September 2, 2014
Nov 12, 2012
04:45 PM

First Look: Santouka, Dundas Street’s new ramen house

Santouka's shio ramen (Images:

It’s official: Toronto is experiencing ramen mania. This year alone we’ve seen the opening of New York noodle giant Momofuku, along with ramen-houses such as Kinton and Sansotei. Meanwhile, the team that brought us Yours Truly is set to open a ramen shop come December, and Ramen Raijin, from the owners of Vancouver favorite Kintaro, is opening on Gerrard Street soon. And now we can add Santouka Ramen to the list.

Hailing from Japan, Santouka is a chain with locations worldwide. Toronto’s Dundas East location, which began its soft-opening phase over the weekend, is the second in Canada; the other one is in Vancouver. Santouka specializes in a pearl-colored tonkotsu broth made from simmering pork bones for roughly 20 hours, then adding vegetables, dried fish, kelp and other ingredients.

Kara-miso ramen

Toronto’s Santouka currently offers four different tonkotsu-based ramens, which are each seasoned differently. Flavors include shio ramen (salt), shoyu ramen (soy sauce), miso ramen (miso) and kara-miso ramen (hot spices and miso). Prices range from $10.95-$11.45. Toppings could include pickled plums, bamboo shoots, kikurage mushrooms and, of course, pork.

For those picky about texture, noodles can be requested with varying degrees of hardness, and the amount of lard and salt is customizable, too.

Unfortunately, Santouka’s famed toroniku ramen (which features pork cheek) is unavailable during the soft-opening phase, but it will be on the menu for the restaurant’s grand opening on Nov. 23.

Santouka Ramen, 91 Dundas St. E., 647-748-1717

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