Friday, November 4, 2011

Kenzo Japanese Noodles House (The Annex)

Toronto has a lack of ramen places. This is not a secret and everybody knows this. I don't really know the reason(s) behind it as Toronto is such a big city.  It's kinda like how izakaya only caught on big in Toronto with the opening of Guu Izakaya a year and a half ago when really, izakaya has been around for a long time.

Besides Kenzo and Ajisen being the two more well known ramen places in downtown Toronto, are there anymore? Please let me know because I do not like Ajisen at all (and I'm glad I can resort to Kenzo now). I haven't been to the Ajisen's chinatown location but I have zero desire to as I was not impressed with both their Markham and North York locations.

I went to Kenzo this past Tuesday with 8 other people. It was a late night and we were all starving!

"Kirin Good Fortune Cat" behind me.

Matcha Smoothie - Mack (@MackChiu) loves matcha so he wanted to try this. He said it wasn't much of a smoothie as it wasn't "smooth" at all - the ice wasn't blended enough.

Between the 9 of us we were given two tiny bowls of these wasabi beans to share. Not complaining since it is free. Okay maybe 1-2 extra bowls would be nice =P

Gyoza - Japanese pan fried dumplings ($8.95)

Everybody loved these gyozas. I usually don't expect much when I order gyozas at restaurants but these were genuinely very delicious. It had a lot of both vegetables and meat. They were also nicely pan-fried and not oily.

Takoyaki - Japanese pan fried octopus balls ($8.95)

I would not order this again - there was hardly any octopus in them! Not worth $8.95 at all just for that reason.

Tonkotsu Mi-So Ramen ($9.95) - Patricia (@luxual) and her hubby, Leon, had this. They ordered extra pork on the side (good move on their part as there were only 3 pieces of pork in the ramen bowl). By the way, this is what Patricia had to say about our night at Kenzo:

"Both me and Leon had the tonkotsu mi-so ramen with extra meat on side, which is a must.  We felt that for Toronto ramen it was not bad. The soup base was not at all salty and even though we like our soup fatty, we would settle for tonkotsu any cold day. We thought the takoyaki was average, but the gyoza's were very nice and filling and would definitely recommend ordering as an appetizer. Kampai with Sapporo!"

The King of The Kings Ramen - Hot Netsu Ramen with Five Toppings ($11.95) - With three levels of spiciness, 1 being least spicy and 3 being the most spicy, I chose 3. I thought it was the perfect dose of spiciness for me without being too overpowering. Mack and I ordered the same thing and we both really liked the flavours of the broth. The ramen was also cooked perfectly. We don't remember exactly what the five toppings were but for sure there was pork, bean sprouts, egg, and seaweed . Our only complaint was that the meat to noodles ratio here was all wrong; there was very little meat and way too much noodles (so much noodles that even I couldn't finish it).

I like Kenzo and I am looking forward to going back and trying their other ramen. I would definitely order the gyoza again and possibly get extra meat on the side to balance out all the noodles O_o There's no question that Kenzo trumps Ajisen in my books

Kenzo Japanese Noodle House on Urbanspoon