Ramen  2
See also: Soup · Udon Soup
Tags: Japanese

Ramen  at Uji Café 宇治カフェ
Ramen  at Sansotei Ramen
Ramen  at Sansotei Ramen
Ramen  at Datsun
Ramen  at Datsun
Ramen  at Ginza Ramen
Ramen  at Ginza - Ramen Sushi Sake Bar
Ramen  at Haru Izakaya
Ramen  at SIDEDOOR
Ramen  at Festival Japan
Ramen  at SIDEDOOR
Ramen  at SIDEDOOR
Ramen  at Taste Ramen+Fusion
Ramen  at Taste Ramen+Fusion
Ramen  at Taste Ramen+Fusion
Ramen  at Totoya
Where to get Ramen
Comments



2

Mar 2
"Some outstanding ramen... I don't see how this dish could be improved!"

It could be improved by magically appearing in front of me rtf NOW.

Damn that pic... i really need to remember not to look at OttFoodies anywhere near lunchtime...

Mar 1
Some outstanding ramen! The tonkotsu broth is rich without being heavy and the egg was perfectly cooked, albeit slightly cool. Truly satisfying, I don't see how this dish could be improved!

2016 Nov 2
This is stellar ramen! I opted for the Tonkotsu Black ($10.75). This is their tonkotsu pork ramen with a dollop of pungent black garlic oil for extra deep flavour. It was served blazingly hot and everything was fantastic especially the pork belly. Like others, I noticed the interior of the eggs were still cool. I suggest dunking them and letting them warm up while you slurp noodles and enjoy the other stuff.

The amazing thing is how fast this meal was. Here's my timeline:

11:05am - I walked in and was seated
11:06am - I ordered and was given a glass of water
11:12am - Ramen arrived and I began to enjoy it
11:20am - Finished my bowl and was immediately offered the bill
11:21am - Paid the bill (receipt stamped 11:21:26)

Seriously, 15 minutes from ordering to done, including Instagram photo taking. Fastest quick lunch I've ever had and quite possibly the tastiest too!




2

2014 May 2
One of the well known secrets about Ottawa is that it adopts trends a year or two after larger cities, making it easy for business owners to predict future demand here. The ramen trend is a significant one and Ginza is bringing a high quality version to Ottawa thanks to Koichi Paxton (www.ichiko.ca), whose name has come up a few times on this site. I tried his tonkotsu ramen miso and I was really impressed.

The rich, savoury broth is cooked slowly from pork bones. The marinated pork belly is done in-house and charred before serving, giving it a wonderful smokey taste. The egg is perfectly semi-soft boiled and marinated in soy sauce. The thin fresh noodles have a good bite to them, and the veg ingredients are all spot on in texture, taste, and portion. Currently there is only one noodle available, but they plan to offer three choices in the future: thin (the current one), thick (presumably udon style), and house made (yay!).

Offering house made noodles would cement Ginza as the go-to place for ramen in Ottawa, as the noodles are the only component where I might give the edge to the ramen offered at SIDEDOOR. But I'm a broth guy and Ginza's broth is way ahead.

It is a great time to live in Ottawa.




2

2014 Aug 27
I had the Shoyu Ramen which has all the same toppings as the Hakata Tonkatsu Ramen (1/2 soft boiled egg, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, seaweed, pork belly amd bean sprouts) and enjoyed it immensely. The difference is the broth. Shoyu comes with a clearish chicken broth. It was very hot and tasty - just a little bit too salty. The noodles had a nice slight chewiness, i.e., they were not overcooked, a big plus. While the noodles seemed to be bought, they are of a much nicer quality than most other ramens I have tried in the Ottawa/Gatineau region (I have not been to Sidedoor yet). My one disappointment is that they seem to have run out of shiitake mushrooms and I got button mushrooms.

I sampled the miso broth and the pork broth from my dining partners' Hakata Tonkatsu and Miso Tonkatsu and found those to be very flavourful and rich. Definitely the best ramen broths in Ottawa.

I almost forgot to comment on the excellent and generous portion of pork belly on any of the ramen bowls. It was slightly charred on the sides. Also definitely the best pork belly on a ramen in Ottawa.

Lots of reasons why this will be my go to place for ramen in Ottawa!




