My previous Sansotei attempt left me rather unsatisfied – not because I had a bad experience but because I left ramen-less. My advice: get here early!
During my first attempt on a Friday night, we found ourselves in an enormous line and decided to eat elsewhere (we ended up at Guu and ended up waiting 2+ hours, in case you were wondering…).
I came back with Mike on a Wednesday evening and only waited around half an hour. Yes, it was still half an hour but after waiting well over an hour at Kinton Ramen, this seemed like nothing.
The restaurant is on the small side and I found it strange that all their tables are 6-tops. Nothing too strange about this on its own, but they only seat 4 people at each of the tables. Sure, it’s more comfortable for the customers but they could turn a lot more tables if all the seats were filled!
The menu at Sansotei is very small (and not very descriptive, I might add). But sometimes small menus are the best for indecisive folks like myself. They have 5 different ramen variations – tonkotsu, tonkotsu shoyu, miso, shio and chilled which all range between $8.25 and $9.50.
We “started” with the Gyoza ($4.50). I say “started” because they didn’t arrive until we were halfway through our bowls of ramen. The order came with 4 gyozas and while they weren’t bad, I probably wouldn’t order these again. In the gyoza department, Kinton’s got the edge.
I decided to go with Sansotei’s popular Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.25) which comes in a pork bone broth. The broth has a cloudy and milky colour to it and has a light creamy consistency. I didn’t find it too oily or fatty which is always a big plus. Overall, this broth knocked it out of the park – absolutely incredible!
The ramen was topped with a small pile of green onions, black fungus, several pieces of delicious pork belly and a perfectly cooked gooey egg. The fatty pork belly (chasu) had a good meat to fat ratio and had a slight char to it. We actually ordered an extra portion of it for an extra $2.
Despite all the great things about this bowl of ramen, there is one significant downfall: the noodles. Unfortunately the noodles were way too soft and mushy for my liking. While I’d like to attribute it to being an off day, I’ve heard the same comment from many others.
Mike went with the Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen ($8.90). Shoyu translates to soy sauce and while it had the same base as the tonkotsu broth I ordered, it’s a little saltier from the soy sauce. Given that the tonkotsu broth was salty enough on its own, I preferred the regular tonkotsu but Mike preferred his choice. To each their own!
So, what’s the verdict? While I enjoyed the noodles at Kinton better, I have to give the overall edge to Sansotei as their broth was amazing! If you ever drop by, don’t miss out on their tonkotsu ramen!
At a glance:
• Expect to wait (waited 30 mins for a table for 2 on a weekday)
• Known for their incredible tonkotsu (pork bone) broth
• Loved the broth but the noodles were too soft for my liking
• Small menu with the bowls of ramen ranging from $8.25 to $9.50
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars