Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
91 Dundas St East Toronto Toronto, ON M5B2C8
A popular ramen shop created by Hitoshi Hatanaka in March 1988. Born in Japan and now Santouka Ramen Houses spans internationally in select cities.
I've had Santouka Ramen in Vancouver years ago, however I don't exactly recall leaving with a wow impression. But this time, maybe it's the super cold Toronto weather, my good mood or whatever it may be - I was really stoked on being seated despite having waited almost 30 mins for a seat.
I asked what their most popular ramen bowl is, and my waiter recommended their Toroniku Ramen: a rich delicious broth with a plate of simmered pork cheek Cha Shu on the side. Only 200-300g of pork cheek is taken off each pig. The texture of pork cheek is similar to tuna toro (fatty tuna.. or in general fatty meat). They got me at tuna toro + pork cheek.
At first glance I was sceptical by the look of the plate of pork cheek with the dry edges, but don't let that fool you. The pork was perfectly almost melt-worthy in my mouth! *I'd Highly Recommend too!*
I also ordered their Japanese Melon Cream Soda + Ice Cream. (The green-ness of the cream soda+ ice cream topping was exactly how it was in an anime I used to watch, so I felt a tiny bit obligated to check that off my 'anime food list'.)
My afternoon spent at Santouka, whilst enjoying some me time and amazing ramen was a great experience. I felt relaxed despite the restaurant being super busy and I had the fun seat for one, being next to the serving window (I like seeing food being prepared before it lands on the tables.)
I can't believe it took me a good 6 trips to Toronto in the last couple of years for me to finally try this place out! I usually try a new ramen place each time I visit, I've never been back to the same place twice yet but this place may have changed my mind...
I'll be back next time! :)