2

2011 Jun 21
I had never eaten ramen before Taste opened, but I've had it twice now by way of the lunch special. All in all, this stuff is delicious. I find it hard to explain, though. The broth is both milky and savoury. The ingredients (see ilikerealfood's review) were a little mysterious to me, but totally yummy.

Service has been consistently good, it's affordable, and one of my favourite parts of ordering the ramen has to be the utensil they give you. You get to eat with a mini ladle. Fun!

2011 Mar 5
So Thrilled that they have Takoyaki! Thanks for the review.

2011 Feb 8
So I see from the previous posts that you folks are sad to see Ichibei go. Unfortunately I have not ever eaten at Ichibei, so I cannot say how ‘great’ it used to be. That being said, “Taste Ramen+Fusion” is near my work so I thought I would check it out today. I have never had ramen so I decided I better try it. The menu at ‘Taste’ includes noodle dishes (primarily ramen), “speciality noodles” (which are things like pad thai), rice dishes (teriyaki bento box type dishes) and fusion dishes (some mix of the above). Having eaten thai food, and teriyaki and the like many times, it was my duty to try Ramen. And you guessed it, Mr. Noodles apparently does not count as ramen.

As I walked in to the restaurant, I was very promptly greeted. I opted for take out since I was alone. I ordered the house ramen lunch special which was composed of BBQ pork, egg, corn, seaweed, kamoboko (sp? – which is something new to me, it is essentially a imitation crab processed product – it is the pink spiral thing) and a deliciously ummami broth – not sure if it is beef or fish based. I think it was beef based because the only fishiness came from the seaweed and the kamoboko. The soup came with a spring roll and dipping sauce.

It took about 10 minutes for them to fix my order and it came to about 12 dollars after tax. Was it any good you ask? I’m not sure. Having nothing but Mr. Noodles to compare it to, it is hard to judge. Here are my thoughts: the broth was delicious, nice and salty, pleasantly ummami and it tasted a very little bit like miso soup – but it certainly was very different from the Miso one would get at say, Genji. The noodles were very different from Mr. Noodles type noodles. If you want to eat ramen, make sure you are hungry, because they give you enough food to last you for a whole day. So for me the noodles were, Meh.. too much. But that is Ramen. The noodles were actually quite tasteless.

The BBQ pork was great. It was very tender and tasty. It had your classic Chinese restaurant pork taste (I’m from Toronto so my Chinese food references always relate to the amazing, foodie heaven, buffet chain, ‘The Mandarin’– which IMO puts any buffet, Chinese or otherwise in Ottawa to shame.). The real winner for me was the egg. It was rather brown and unbelievably tasty. Don’t know how to describe it. It was a boiled egg that had a nice meaty and sweet taste. Amazing! I wish they had included a few of these. The kamoboko spiral was underwhelming. Almost tasteless, albeit slightly fishy. Meh, adds to the presentation.

2011 Feb 8
The spring roll was ok. It was not very ‘fresh’ tasting. By this I mean that it was not filled with fresh sprouts and carrots and such. I think it was pork. The sauce was not your standard thai dipping sauce, but store bought plum sauce. Meh.

The verdict? I’m not sure. I know I won’t be running back to have restaurant ramen any time soon. Was it tasty and edible, yes. But I’m not too big on noodles (especially if it is not doused in an awesome sauce). I much prefer virmichelli. I think “Taste Fusion+Ramen” is a nice little restaurant, and I would very easily try some of their thai, rice or fusion dishes but ramen is not for me. The real winner was the egg. I have no idea what they did to the egg, but it was hella tasty. I have decided that if Egg salad was made with such eggs, it would be heaven on earth.

I will remain indifferent to my experience. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t amazing either. And plus, they give you way too many tasteless noodles. I’d much rather have Pho, as I find the taste to be much more complex. Then again, this could have been crappy Ramen, so please, Ramen literate foodies, please try this place and let me know if it is “good ramen’. If it is, than I’ll skip restaurant style Ramen in the future and opt for other delicious asian foods.

Overall, it was a fun experiment…try it for yourselves.





