Nakayoshi (Danforth and Donlands)

From this very excited blog post, you know I was hoping that Nakayoshi will be  a ramen neighbourhood gem.  One that I could waggle off to, so that I can warm my cold hands, as I peel off layers and layers of Toronto winter clothing.  Well, no.  I won’t be waggling here anytime soon.  No matter what season.

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The Skinny:  Stuff we loved….

  •  None

The Skinny:  Room for Improvement….

  • The Ramen.  I had the Miso Ramen (miso flavoured with pork slices).  It arrived lukewarm.  Ramen.  Lukewarm. The broth was bland, not nearly rich enough for ramen, let alone for a miso broth.  The 4 tiny pieces pork belly slices were dry, and one of the slices was a tiny end piece.  The half egg was overcooked.  If I can say that I can make better ramen at home, then you didn’t do a good job.  The husband had the Karaage Ramen (soy sauce flavoured with deep fried chicken).  Again, this is mediocre at best, but definitely better than my Miso Ramen.  The broth had a bit of flavour, and the fried chicken was passable.  However, again, I make better ramen at home.

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  • The Ambience.  Although I appreciated the clean lines of the new furniture in this newly opened restaurant, it was too bright, too clinical for my taste.  There are also display cases beside the booth tables with a potpourri of kitschy figure pieces — these were dusty, and some items have their grubby price tags still attached.  Tucked underneath the pieces, except ummmm, the shelves are glass.  Now I will happily eat in grungy restaurants with no decor and no ambiance if the food is lovely (and I have many times), but I think for this place, this just further shows you the lack of care for details, and for pride in their food.
  • The Service.  The chef came out to speak to the tables.  I looked at the husband, and whispered, I hope he doesn’t come here, so that I don’t have to lie about the food.  Well, he didn’t.  He spoke to three tables and by-passed our table and another’s.  (Bad form, chef!) Just the cherry on the already-bad taste in our mouths.

The Verdict:  I will not be going back, and I won’t be recommending this place to friends.

  • We had a couple of decent appetizers, but not good enough to entice me to come back to try their other offerings.  I haven’t had their non-ramen offerings, so I can’t speak for those.  But honestly, there are plenty of great Japanese offerings in the East End — like Aji-Sai across the street, for instance.
  • In the meantime, I will still be waiting with bated breath for the neighbourhood ramen gem.  For now, I’ll still be heading here.

A SECOND VISIT:  Thanks to Emmy (see her comments below), the husband and I did give Nakayoshi another try a few weeks after my first post, and I ordered the Tonkatsu Ramen as per her recommendation.  Although, it was definitely a big improvement to the Miso Ramen that I had tried during my first visit, and actually did arrive hot this time around, it still hasn’t drawn me back since.  It still is, at best, average ramen, for higher than average Toronto ramen prices.  The lacklustre ramen has not enticed me to try their other offerings, so still can’t speak for those, and I’m not planning to go back.  Happy Eating!  Cheers.


8 thoughts on “Nakayoshi (Danforth and Donlands)

  1. thanks so much – I was gonna try it out but I had a bad vibe from it – remember the Pho place before it? Also disappointing…..nice sign though eh?!

    • You’re so welcome! We moved here post-pho place closure, so we never had the chance to try it, but according to neighbours, it wasn’t anything to write home about. And yes, the sign is deceptively nice. I haven’t tried their non-ramen offerings though, so can’t speak for those. So who knows, maybe those are decent.

      By the way, you have a recommendation for a pho place in the East End? Thanks for giving me my first comment from someone in the hood. Cheers!

  2. Can I suggest another try? With every operation there is still that 5% error factor. It sounds like your experience fell into that 5%. I’ve been there several times and feel what you describe as something very different compared to my experience. They have a very extensive appetizer menu that supersedes any of the japanese restaurant on the Danforth. I haven’t had their miso, but the tonkatsu ramen is so similar to the ones I’ve had in Japan during my visit several years ago.

  3. I hope you find it more enjoyable! By the way, I don’t know how far you’re willing to travel, but if you still consider Gerrard and Broadview in the east end, there is a small family owned vietnamese restaurant at Gerrard and Boulton ave called Que Ling. It’s one of my favourites. I’m craving it as I type this…=P

  4. Thanks for reviewing!! I was really curious about it but haven’t seen anyone in there so was hesitant. Curiosity satiated. I also 2nd the suggestion for Que Ling; the Bahn Cuon is so good.

    • Thanks @ilubfood and @Emmy, it sounds like I really need to do myself a favour and visit Que Ling!! Also, @ilubfood, see @Emmy’s comment re: Nakayoshi Izakaya offerings. My review was specifically re: the ramen, so you might enjoy those. Happy eating! I welcome any and all restaurant suggestions. The foodie in me thanks you!

  5. I had a horrible experience there. Soggy ohitashi and soggy tempura, probably from yesterday. The shrimp was inedible, and the vegetables tasted wilted, not cooked.

    The waitress was very nice, but the chef did not apologize, and would no promise that a replacement would be any better.

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