138 Dundas Street West
Type: Casual Restaurant/Quick Bite
Kenzo is a ramen franchise that is slowly expanding in Toronto. As of today (07/13/12), they have four locations. The one that I frequented often is the Dundas location because it was so close to Ryerson University (where I studied). It’s a place that’ll satisy a craving for cheap.
One of my favourite foods is Takoyaki and I love how they make it here. It’s big, flavoured properly, and it’s cooked just right. It’s essentially a piece of octopus surrounded by a somewhat chewy batter and topped with mayonnaise, seaweed crumbs and bonito flakes. I actually enjoy this more than their ramen, as weird as that sounds for a ramen shop to be better at their appetizers than their specialty.
I’ve had most of the ramen on the menu and I’ve never really been dissapointed with any of them. I do have my favourites but like I said, it satisfies a craving but I’m sure there are better ones out there if you’re willing to travel.
One that I really like is the Ji Su Men; it has carrots, mushrooms, green onions, bok choy and chicken. The broth is a little thicker than most soups but it gives it a nice texture. All of the “toppings” are also mixed in quite nicely so you get a good variety every time you go in for a scoop.
The Netsu Ra-men is a popular choice among those that like things on the spicy side. It’s a hot sapporo-style ramen with ground pork and vegetables; you also have a choice between hot levels 1-3. It’s a large bowl of spicy goodness.
Tonkotsu Ra-men is something practically every ramen shop has. For you anime/manga lovers, you’ll often hear “tonkotsu” thrown around. It’s basically Hakata-style pork bone soup and while it’s not bad at Kenzo, it’s not something I would reommend. It’s salty and a little bland in my opinion.
Sometimes, people just want the basics. With the Shi-o Ra-men, you’ll get just that since it’s just broth seasoned with salt. Again, I felt it was too salty but the noodles were nice and stringy.
The servers come by every once in awhile so you may be sitting around for a bit before they take your order. If you come during the lunch rush however, they run past you quickly and you literally have to flag them down. There’s no inbetween but I guess they’re trying to mirror ramen stalls in Japan; you just eat and go.
It’s a great starting point if you’ve never had genuine ramen before. I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way for them but if I’m in the area on a cold winter day, I’d drop by.