Ramen Isshin (Assembly Chef's Hall)
Opened by Koji Zenimaru who also runs Kingyo Izakaya in Cabbagetown, Ramen Isshin has become a city staple for dependably good Japanese ramen.
Decked out in all the classic decor of a traditional Ramen spot, Isshin also has the traditional lineup of chefs who announce the next order, loudly and in Japanese, adding to the authenticity of this little stall.
Their most popular bowl is the black sesame tantan noodle ($16), which is phenomenal. The soup has the perfect amount of kick and has all the residual flavours of the wok-fried pork and pork belly. It’s both rich and savoury – a lunch that will warm your belly at any time of the day.
The second most popular dish here is the Kotteri rich shoyu ramen ($14), which is a more classic bowl that comes with bamboo shoots, nori, pork belly and thin noodles.
For sides, there's takoyaki balls ($8), deep fried pork gyoza ($8) and hiyayakko ($5), which is a cold tofu covered in Isshin’s special chili sauce and bamboo shoots.
They also offer the a traditional Japanese soda that has gained popularity in Western restaurants over the years: Ramune ($3). This carbonated drink comes in a small glass bottle and is sealed with a marble; opening Ramune for the first time is an experience all its own.