Ryus Noodle Bar
Ryus Noodle Bar — a cute little ramen shop that evokes a funkier-side of simple food — is the latest addition to Baldwin Village. Headed up by Ryuchiro "Roy" Takahashi, the expat chef from Chiba, Japan has made his way to Toronto by way of Vancouver. Within the span of five months, Roy has moved to Toronto, purchased, renovated, and begun to serve his signature noodle soups at the the space formerly occupied by Jodhpore Club Indian Restaurant.
Thanks to the inspiring eyes of Kaori Stanly — who also designed Ryoji Ramen and Izakaya — the shop at 33 Baldwin Street has been transformed into a serene space for one to slurp up some sweet, sweet ramen.
Roy is a self-proclaimed ramen addict with a palate that's allowed him to create what I now believe to be one of the best ramen broths in Toronto. His stock of pork bones, chicken bones, and an assortment of Japanese vegetables runs relatively clear prior to any flavour additions. Surprisingly light, it has a depth of flavour that's unmistakably umami, without the pervasive richness or heaviness that some other ramen broths carry.
His AAA Roast Beef ($13.95) is undoubtedly going to become the house specialty (in my opinion, at least). Prepared sous-vide, the Angus striploin is finished on the grill, thinly sliced and served cold with a side of white truffle oil - need I say more. The delicate strips of beef accompany Roy's shoyu ramen topped with arugula, white fungus, bamboo shoots and carefully slivered red chili pepper.
All of the ramen here are accompanied by one of his signature sauces. Choose from the fragrant XO sauce, sweet black sauce made with garlic and shallots, fresh ginger and dashi paste, or house made chili oil. It's worth waiting until at least half way through your bowl of char shu (pork belly) and sous-vide chicken breast topped shio ramen ($9.50) before adding the one you've picked. The other vegetable toppings are the same as the shoyu, however an addition of lemon zest creates a brightness to this ramen that's truly unparalleled.
If you're craving a majorly gut-warming experience, get the spicy miso tanmen ($9.95) and ask for it suicidally spicy. The nuclear-red broth is thickened with house made chili paste and miso paste, seasoned with tongue tingling ground Sichuan peppercorns, and is laden with silken bits of mabo tofu. If you don't feel the burn then, it will kick your ass the next morning... but don't let that discourage you - it's delicious!
As their full menu launch is set for July 19th, Ryus Noodle Bar will be featuring a variety of vegetarian options like a shoyu and miso potage, and a mabo tofu dish for those who aren't into meat.
For the rest of us, gyoza, sides of char shu that have been tenderized in a pressure cooker, brushed in a soy sauce glaze and then blow torched before it reaches your table, as well as congee and sous-vide roast beef will find their way onto the menu.
However you like it, Ryus will be doing something a little different from many of the city's ramen shops. And with locals and loyalists already flocking to Baldwin Village for their ramen fix at Kinton, Ryus might just juggle things up around the area.