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I feel like I say this every time I write a new ramen post but I’ll say it again, the ramen craze in Toronto has yet to die down!

Touhenboku Ramen

One of the newest additions to the ramen scene is Touhenboku Ramen (@TouhenbokuRamen), which opened in November. This ramen joint is conveniently located on the busy Queen street strip, a block west of University Ave.

The interior

I dropped by after work on a Thursday around 6pm for an early dinner and was immediately seated – no lines! While the restaurant certainly filled up during our meal, there were never any crazy lines which was a refreshing change.

Touhenboku Ramen

The menu here is short and sweet – four types of ramen: the original, red (spicy), black (garlicky) and light & clear chicken broth. They also serve several appetizers, donburi rice bowls and desserts. If you drop by for lunch, they offer ramen combos that include a donburi, karaage or korokke for $14.

The Menu

We started off the meal with an order of Gyoza ($4.50). It came with five pork dumplings accompanied with some dipping sauce. We wolfed them down pretty quickly since we were starving but we didn’t find them particularly memorable. They had a nice skin and were well fried but I felt they were pretty standard.


I decided to go with the Black Ramen – aka the garlicky Touhenboku ramen ($10.50) which is basically their original Touhenboku ramen (a rich, creamy chicken broth) with Ma-Yu garlic oil. Their ramen bowls come with seaweed, half a boiled egg, kikurage mushrooms, green onions and your choice of pork shoulder, pork belly or chicken. I went with the pork belly which came with two large tender pieces.

The Black Ramen

All the broths here are made entirely of chicken and according to their website “The rich creamy broth is made entirely of chicken – and this long, slow process draws out the collagen to create a mizutaki broth that is considerably lighter and with less fat than the regular tonkotsu (pork bone) broth.”

The broth was certainly rich and creamy as advertised but it was a little too rich for my liking. I was a little surprised since I would’ve expected a chicken-based broth to be much lighter than the usual pork-based broths. The richness of the broth made it incredibly filling and I had to call it quits before finishing my entire bowl. Richness aside, the broth had a nice garlic taste to it which wasn’t quite as in-your-face as Kinton’s garlic ramen which comes topped with a heaping pile of minced garlic.

The Black Ramen

In addition to the broth and meat, you have a choice of either thick or thin noodles which are made from their own flour blend. I chose the thick noodles while Mike went with the thin ones. They were both quite doughy and while they weren’t bad, I would’ve preferred them a little chewier.

Mike went with the Red Ramen – aka the spicy Touhenboku ramen ($10.50). Similar to my black ramen, it used the same original Touhenboku ramen broth base and was served with the same toppings.

The Red Ramen

The redness of the broth (and the name of the ramen bowl) was quite deceiving as we didn’t find it very spicy at all. It definitely needed more of a kick!

The Red Ramen

Overall, I felt Touhenboku Ramen was okay. I didn’t love it or hate it. Had they opened before the likes of Sansotei, Santouka and Raijin then maybe my opinion would be different. But we’re so spoiled in Toronto with all these great ramen joints and unfortunately Touhenboku Ramen just didn’t do it for me.

At a glance:
• Short menu with four types of ramen: original, red (spicy), black (garlicky) and light & clear chicken broth
• Their broths are made entirely of chicken (they’re quite rich and heavy despite being made from chicken instead of the usual pork)
• Offer ramen combos at lunch which include donburi, karaage or korokke for $14
• Opened in November 2013
• Located on Queen St., a block west of University

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 2 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars

Touhenboku Ramen on Urbanspoon

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