Slurping our way down the ramen rabbit hole one hot steaming bowl of noodles at a time, we tried Sansotei Ramen, considered by many to be one of the top ramen houses in the city. Located near Dundas and Chestnut, Sansotei Ramen was opened by Michael Zhang, a graduate of Japan’s renowned Yamato Ramen School, and his wife Chigusa over 2 years ago, and has since amassed oodles of noodle dévotés. The menu is simple, with five kinds of ramen, including their signature Tonkotsu: a slowly simmered Hakata-style pork bone-based ramen broth, with thick or thin noodles from Zhang’s own recipe. We started with Gyoza, highly addictive little Japanese dumplings, and Zengi, deep fried chicken that's marinated overnight in soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic, then dredged in flour, fried to golden perfection and served with a simple wedge of lemon. Then it was noodle time — we chose Tonkotsu Black Ramen made with creamy tonkotsu broth topped with sliced pork belly, black fungus, runny soft boiled egg, green onion and garlic oil, as well as Spicy Tantan made with slow-cooked pork belly, ground pork, bean sprouts, bamboo shoot, egg and green onion. The small narrow room, designed by J. Cho Design, is attractively detailed with bamboo banquettes, sleek stone tile walls and a thick knot of sailor’s rope that dances above diners like braided coils of soft ramen. The service is fast, the staff friendly and if you're fortunate to arrive at the right time, you can get a table straight away. And for less than $10 a bowl, it's close to noodle heaven.
The interior of Sansotei features bamboo banquettes, modern stone tile walls and thick knot of sailor’s rope hanging above
The menu is simple with five kinds of ramen, including Zhang's signature tonkotsu broth
Founded in 1876, Sapporo is the oldest brand of beer in Japan
Zangi deep fried chicken, marinated overnight in soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic, then dredged in flour, fried golden and served with a simple lemon wedge
Plump Sansotei Gyoza
Spicy Tantan Ramen with thin noodles, pork belly, ground pork, bean sprouts, bamboo shoot, egg and green onion
Tonkotsu Black Ramen, Sansotei's signature dish with silky and creamy tonkotsu broth topped with sliced pork belly, black fungus, marinated soft boiled egg, green onion and garlic oil