Monday 7 October 2013

Raijin Ramen :: Happy Hour with Marc

Raijin Ramen is located in the heart of Downtown Toronto a little south of Dundas Square and beside Ryerson University.

If you happen to be going to Raijin between Monday - Friday from 2pm - 5pm there's a Happy Hour Combo where for an extra $0.50 you can get a side or a can of pop (or $1 for both). You will get a choice of a of gyoza or kara-age! However, you cannot use the student discount (student card = 10% off) in conjunction with this offer - but the student discount at Raijin will unfortunately be phased out by the end of October.

Side Order of Gyoza

Tonkotsu Shio Ramen (Regular Size)
salt flavoured ramen topped with pork shoulder, green onion, canola flower, Kikurage mushroom (black fungus), cabbage, 1/2 a seasoned soft-boiled egg, and house-made Mayu black garlic oil

Raijin Ramen is a decent size and price - however considering the slew of ramen houses popping up around the city, Raijin does not offer anything spectacular (food, ambience, price, or service wise) to set itself a part. If anything - the student discount - which they are phasing out is a disappointment as it is located in a student concentrated area. Phasing the student discount will fail to keep Raijin as the choice between other local ramen houses. In my experience, students who have time to kill, enjoy eating with their friends, and bonding over great food - are willing to wait in line for a better dish at the same price (ie: Guu over Don Don Izakaya). 

In my opinion, the ramen noodles are a little thick and the soup base is not as flavourful as Sansotei or Santouka (basing off the Tonkotsu Ramen). Additionally, my favourite part of ramen - the Japanese-style soft boiled egg - the yolk was disappointedly not as soft or liquidy (though I should not complain as I can't make the eggs myself - but it is expected at a restaurant that such simple features of the ramen should be carried out technically and with finesse). Additionally, for the same price, Sansotei offers the full soft boiled egg - not just half. Nonetheless, the ramen was average - not inedible - but there is definitely room for improvement. 

It should also be noted, that this is my second visit, although my opinion from my previous visit has yet to change. If anything, this visit solidified that I prefer Sansotei much more than Raijin. It is clear that Sansotei and Santouka are the two frontrunners in the Torontonian ramen scene in my eyes, but I have yet to decide if I prefer Raijin or Kinton (I've tried the Cheese Ramen at Kinton, which I did not care for). Based on my friends' and online reviews, majority prefer Kinton (I have yet to find someone to name Raijin as their favourite ramen house). Based on such reviews and the fact that it is never consistently busy, although it is a decent ramen house, Raijin needs to make some changes to survive. The only thing Raijin has in its favour is that its a very sure bet that you won't have to wait in line.

Raijin Ramen
3 Gerrard St E
Toronto, ON M5B 2P3
Ramen Raijin on Urbanspoon

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