish filled with katsuobushi, nori and diced green onions. The other side dishes had fish in them and I don’t really eat fish, so this was the only choice for me.
Before you eat this, make sure you mix it well because the toppings are all piled on top and the bottom rice will just be plain rice. This dish wasn’t bad but it was dry. I wanted some kind of sauce in it for a smooth texture. Also, I don’t know if it’s always like this (or because they got my order wrong initially) but they did not hold back on the onions. It was onion central in this dish. Be sure to bring gum or mints after to free your mouth from onion breath after eating this!
Overall, this was a good ramen place. For everything, it was about $20, which seems like an average ramen price for downtown Toronto. The food came out quickly and even when my order was wrong, they corrected it right away—no fuss. The staff were also friendly and welcoming.
If it’s another cold day, I wouldn’t mind coming back and trying out the other ramen flavours.