ramen buta nibo toronto

Ramen Buta-Nibo

Ramen Buta-Nibo is the first noodle restaurant in Toronto to serve steaming bowls of Jiro-style ramen.  

The restaurant comes from the same owners behind Ryus Noodle Bar that's located down the block (it was previously located on Baldwin Street). 

ramen buta nibo torontoWhile Ryus is all about ramen with chicken broth, Buta-Nibo focuses on a broth made using pork and fish. Buta translates to pig or pork in Japanese and niboshi means dried anchovy. 

ramen buta nibo torontoIn Canada, Jiro-style ramen is relatively popular in Vancouver's noodle scene.

It features a rich and oily broth that's made from boiling pork bones and pork fat for hours and is characterized by its thick noodles, a pile of garlic paste and cha-shu (braised pork belly). 

ramen buta nibo torontoLike most ramen restaurants in the city, you're able to customize your bowl according to the type of broth, the spice level plus the amount of seasoned fat and house-made garlic paste you want added. 

ramen buta nibo torontoThe interior's simple decor takes after a traditional Japanese noodle house. Besides, arched panelling, there are industrial tables and chairs. 

To order, you scan the QR code menu at your table and then place an order through your phone, which gets sent to the kitchen. 

ramen buta nibo torontoI started with Gyoza ($8.75) which comes in five pieces. You can choose from a pork or vegetable filling. The dumplings are pan-fried and have a juicy interior with a slightly crispy exterior. 

ramen buta nibo torontoServed with soy sauce, the tender pocket sticker practically melts in my mouth. 

ramen buta nibo torontoThe Chicken Karaage ($8.50) features chunks of boneless chicken breast that are prepared in an umami marinade before they're deep-fried.

Each order comes with your choice of dipping sauce which includes sweet chilli mayo (pictured here), spicy miso and wasabi mayo.

Unlike fried chicken I've had from other restaurants, I'm impressed with how each bite starts with a pleasant crunch and before my palate is taken over by the umami flavours.  

ramen buta nibo torontoThe star of the show is the Jiro Ramen ($16.90).

Filled to the brim with noodles and a rich pork bone broth, it's topped with handfuls of bean sprouts, cabbage, garlic paste, back fat and bamboo shots, it's made heartier thanks to the pieces of cha-shu. 

ramen buta nibo toronto

Eating this, I was engulfed by the savoury aroma of the broth.

Of the different ramen orders I tried, this one takes the top spot for being the most filling. It may put you into a food coma after  it. 

ramen buta nibo torontoThe Shoyu Niboshi ($16.90) has a clean and clear broth when compared to the pork-based Jiro. It's made of dried anchovy, bonito (a fish that's in the same family as mackerel and tuna) plus kelp and seaweed. 

Here, ramen noodles come in a deeply aromatic seafood broth that's topped with lean pieces of pork loin cha-shu. It's topped with tender bamboo shoots, seaweed, red and green onions. 

ramen buta nibo torontoMy favourite was the Vegetarian Miso Ramen ($17.20). Noodles are served in a miso broth that's topped with two pieces of fried tofu, cabbage, bean sprouts, corn, fried onions and carrots.

I enjoy each simple but tasty slurp of the salty and bright miso broth. 

ramen buta nibo torontoRamen Buta Nibo's exterior proudly claims this is the first restaurant in Toronto to serve Jiro-style ramen. The front bay windows make for a good people-watching space. 

Photos by

Fareen Karim 

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