Midori Ramen on Queen West, which sits in the spot that used to be home to Cool N2 for liquid nitrogen ice cream, is now drawing in customers for its pork alternatives to ramen.
This place specializes in tori paitan, or creamy chicken broth, and a vegetarian cauliflower option that's a delicious change from the meat choices you'll usually find.
Midori, which translates to "green" in Japanese, looks to provide a fresher and lighter option when it comes to Toronto's ultimate comfort food in a bowl known as ramen.
The interiors of the downtown restaurant including the fresh moss garden right near the door really helps to drive the theme home and also doubles as an interesting table display.
Lining the wall across from the front table are the signature Midori bowls in black and red for yet another nice aesthetic.
The six different ramens, as well as the appetizers and finger foods on the menu, are all made fresh in the open-concept kitchen situated in the middle of the restaurant by chefs and creators of Midori, Masaru and Natsuhiko.
When it comes to the noodles, you have the choice between thin, thick, kale and gluten-free.
All of the homemade broth that's full of umami flavours is made from chicken bones, providing a healthier alternative to the usual pork-based ramens found elsewhere while not skimping on the creaminess factor.
The Signature Tori Paitan ($15.99) is topped with ajitsuke Tamago (egg), scallions, red onions, gobo, and Aosa sea lettuce that comes right from Japan.
The Red Spicy ($13.99) packs a lot more of a kick and is topped with sweet corn, bok choy, chili pepper, and spicy flakes. All of the ramens come with one pork and chicken chashu, unless requested otherwise.
There's also a Creamy Vegetarian ($13.99) ramen option for non-meat eaters. The cauliflower broth base is made with nothing more than soy milk and an assortment of veggies. It comes topped with crispy tofu nuggets, sweet corn, red onion, black garlic, oil, coriander, and fried onion.
Their Chicken Shumai ($4.99) takes on a bit of a twist from the traditional steam pork dish. Here, they make it with chicken and deep fry it for an added crunch before drizzling it in a sweet chili mayo.
Another popular appetizer is the Mini Tori Don bowl ($4.99) which comes with sous-vide chicken breast, rice, and topped with teriyaki, garlic mayo and benishouga (pickled red ginger).
If you're crazy about their ramen and want some in your freezer for backup, they have a sealed frozen option ($12 - $15) available for pre-order so that you can prepare any one of their bowls at home. Just heat it up on the stove for 10 minutes to eat.