2016 Feb 16
Went back for the first time since their opening week, and happy to report they've improved their tonkotsu ramen since then. They've upped the amount of broth, which is rich and toasty. Toppings were good.. the garlic oil is a good match for the bowl, and the two variations of pork (shoulder, belly) were excellent.

You can see in the top corner the pint of Nickel Brook Naughty Neighbour american pale ale that I ordered-- as excited as I was to get it on tap, it wasn't a very good match for this.. will stick with a bottle of Asahi for next time.


2015 Nov 21
Tonkotsu Ramen was tasty, however, the slightly bland broth benefited from chilis we had leftover from another dish. The noodles and pork were also well prepared but this was our least enjoyable dish and for $16 its not something I would order again.

Also tried the shrimp dumplings which were very good but no better than I've had in Chinatown.

Overall the portion sizes were surprisingly generous for the price point and what I expected but the service was less than good and in the end it just felt like el Camino that served Asian bites and that had been decorated by Ikea.









3

2007 Oct 5
I treasure the ramen at Totoya, too. Now, let me qualify that it's not the best I've ever had, and it's wayyy too expensive at $12, but like you said, Duckfat, there's only one ramen source in Otown and we gotta keep it in business! It's too bad ramen's so rare here, because it's one of my fav Japanese dishes. This summer I gorged on it while on vacation in Calgary and Vancouver. There's ramen at restaurants all over the place in these cities for under $10. Those lucky westerners!

2007 Feb 24
Here is the Totoya Ramen, which I finally got around to trying while spending a fun father-and-son half-day in the Market with my two year old. I quite enjoyed the soup except that the broth seemed kind of boring -- basically simple dashi with a heavy dose of soy sauce. To spice things up, they offered a shaker of pre-ground pepper rather than the chili-sesame-orange sprinkle that has accompanied udon/soba soups at other Japanese restaurants. I don't know if this is a universal difference between ramen and udon/soba or if the shaker of black pepper is unique to this restaurant. I do make a tastier broth for breakfast at work using chicken bouillon powder, tom yum paste, sesame chili oil, dried chives, and fried onions, but then I don't call it ramen. ;-)

As for the other ingredients, the noodles were excellent and I especially liked the pink slivers of pickled ginger. The homemade BBQ pork wasn't my thing -- in fact, when I first bit into it my impression was of a tough slice of overcooked salmon.

2006 Nov 19
Is there another place in Ottawa where you can get authentic ramen? If so, I haven't found it. The sushi I've had at Totoya has been just okay, but the ramen is fantastic: chewy fresh noodles topped with homemade BBQ pork, hard-boiled egg, seaweed, bamboo shoots, spinach and pickled ginger, in a super-tasty soy-based broth. I've eaten ramen at noodle counters in Tokyo, and this stuff would hold its own. It is, unfortunately, not cheap--about $12 for a big filling bowl--and available only at lunch time. But it's worth it. I'm also a bit worried that this place might not stay in business for long--it's often empty or near empty when I've gone. I would hate to lose my ramen source, so I encourage everyone to go slurp a bowl!





2014 Apr 17
As mentioned in the other reviews, the restaurant is nicely decorated and has a nice menu. Having been to a real Izakaya, this is not really an Izakaya. It is a Japanese restaurant with a large selection of appetizers and mains, many are seafood bites and sushi rolls.

I was here for lunch and they do have lunch specials that are similar to regular Japanese restaurants'. I ordered the braised pork belly ramen. It was ok. It could have used more flavour. It was a little bland. The noodles were nice. The pork belly was fresh but also could have used a little more taste. The ramen were also accompanied by sliced shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choi and asparagus.

I would go back and try something sushi like when I am not pregnant.





2014 Mar 21
Festival recently added ramen to its menu and I am happy they did that! It comes in a nice tonkatsu broth (pork bone) with chewy and springy noodles, a slice of pork (chashu) and a large sheet of seaweed.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Rich flavours and many steps up from a more plain udon noodle with clear broth. The pork was just ok - a bit tough - and that would be my only complaint which would not stop me from ordering it again as it could have just been a one time thing. It is also $11.95, a great lunch option!





