SANSOTEI RAMEN 179 Dundas W, at Chestnut, 647-748-3833, sansotei.com. Rating: NNN
Who'd have predicted that the stretch of Dundas between Bay and University - aka downtown's original Chinatown - would become a hotbed of Japanese and Korean noodle houses? This month-old import is a lot less frenzied than most, though the kitchen still manages to get customers in and out in less than 45 minutes. Friendly if robotic service, trendy K-pop on the sound system. Best: to start, sweet, garlicky seaweed salad in smoky sesame dressing; densely packed and grilled gyoza stuffed with minced pork and Chinese chive; large bowls of toothsome house-made ramen in milky tonkotsu broth dressed with roasted pork chashu, rubbery ear fungus, slivered scallion and soft-poached egg; to drink, hard-to-open-unless-you-know-the-secret Ramune soda pop; to finish, mochi ice cream.
Complete meals for $25 per person, including tax tip and a Sapporo beer. Average main $10.
Open Monday to Saturday 11 am to 10 pm. Closed Sunday. holidays. No reservations. Licensed. Access: short step at door, washrooms in basement.