The little piece of Okinawa in the heart of Little Italy
Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya is a noodle restaurant and pub merged into one. It comes to us straight from Okinawa, the Japanese tropical paradise.
Ryoji is the first and only Okinawa-style restaurant in Toronto, delivering a unique taste of the tropical island paradise on the opposite side of the globe. As part of Ryoji Inc., a popular izakaya restaurant chain with nearly a dozen locations in Okinawa, they bring an authentic taste loved by the locals.
In Japan, they say that you can tell the quality of a ramen restaurant by how good their shio(salt) ramen is. If that’s true, Ryoji’s ramen must be top-notch since their shio ramen has one of the most mouth-pleasing flavours around. This is due to the Okinawan salt that is used in the broth. The salt is extracted from the Okinawan sea water and is rich in minerals, while its flavour is milder than other salts with a hint of sweetness. The noodles are prepared fresh in-house, giving them a full and crispy texture. While the tonkotsu ramen is usually served with hosomen (thin noodles), the shio ramen is served with futomen (thick noodles) with a choice of firm, regular and soft to fit your preference. It is topped with chashu, leek, kombu, fish cake, yaki-nori and soft-boiled egg, and for a bit more flavour, Ryoji offers pickled garlic that you can squeeze onto the ramen yourself. If you’re looking for a drink to go with it, you can try one of the Japanese beers like the Asahi Black or a grapefruit chuhai, which is shochu mixed with soda and fresh fruit juice. Near the end of every month, Ryoji holds a tabehodai (all-you-can-eat) event called Okinawa Night. It has a lively atmosphere usually with live DJ performances. The next event is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, so head over to Little Italy on that day for a fun and delicious night out.
Considered to be the epitome of Okinawan cuisine, this sweet soy-braised pork belly is a must try. Ryoji’s rafute is a modern version of this traditional dish, served with a marinated soft-boiled egg, lotus purée, pickled vegetables and karashi air, a Japanese mustard whipped until light and airy with fresh cream.
Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya
690 College St., Toronto | TEL. 416-533-8083
Open Hours: Mon-Thurs 5mp-12am | Fri5pm-2am
Sat 11:30am-2am | sun 11:30am-10:30pm