The true taste of Okinawa

Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya is the only place in Toronto that serves authentic Okinawan cuisine. And the menu’s crown jewel is the Okinawa So-Ki Soba.


No trip to the tropical islands of Okinawa is complete without a taste of Okinawa soba, the ultimate local comfort food. But the name can be misleading, as Okinawa soba is different from mainland soba in almost every way. While mainland soba is thin and made with buckwheat, Okinawa soba is thick and made with flour. It’s also served with a broth that’s closer to what you might expect to eat with ramen. It is a taste that’s uniquely Okinawan and is definitely worth a try.

The good news is that Ryoji, a franchise originat- ing from Okinawa, has brought a truly authentic version of Okinawa soba to Toronto. Their So-Ki Soba is a popular type of Okinawa soba topped with stewed pork spare ribs. The light bonito-and pork-flavoured broth goes perfectly with the dish, from the super-soft meat of the pork ribs to the chewy, curly-shaped Okinawa soba noodles. It’s also topped off with red pickled ginger (beni-shoga), which adds a zip to your meal.

Kōrēgusu Add a few drops of this chili-infused vodka for a change of flavour.

Kōrēgusu: Add a few drops of this chili-infused vodka for a change of flavour.

For people who want a taste that packs even more punch, the So-Ki Soba is served with a side of kōrēgusu, which is vodka (awamori) infused with chili peppers (shima-tougarashi). Just a few drops will add a refreshingly spicy flavour that changes the soup completely. Experimental eaters may want to eat half of their soba without any alterations, then add the kōrēgusu for the second half to enjoy two different tastes in one dish. The taste of kōrēgusu is also a unique feature of Okinawan cuisine, so give it a go to get the full Okinawa experience!

This season, Ryoji is introducing a special summer menu featuring Tsuke Soba and Goma Cold Noodle. Tsuke Soba is a dish where soba noodles and soup broth are served separately, letting you dip your noodles into the soup one chopstickful at a time. For a cooler alternative, Goma Cold Noodle features Okinawa soba noodles in a bold sesame sauce, served with lime and chili peppers. With the addition of these two refreshing summer dishes to Ryoji’s already impressive menu, the only trouble is deciding what to eat!

Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya
690 College St., Toronto | TEL. 416-533-8083
Open Hours: Mon-Thurs 5pm-12am | Fri 5pm-2am
Sat 11:30am-2am | sun 11:30am-10:30pm