2014 Apr 12
I was hoping that the ramen here would be good but it's strictly average. I ordered the BBQ pork ramen.

The BBQ pork is truly the best part of the ramen. It's very fatty and flavourful. I savoured each bite of the pork. Unfortunately, the pork's flavour doesn't carry over to the bland broth. I had to add a lot of chili oil to add flavour to the broth. As for the shitake mushrooms, bok choy and poached egg, I didn't feel that they added anything to the ramen. In fact, I was very disappointed with the egg as it wasn't the soft boiled egg that is typically served with ramen. As for the noodles, it was nice that it was made in-house but nothing truly special jumped out about them.

A good ramen should have a good balance between the broth, noodles, and toppings. In this bowl, only the BBQ pork stood out. I might be back for the beef ramen but it'll be last on the list and only because not that many places in Ottawa currently serve ramen.

2014 Feb 26
I've been wanting to try the lunchtime ramen at Sidedoor for a long time, so a day off work to skate on the Rideau Canal with wifey was a perfect opportunity!

We enjoyed it but I think our expectations were maybe too high. This broth is not flavourful the way Hủ Tiếu is (nor does it claim to be--the comparison is mine only).

The fresh housemade noodles are delightfully toothsome and I fully endorse supporting restaurants that make this extra effort!

The rare beef with chili (left pic) was lean and enjoyable, especially after adding more chili oil from the ceramic jar conveniently placed on each table. The BBQ pork (right pic) was the star for me, with its crisp-fatty sticks of deliciousness, yet it was too rich for my wife's taste.

The poached egg was verry soft, meaning the yolk ran out and mixed homogeneously with the broth after poking it. This emphasized the broth's blandness and made us a little bit sad. Apparently (www.meemalee.com), ramen eggs are optimally soft-boiled and then marinated in soy sauce, leaving their yolks moist and jelly-like, definitely not runny.

Generous thin-sliced bok choy, green onions, and shiitake completed the bowl. The veggie content and presentation was excellent.

Definitely worth a lunch visit if you're a soup enthusiast. Just keep your broth expectations in check and focus on the meat and veg.

2013 Apr 30
Aisu: I wasn't saying that the instant stuff is any better or worse. It seems to be the go-to for broth even though a home-made one (dashi/chicken/pork) would be just as easy for some of these places.

2013 Apr 29
HonestTooth: There is nothing wrong with instant dashi, I use at home all the time.
But for the professional cooking, it is good to understand what is dashi. Dashi means stock. Use bonito flakes (katsuo bushi)or dried infant sardines (niboshi)...it all depends on what you cook. Dashi can be vegan (shojin) too, mede from Kombu kelp,shitake for example.

Sidedoor's ramen has good potential, but it was too salty. BBQ pork was good.
I personally love ramen soup made from torigara (chicken) stock and dried scallops. Lots umami comes out from dried scallops!!!

2013 Apr 28
Aisu: I find a lot of the finer places like Domus, Sidedoor, and the like all seem to use the (powdered?) dashi for broth in any Asian noodle dish. Interesting considering they have no problem making there own chicken/pork/beef/fish stocks and broths for everything else.

2013 Apr 19
I have never tried ramen in Ottawa, so I decided to try BBQ pork ramen at Sidedoor.

I asked what kind of soup stock they use. Chicken(torigara) or Pork(tonkotsu) stock are the most common for ramen, Sidedoor use dashi for their ramen.

Ramen looked nice. Looked like ramen, but didn't taste like ramen I had before.

Lots BBQ pork in ramen and they were tasty.

Noodle was okay, I prefer slightly chewy noodle for ramen.

Soup was way too salty.
Too much soy sauce.
I couldn't taste anything but salty soy sauce in the soup. No flavour, body or umami in the soup. It was just too salty.






Aug 12
The Spicy Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen ($11.95) was pretty good! With a rich and porky gravy, toothsome noodles, nicely charred pork belly, tasty mushrooms, and a well made egg, it exceeded my expectations. The spice level was noticeable but not extreme in any sense. Accompanying the ramen bowl are two tasty gyozas. A tasty lunch option indeed!

Ordering is done by filling out an order sheet, paying at the counter, and then receiving an order number on a bunny-themed stick. The food is then brought out to your table (identified by bunny-stick-mounted order number) on a tray. After eating, you take your tray to the self disposal station and distribute its components amongst the most appropriate receptacles.