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.
The Skinny: Stuff we loved….
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.
- 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.