Midori Ramen (Toronto)

As I’ve lived my life, grown in wisdom – fine, just gotten older – intensely salty and rich dishes have lost their appeal. Hence, I found my love for ramen waning, as the broth seems too overwhelming for my taste buds and digestive system.

Midori Ramen’s signature tori paitan ramen ($17.49) seemingly was developed for me… the broth wasn’t overly salty, yet it was still creamy and hearty enough to satisfy. It didn’t leave me with an overwhelming need to drink tons of water after the meal and given was less oily, my stomach didn’t have an adverse reaction either. I can see how some diners find their broth bland as it’s not as powerful as some competitors, but I found it was flavourful enough without being too much.

If you’re in the mood for a punch of flavour, their spicy ramen ($15.49) could work. I liked that they offer a scale of spiciness as we found the “mild” already had a sufficient kick.

The noodles were cooked perfectly, the thick version springy enough with bite. I just wasn’t overly fond of the ingredients included in the signature ramen: the red onions were too raw and needed ample time in the broth before the stingy acid subsided; the finely shredded aosa sea lettuce was lost in the soup not adding any flavour or texture; and the fried bogo (burdock root) was too hard and made me feel like I was eating hay. Moo….

I would have liked the two pieces of cha shu (pork and chicken) to be hotter. At Midori, they don’t seem to blowtorch the meat before it’s presented so they are also pale and pasty. Their onsen egg was just bordering on becoming overcooked, the edges solidifying against the molten texture, yet still ice cold in the centre, despite sitting in the broth.

If anything, the chicken karaage ($6.99) was probably the best part of the meal and I would have happily had it with a bowl of plain ramen with scallions. Left in three palm-sized pieces, the larger cuts meant the chicken was juicy. The breading also included an ideal amount of spices for flavour.

Maybe my experience will encourage ramen restaurants to offer a “build your own bowl” menu item. Because as much as I enjoyed Midori’s noodles and broth, the ingredients included in a bowl of ramen is still an integral part of the meal. And unfortunately, these all fell flat.

Overall mark - 6 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3700 Midland Avenue

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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