Located on Spadina in the heart of Chinatown, Homemade Ramen makes a delicious bowl of hand-pulled noodles in soup. Despite its name, you won’t find any Japanese ramen here. Instead, they specialize in Lanzhou-style beef noodles.
We dropped by on a Friday evening around 7:30 and every table was occupied. The place seemed especially popular with students which isn’t surprising given the neighborhood and low price points.
Homemade Ramen has an extensive menu which includes a large selection of noodles (pulled and sliced), most of which are around $8-$9. In addition to noodles, they offer snacks like onion pancakes and chicken wings (most of which are under $5), cold dishes like jelly fish salad and preserved eggs and hot entrees including crispy beef and sour chicken. The menu is very reminiscent of the offerings at Magic Noodle.
We started out with an order of Sliced Beef and Ox Tongue in Chili Sauce ($4.99). It was a nice little app to start the meal off with. They pack a lot of flavor into this dish – it’s tangy, spicy and very garlicky (like, taste-it-all-night kinda garlicky).
For my noodle dish, I decided on the Hand-Pulled Ramen with Braised Beef ($7.99). The soup was excellent and the noodles had a nice chew to them. While the beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender, I found it a bit too fatty and didn’t like that they chopped it up into small little bits. I prefer my brisket chunkier.
Instead of another noodle soup dish, we also tried the Sliced Noodles Stir-Fried with Lamb ($9.49). We chose lamb but there’s also a beef, chicken or veggie option. I can sum up my feelings about this dish into one word: disappointing. The noodles were overcooked (incredibly soft without much of a chew) and the entire dish was terribly bland. I’d recommend sticking with their noodle soups.
While the sliced stir-fried noodles were a big miss, our sliced beef appetizer and hand-pulled noodles in soup were good enough to warrant another visit. Great for those looking for a quick and cheap meal!
At a glance:
- Despite the name, they don’t offer Japanese ramen; they specialize in Lanzhou–style noodles
- Located on Spadina, in the heart of Chinatown
- Tightly packed tables; quick turnover
- Cheap and affordable
- Large selection of noodles most of which are under $10; snacks and cold dishes are under $5
- Highlights: sliced beef and ox tongue in chili sauce, hand-pulled ramen with braised beef
Ratings (out of 5):
- Food: 3 stars
- Service: 2 stars
- Atmosphere: 2 stars