After walking across this ‘soon to be open’ restaurant on Bloor Street for the past month or so, I was glad to discover that this place was finally open! As such, I rushed to indulge myself with what I hoped would be amazing ramen noodles and broth.
Location: 370 Bloor Street West (this is actually the address of Cobbs bread, but this Kenzo’s is so new that the websites have not yet updated to their new location)
Price: $6.95 – $12.95
Bright lights, multiple conversations buzzing in the background, and a cute electric ramen bowl put on display at the entrance greet my sidekick and I as we enter the restaurant. Not to worry, this time, I got her to do all the décor pictures (to take the embarrassment away from me). After waiting for my sidekick to peer through the menu, we decided on their signature Tonkotsu Ramen ($8.95), the Sapporo Miso ramen($8.95). We also decided on a side order of Takoyaki (6 pieces for $7.95) because my girlfriend had never tried them before. We were kindly informed that the takoyaki would take 15 minutes to prepare as they were made fresh.
First to arrive was the girlfriend’s ramen, loaded up with vegetables and minced meat. Today, we ended up deciding we’d switch bowls so that I’d be able to write about both. In the meantime though, remember – other than the noodles themselves, one of the most important things about ramen is to have a sip of the stock – how it tastes is indicative of how good the chefs are at making ramen.
This bowl of noodles was loaded up, and the ramen noodles were nice and springy, fresh and delicious. However, though there was a massive amount of vegetables and a large quantities of minced meat, the broth was actually somewhat bitter. In fact, I kind of found this bowl to be a huge miss for me – my sidekick had the same sentiments. When I look on the online menu, I can’t even find this menu option; perhaps it was new? Do not order this one. Trust me.
Next came their Tonkotsu ramen. Thank goodness! This was absolutely delicious, even though it was much smaller than the other ramen. I’d gladly trade quantity for quality any day, though. There were tender slices of meat, a half-boiled egg with the yolk still somewhat soft, all atop a bed of ramen noodles and a yummy white broth. Salty, rich, warm and filling, the Tonkotsu was a real pleaser (especially after the other ramen.) That little glob off to the side of the dish is minced garlic, which you can mix into the soup when it’s hot to add more garlicky flavor to your stock and noodles. 🙂
Finally, the takoyaki arrived – it was really hot (as my girlfriend discovered when she tried too eagerly to bite into the treat). This was honestly really good. I’m no expert on takoyaki, which is basically a special batter wrapped around a bit of octopus. It is then put into a special takoyaki-making machine, which shapes the batter into meat ball-like entities. The outside was slightly crispy and covered with a tangy, somewhat sour but delicious sauce. The inside batter was creamy, and it concealed a delicious… bouncy (for lack of a better descriptor) piece of octopus.
Verdict: I really really like Kenzo’s Ramen. Ignoring that one mishap with the bitter noodles, I’d definitely recommend that you guys try out this new location (conveniently located so close to campus!) so that you will never be able to look at instant ramen in the same way again.
8/10 for both me and my sidekick. 😀 (As long as we ignore the existence of Sappro Miso ramen… it would be like 7/10 otherwise) Sherry will also be doing a posting of Kenzo’s as she slowly makes her way through her back log! Double review huzzah!