KENZO RAMEN 138 Dundas W, at Elizabeth, 416-205-1155, kenzoramen.ca. Rating: NNNN
Since relaunching downtown three years ago, Daniel and Jane Park’s cozy 30-seat Japanese noodle house has grown into a mini-chain of four restaurants. The reason? Some of the tastiest soups this side of Hokkaido and Sapporo. Crazy lineups at lunch, friendly if mute service. Also: 522 Yonge, at Maitland, 647-340-2112 372 Bloor W, at Walmer, 416-921-6787 4860 Yonge, at Elmhurst, 647-345-1871. Best: top-of-the-line King Of The Kings ramen with house-pulled family-recipe noodles in spicy shoyu broth finished with sliced chashu pork, slivered scallion, runny soft-boiled egg, chewy seaweed and kamaboko fish cake, the Spam of Japan creamy Tonkotsu ramen’s broth tasting of liquefied pork chops minced pork gyoza, more soup dumpling than potsticker for the hardcore, takoyaki dumplings stuffed with unusually tender octopus.
Complete dinners for $20 per person (lunches $15), including tax, tip and tea. Average main $10.
Open daily 11 am to 10 pm. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor (Dundas).