Food

All about that ramen

pork ramen

A ramen feast: original pork belly ramen with bean sprouts, nori, scallions, seasoned egg in a regular pork broth with thick noodles

Ramen, ramen noodles, warm bowls, broth, rich pork, irresistible egg yolk. I think I have a thing for comforting bowls of broth and noodles.

When I think of Japanese food, I think of sushi, but I wanted to try another culinary favourite from Japan. Ramen.

I happened to see Kinton Ramen when I was in Baldwin Village; I’m there almost every weekend stuffing my face with all-you-can-eat sushi. I really enjoyed being able to customize my bowl. I was able to choose the flavour of broth, its richness or lightness, the type of noodle, and any additional toppings.

It was a comforting treat on a not-so-cold March day.

spicy ramen

Pork ramen and its spicy garlic counterpart with additional nori topping

 

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Food

There’s no sincerer love than the love of ramen

ramen_Momofuku

There’s something about the first snowfall that makes me want to curl up with a bowl of comfort food, a warm cat, and a cup of gingerbread tea. I’ll even make the trek outdoors for a hearty meal with a friend. So when Kate asked me where we should go for our Thursday dinner date, my mind wandered for a bit before landing on ramen! Specifically, Momofuku Noodle Bar on University Ave and Queen St. W.

I made sure to bundle up. The only visible part of me were my eyes peeking out from under a toque and over three layers of a scarf. It was a cold cold night and I was glad we would be sitting down to warm bowls of ramen. I had never had real ramen — only the packaged kind my little brother used to make for me.

Of course, I went through the wrong entrance. I was in a gigantic room with people in suits, ties, and evening wear. I was going to text Kate and tell her I felt totally underdressed. Then I saw some people go through another entrance. I decided to follow them and was relieved to see younger folks in oversized sweaters and oversized glasses, which was the exact outfit I had on.

Momofuku_noodle_bar

Once we both arrived safe and sound, we decided to share the Momofuku Ramen and the Dan Dan Mian. Holy ramen, it was delicious! I also bought half a dozen cookies for the road, which were temptingly displayed in the Milk Bar on the second floor of the restaurant. I obviously had a corn cookie after the meal.

It was so nice to visit David Chang’s restaurant. I had watched him in the first season of The Mind of a Chef and then yesterday I was able to step into his world through his delicious dishes. The service was excellent. It was lovely to spend time with a friend over good food, a pint of cider, and beautiful furnishings.

I’d recommend putting on all your layers and braving the trek outdoors for a bowl of ramen.

There is no sincerer love than the love of food. – George Bernard Shaw

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Food

Enjoy a bowl of phở on a cool autumn day

One of the dishes that reminds me of home is the rice-noodle dish, phở. I remember my mom spending a whole day making the complex and flavourful broth from choice cuts of beef, marrow, and seasonings. The aroma of phở broth still takes me back to my childhood.

pho_Pho_Linh

I like to begin with tea and fresh rolls before a bowl of phở.

When I moved to Toronto, I was on a food mission: I wanted to find the best and most authentic bowl of phở in the city. When I sat down and ate my first bowl of phở at Phở Linh on College and Dufferin, I knew I had accomplished my phở mission.

I made sure to ask for their homemade noodles. It was well worth it. The noodles had substance but they were also melt in your mouth. The warm broth was magnificent especially on a cool autumn afternoon, and the beef was rare and tender. I topped the dish with bean sprouts, Thai basil, and a squeeze of lime; the dish already comes garnished with cilantro and green onions. I also added the smallest amount of Hoisin sauce because I like to maintain the purity of the broth; it’s already full of complex flavours so why mess up a good thing? The thing I love the most about phở is that it’s both comforting and refreshing.

If you happen to be in the College and Dufferin area, check out Phở Linh. It may just transport you back to your own childhood.

Note: Make sure you bring cash because they don’t take credit and they don’t have an ATM machine.

Phở Linh Restaurant
1156 College St
Toronto, ON M6H 1B5
(416) 516-3891

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