bread butter champagne

8.18.2011

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen) at Tokyo Grill, Toronto

Our Order
- Fried Tofu appetizer
- Hiyashi Chuka Cold Ramen
- Katsu Donburi

Pre-Thoughts
Recently I was given a chance to read a Japanese manga related to food compliments of The Food Network. The manga series is titled 'Oishinobo' written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Akira Hanasaki. This particular book focuses on the topic of ramen and gyoza (Japanese word for dumplings) and stresses the importance of using pure, locally-grown, organic meat and produce. 

 In the book, there is a section dedicated to Hiyashi Chuka. Hiyashi Chuka is a cold ramen with a sweet soy-sauce based sauce. Vegetables, ham and picked radishes are finely chopped and carefully placed on top of chewy, perfectly al dente, cold noodles. The sauce is poured on top and it is usually served with a dollop of mustard.

Since it is to be served cold, throughout reading about Hiyashi Chuka, I was craving it more and more in the +37C weather of Toronto.

I remembered back a few years when I had the perfect Hiyashi Chuka at Tokyo Grill (582 Yonge St, 416-968-7054) and decided to go back for my fix!

Service
Hospitable Japanese service. Always impeccable and personal. So friendly :)

Ambience/Interior
Tokyo Grill isn't easy to find, the sign is really small and the place is quite narrow too. The decor is outdated and there are christmas lights hanging on the walls in August. But once thing this place has is authentic Japanese food, owned and operated by Japanese. The food is more home-style comfort food, nothing fancy and definitely not a place to impress someone.

Yums?

Tofu Appetizer
The tofu appetizer was great. The tofu was deep fried and piping hot, sprinkled with diced shallots and some bonito flakes and a soysauce based sauce poured on the bottom. I liked how they didn't pour it on top to keep the tofu outside crunch and not soggy. The tofu tasted fresh and it was nice for it to be so warm.

Hiyashi Chuka (Summer Only)
When your Hiyashi Chuka arrives it will look like this. All you do is mix it up with your chopstick so that the sauce, the noodles and the vegetables mix into a homogeneous yummy mixture. I then add a bit of mustard into a portion of my noodle that I wish to kick up a notch and enjoy :D

The noodles were perfectly chewy and cold. The vegetables were fresh and finely diced. I was so content! I could feel my body temperature cooled down and by the time I found myself outside once again under the sun I felt a lot more comfortable in the blazing humid heat.


Katsu Donburi
Marshy said this was pretty good. The katsu meat was tender and well seasoned. He particularly enjoyed the plentiful vegetables on top. He said he wished he had a little bit more sauce or something to cover the rice near the bottom though. 

Conclusion
A nice place to pop in if you're in the area, short on time and feel like having non-fussy wholesome food. Or if you feel like having Hiyashi Chuka in the summer as not a lot of places have this dish. Not good if you're trying to impress or if someone in your group wants 'mainstream Japanese food' like sushi and sashimi. Also not good if you're really really hungry or have a big appetite.


Tokyo Grill on Urbanspoon

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On a different note, I came home to find Maru holding up his eye. I think he must've poked it with something. He looks pretty sad. But also kind of cute he seems to be winking. Awww. I hope he gets better soon or its time for another trip to the vet!

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