J and I spent the day and night in Toronto on Saturday without Future Foodie (!). Yes, it was our first night away from our daughter in over 20 months. We stopped in Syracuse, dropped her off, and drove off towards the border. Of course, we had done lots of food research prior to trip (about 10 pages worth and yes we are weirdly obsessed with food). We both really wanted some good Asian food as Toronto has a substantial Chinatown and a large Asian population. Once we got to our hotel, a Hilton Garden Inn, which was really nice by the way, we made our way towards getting some Asian food in our bellies. We were right downtown and Chinatown was only about 3/4 of a mile away. On the way to where we thought we were going to eat, I spied a line at this tiny little Japanese ramen restaurant called Kenzo Ramen. They had big pictures of all the ramen bowls they sold and I told J that this was going to be our final destination. I always think it’s a good sign when a restaurant is crowded and if it’s an ethnic restaurant, crowded with people from that nationality. We waited about ten minutes and sat and ordered as quickly as possible. I ordered a chicken ramen noodle dish and a hot ramen noodle dish. The noodle bowls came out fairly quickly. The bowls were very large and steaming hot. Both were delicious. The noodles in both dishes were perfectly cooked, firm but not too firm. The broth in the chicken ramen was delicious, nourishing and there was definitely miso in it. It had egg, mushrooms, ground up chicken, and lots of bean sprouts in it. I would have preferred more noodles to bean sprouts but overall it was very good. The hot ramen dish was so, so good. It had the same type of noodles and mix of vegetables but also had some ground beef in it. The broth was so good, red and spicy. I just slurped it up. My favorite was the spicy noodle dish and J loved the chicken ramen. Overall a great experience but the one not so great thing about Kenzo Ramen is the pretty bad service. No one was unfriendly but I literally had to ask three times for a glass of water and they finally brought me some at the end of our meal. I understood that they were busy but still.
We were talking about how sad it was that Albany didn’t have anything close to a ramen shop. We think it would go over really well. One can dream.