The combination of tradition and invention at Ryus Noodle Bar showcases a chef’s unique sensibility.
In front of you is a familiar bowl of ramen: gently coddled egg, rich, steaming broth and curly noodles heaped with glistening slices of smoky chashu pork—and, perched on top like a coquettish beret, a bright green tangle of arugula. At the sight of this unconventional topping, you are no longer quite sure what you’re in for.
This novel combination is the invention of Chef Takahashi of Ryus Noodle Bar, a Baldwin Village favourite for students and locals.
Chef Takahashi’s path to opening his own ramen restaurant began, unusually, when he worked as a business consultant for a restaurant management company in Japan. Meanwhile, on his own time, he became passionate about Western styles of cooking and began honing his skills in French and Italian cuisines. When he decided to open his own place and bring contemporary ramen to Toronto, he brought his culinary curiosity along. He describes Ryus Noodle Bar as a kind of laboratory where he can explore his inspirations.
The mysterious wood-slatted exterior hides a bright and airy dining room that feels like it draws as much in uence from a French bistro as a Japanese noodle shop. This French inspiration also extends to Ryus’ dishes, especially in their tendency to bring out the essence of a small number of ingredients. The broth of the Pork Blaster Ramen is created from a blend of three separate stocks—pork bone, chicken and vegetable—and you can taste the complexity of each. The sauce for the Angus Beef Curry Dip n’ Noodles showcases the richness of roast beef against a background of robust fish flavours: a taste of home for Japanese palates that creates a surprising mix of the familiar and the adventurous for North American diners. Topping both dishes, Ryus’ signature peppery arugula adds a hint of brightness.
With a sister restaurant set to open on the Danforth this summer, Chef Takahashi is ready to take his creations out of the lab. He is planning a more focused menu for the second location, distilling everything he has learned into the perfect package to introduce ramen culture into a new part of the city. The globetrotting avours of Ryus Noodle Bar seem primed to conquer new territory!
Ryus Noodle Bar
33 Baldwin St., Toronto | 647-344-9306
OPEN: Mon–Sat 11 am–10:30 pm • Sun 11am–10 pm