Last week, during a somewhat chilly Tuesday night, we decided to finally go see The F Word, a movie I’ve been dying to watch since it premiered at TIFF last year. But beforehand, we wanted to try the relatively new ramen restaurant that opened up a few blocks away from our local cinema at Yonge and Eglinton: Touhenboku Ramen.
A little context before we get on with the review, our go-to ramen place has always been Ajisen Ramen next to the North York cinema. They have so many choices, their pork-based broth is delicious, their prices were very reasonable plus they had a loyalty card that gave you free ramen after reaching a certain number. Suffice to say, we loved Ajisen and at one point practically ate there every week.
Sadly The F Word wasn’t playing at the North York location so we decided to give Touhenboku a shot. From the get go, the two places are complete opposites. While Ajisen is bigger and has a more fast food, informal dining feel to it, Touhenboku is smaller, more intimate and is a little more upscale. The latter only has one kind of ramen that you can customize to suit your tastes. Instead of a pork-based soup, they have a chicken broth. So it’s a good option for those who can’t eat pork. The prices are also higher, but the decor is nicer. Plus the service is super friendly and on point.
I got the original chicken broth with sea salt, pork belly and thin noodles.
Keith got the lighter chicken broth with soy sauce, pork shoulder and thick noodles.
Halfway through, we both exchanged bowls to see if we liked the other’s choice better and then after a few bites, we switched back, realizing we ordered right the first time. I liked the creaminess of the original broth as opposed to the lighter one. The soy sauce brought a different flavor than the sea salt. I didn’t think it would actually matter but turns out it did. The difference between pork belly and pork shoulder was negligible. They were both tender and cooked well. There’s also a chicken or vegetarian option as well, in case you’re avoiding pork. I didn’t really taste a distinction between thick or thin noodles. The seaweed and the egg were so good together. All in all, their ramen, while different from Ajisen, was still delicious. It’s not enough for us to switch ramen places but I would definitely have it again. I recommend it as a great date night place.