Hakata Shoryuken Ramen
Hakata Shoryuken Ramen is not a Street Fighter special move, but rather a restaurant that serves up Hakata-style ramen In North York.
Found a few blocks north of the North York Centre subway station, the small and simple restaurant is outfitted with impressive Street Fighter artwork on the walls, as if each character is throwing down the gauntlet for you to sample the fare.
Hailing from the Hakata ward of the city of Fukuoka , the eponymous ramen is considered the richest ramen from Japan because of the amount of sugar in the ramen broth.
Before digging into the ramen it's worth ordering a sampling of appetizers.
The Gyoza Dumplings ($3.50) are juicy and fresh while the Karage ($4.50) fried chicken is tender and really flavourful when paired with an assortment of dipping sauces.
The Beef Tataki ($5.50) comes with a light seasoning - a perfect match for the ponzu dipping sauce. It's served on crunchy, shredded radishes and is my favourite of the non-ramen offerings.
The house special is the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.80) and it's indeed very rich. The broth if complex with a depth of flavours - it's a bit sweet, but also sprinkled with light dabs of fattiness from the bone marrow.
The Chashu Lover ramen ($13) comes with seven pieces of sliced pork belly. The generous helping of meat helps thicken the broth.
The Red Hot Tonkotsu Ramen ($10.80) is what to order if craving a bit of spice. It comes with a generous helping of red hot sauce (made with Korean gochujang paste, sake, and sugar) that you mix into the broth.
The Black Tonkotsu Ramen ($10.80) has a strong roasted garlic aroma that is delicious but can be a bit overpowering. This one is probably best shared.
The Tantan Men ($13.50) is originally a Chinese dish. Hakata Ramen's version mixes minced pork into the ramen broth creating a dish that's delicious but a bit too heavy for my liking. My advice is to add the spicy ghost pepper toppings (+$2) to this dish to create a more balanced flavour profile.
Worth noting is that you can add an extra portion of noodles to your leftover broth for just another $2. Now that's what I call value. I've never seen this offered in any other ramen restaurant in this city.