While I was perusing the menu at the newest (third) location of Touhenboku Ramen located in Richmond Hill, I searched back in my archives on stenoodie and realized that it’s been two years since I first stepped into the first original location of Touhenboku Ramen (located at Queen and University — downtown Toronto). I remember that visit fondly and found many resemblances between this visit and that first visit two years ago.
Eight of us walked in on an early Sunday evening to have dinner. We had just finished an hour game of archery tag and were famished! I actually called the restaurant ahead of time to reserve a table for eight but I was informed that they don’t do reservations and only take walk-ins. Good thing we arrived early by 6:30 p.m. to eat because about an hour into our visit, all the tables were full and there were people lining up to wait for a table.
This location of Touhenboku Ramen in Richmond Hill resides at the Smartcentres Richmond Hil plaza where many other delicious restaurants like Bayview Court, Thai Basil, Vic Hong, and Bombay’s Chutney. It isn’t a very big location and their space covers a rectangular-shaped dining area. When we walked in, the staff meagerly welcomed us in Japanese — not as loudly or as enthusiastically as those at Kinka Izakaya or traditional authentic Japanese establishments.
The menu here at Touhenboku Ramen is simple. Bowls of ramen with thin or thick noodles, chicken or pork soup, pork belly, shoulder, or chicken, soya sauce, sea salt, or miso seasoning with many appetizers, donburis, and various desserts.
On this visit, I chose the Black (Garlicy) flavour ramen with chicken soup, soya sauce seasoning, thin noodles, and pork shoulder. I had the pork belly and White (Original) flavour last time. I also ordered the Karaage to share. They also have a special combo where if you order ramen plus dessert, it is only about $13. I also asked for this combo since dessert itself is $5.50 and the bowl of ramen was $10.50 — great deal to get both and save $2!
It took a little bit of time for the appetizers to arrive but it was nice to chat with everyone during this time (and also use the free wifi).
Christian and Andy ordered the Chashu Chicken Don and Takoyaki to share. I tried a bite of their Chashu Chicken and Don and liked how heavily seasoned it was. I didn’t try the Takoyaki but it looked so good!
The plate of Karaage came in five pieces with some Japanese mayonnaise and a wedge of lemon. The fried chicken karaage was extremely hot from the fryer so be careful when you eat it! I liked it! I thought it was seasoned just right and very tender. Some of the karaage contained some chunks of fat though (I believe this happened at my first visit too).
Not everyone’s bowls of ramen arrived at the same time. We noticed that the bowls are differentiated by colour (white, red, or black) depending on what flavour of ramen you ordered. When my bowl of Black Garlic ramen arrived, the soup was thoroughly hot.
The soup was very thick and creamy as advertised in the menu, the thin noodles were firm, and there were a lot of wood ear mushrooms and green onions. I adored the smoothness and softness of the boiled egg. It had a very soft yoke that was to die for. It was so good and well boiled! I really liked the pork shoulder meat too — it wasn’t as tough as I was afraid it might have been. The pork shoulder texture was just right and not chewy either.
When we finished our bowls of ramen, we noticed the same phenomenon that I noticed during my first visit. After you leave your spoon or chopsticks in the broth for a while, the fat coagulates and forms a layer of fat when you lift the utensil. I even remember Touhenboku Ramen tweeting me back a reply back then that they would adjust their recipe. Well, you can see (I even took a picture this time to show you) that they have still maintained the fatty content in their ramen broth. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing because they say in their menu that it is “thick, creamy and made from fresh, chicken-based stock”. If this is how they prepare their stock, then it must be their signature recipe. Who am I to judge? XD I would just say that please don’t drink the soup after you are done the bowl of ramen because your stomach will be filled with this coagulated fat! If you do drink it (as it is delicious), then please take some CLA and Omega 3 to melt the fat away.
Remember that I had requested the ramen and dessert combo? Well, the server came around to confirm how many people ordered this combo and she thought four of us did. I corrected her and said that only two people did (Andy and I). She came back a minute after to say that there was a mistake and that only one Mille Crepe dessert was ordered and thus they didn’t have mine…. They only have limited quantities each day and were already sold out of the Mille Crepe. Aw, so sad. I wanted to try their Mille Crepe dessert here! (I didn’t get to try their dessert last time either.)
Ah well. I stole a bite off of Andy’s Mille Crepe dessert. When it arrived, I was really disappointed with how small the portion was. It didn’t even look like a full slice! Also, the layers of the cream and crepe were sliding off… I sure hope that this isn’t their regular size of the dessert. For $5.50, it’s not worth the small portion.
I tried one bite and found that it was decent. I think that the crepe itself could be a bit more smooth. Andy really enjoyed it though! 🙂
I’m glad that there are more uptown ramen houses now! I’m glad that I got to try Touhenboku Ramen again at their newest third location. I hope they continue to do well!