Walking around Toronto on a sun drenched crisp October Saturday, I found myself assaulted by a few hunger pangs. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle, though I was aware I had a good 30 minutes (at most) to find a place to grab something to eat. Having spent the last three hours uncovering amazing exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Mr. Intolerant and I were in between the neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Kensington, Baldwin Village and the University of Toronto campus. Though these neighbourhoods have no shortage of restaurants, it had been quite awhile since I’d dined in my former stomping grounds and I had no idea in which direction to walk in order to secure a hearty meal that would carry us through until dinnertime.
Mr. Intolerant suggested heading North and I agreed, and within minutes we were ambling down a small side street in Baldwin Village that was hemmed in with majestic maple trees turning all shades of crimson, clementine, amber and gold. The street was was also lined with countless restaurants, cafés and quaint little pubs. Places that screamed cozy and smelled of gratification and plenty.
How’s that for intuitive wandering?
We considered the options – and there were many to mull over – but decided on noshing noodles for lunch. I mean, what better time to down a bowl of spicy noodles than a chilled October day? Besides Ryus Noodle Bar had already caught our eye and there was no turning back.
Met at the door by a spunky and happy server, we were led to a table at the back of the restaurant. After getting settled and taking in the decor of the tidy and contemporary restaurant, we perused over the menu and tried to whittle down our choices. Triple broth soup or spicy miso? Vegetable shoyu or roast beef ramen? There was also gyoza, tofu and cha-shu to consider and if you found you didn’t like Ryus’ combinations, they allowed you to break down the menu and put together a soup of your own.
Mr. Intolerant was all over the spicy miso ramen while I decided to take on the “make your own bowl” endeavour and ordered mabo-tofu don with rice, seaweed and wakame for good measure. We waited a short 10 minutes before steaming bowls were brought out along with a side of gyoza. The smell of the food alone was enough smack down my hunger and put it in its place, and I wasted no time snapping apart my chopsticks and digging in to my bowl.
Unfettered glee etched all over my face.
Like other places we’ve been to when on a city break, we were in and out of Ryus rather quickly if only because there was so much more to see in Toronto. That said, Ryus was the perfect stopover due to its great location, no-frills approach to simple and savoury Japanese food and the fact that you can get a whole meal – and then some – for $15 or less.
Hunger appeased we paid our $35 bill and left hand in hand, heading northbound still. Along the way we felt the pleasurable push of our gently swollen stomachs as they rubbed against the rough wool of our thickly woven sweaters.
How’s that for a serious love of ramen?
Ryus Noodle Bar
33 Baldwin St,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tel: +1 (647) 344-3306
Tuesday – Sunday from 11:00 – 23:00