January 29, 2020: I was invited to Ramen Yutaka in Aurora to try out their signature in-house made chicken ramen and assorted appetizers. Ramen Yutaka is located at the SmartCentres Aurora North shopping plaza at 84 First Commerce Drive, Unit 4 (intersection of Lesile Street and Wellington Street East) in Aurora.
We arrived at 7 p.m. There was plenty of parking at the plaza. Inside the brightly lit restaurant, there was a long table designated for the food bloggers/influencers to sit at and the rest of the dining room left for regular customers.
The aesthetics of the restaurant had clean lines and was minimalist with light wooden tables and white chairs. Walking towards the restrooms, you could see the open kitchen and the chefs at work.
Whereas most ramen restaurants specialize in pork broth, Ramen Yutaka focused on chicken ramen with an in-house chicken broth. We were told that the ramen chef takes exquisite care in maintaining the quality and taste of his ramen so that the chicken ramen and broth are limited in quantity each day. Once they are sold out for the day, they actually close up shop.
We were able to choose any ramen off of the menu with accompanying toppings and appetizers.
First, we were served some of the appetizers to share. Ramen Yutaka was very generous and within minutes, our long table was entirely filled with all of the appetizers and extra ramen toppings.
The Chicken Gyoza (dumplings) were fried with “wings”, a crispy lattice coating that isn’t commonly seen at many restaurants. It means that the dumplings are pan fried so that there is also a thin crispy layer of batter for you to bite into. The dumplings were generously stuffed and very satisfying with the dipping sauce. It’s best to eat these dumplings hot when they arrive to the table.
The Homemade Karaage (Fried Chicken) was served with a Japanese mayonnaise and seasoning dipping sauce. Each fried piece of chicken was so chunky and juicy.
The Potato Croquette, deep fried and slathered with Japanese mayonnaise and a sweet sauce, was something that you shouldn’t judge by its cover. It was very crispy on the outside and flavourful on the inside. I was really impressed by this! It was so delicious.
All of the chicken ramen on the menu already come with chicken breast, pork shoulder, and various toppings.
The Tori Paitan and Black Oil Ramen had chicken white soup and housemade garlic oil. This was a very dense and richly flavoured broth with the garlic oil added to it.
The Shoyu Ramen had clear chicken broth and special soy sauce seasoning. In comparison, this clear chicken broth was a lot “cleaner” in taste. I actually liked this broth more because you could distinctly taste the fresh chicken broth.
Our table ordered all of the extra toppings with our bowls of ramen in order to try them out. The extra toppings included: braised torched pork belly, sous-vide pork shoulder, sous-vide chicken breast, flavoured egg, seaweed, spring onions, and marinated bamboo shoots. (At some restaurants, the flavoured egg is provided with the bowl of ramen, but you have to order it as an additional topping at Ramen Yutaka.)
The braised torched pork belly was fabulous. It was very fatty around the edges yet meaty and really had a strong umani taste to it. The sous-vide pork shoulder and sous-vide chicken breast were both very tender. The flavoured egg had the perfect runny yolk.
By the end of the tasting, we were all so full and satisfied. The chicken broth was more concentrated and rich than the ones I’ve had before, so I couldn’t even finish my bowl of ramen. (Tip: make sure you come here on a really empty stomach!) There were still a lot of leftovers, so we were encouraged to take them home to enjoy.
We had a glimpse of the ramen noodle machine situated at the front area of the restaurant.
We were also informed that Ramen Yutaka offers limited edition ramen flavours every week (one of which I remember was a chocolate ramen with smoked duck breast!). They only offer about 20 to 30 of these specialty bowls per day and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You have to check their Instagram page or in-store to see what their limited edition ramen flavours are. The chef is very inventive in his cooking!
Thank you so much to Darren of DKLo Events, the owner, and staff at Ramen Yutaka for inviting me to the tasting.
FTC Disclaimer: Although I was invited to a complimentary tasting at Ramen Yutaka, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the event hosts or the business.