Three bowls in three hours: let the Ramen Rumpus commence.
After a year spent slurping through bowl after bowl of Toronto ramen, JETAA Toronto hosted the Ramen Rumpus on an appropriately frigid day in January. A group of 30 hungry ramen lovers—some who came from as far as Ottawa—split into teams and sampled soup from three different restaurants over three hours.
Their goal? To crown Toronto’s best ramen. The result? The realization that every bowl is different. Ramen Rumpus was the culmination of months of taste-testing by a dedicated group of JETAA members who call themselves Ramen Romp. Think of them like a secret society dedicated to tonkotsu, complete with their own mascot: Ram-chan. Members would tuck into a new bowl of ramen from a different restaurant every month, then rate the ramen by awarding it between one and five Ram-chans.
The three restaurants featured in Ramen Rumpus were picked by tallying a year of Ramen Romp reviews. In the end, Ramen Raijin, Sansotei and Santouka came out on top. While the plan was to have three small, sample-sized bowls, all three restaurants proved as generous as they were delicious. They each served up full-sized bowls of steaming ramen that left participants full to bursting.
Since everyone likes their ramen a little differently, it proved impossible to agree on which of the three restaurants served the best bowl. Instead, we asked some participants to share their personal impressions of the three restaurants.
JETAA Toronto is the Alumni Association for Torontonians who have worked in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. In addition to planning events for alumni and preparing new JET participants, JETAA is active in the Toronto Japanese community, supporting other groups like the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Japanese Social Services.
For more information on JETAA Toronto, visit www.jetaatoronto.ca.
©Photos from Nicholas Jones, Janelle Wiebelzahl, Michelle Bochenek, Alex Svetlovsky, Clarissa Jewel and Eunice Leung