Friday, July 26, 2013

Toronto Weekend July 2013: Part II

Our family went to Toronto one weekend for my cousin's wedding. This is the second, and final, part. The previous day can be found here [link].

We had breakfast at the hotel's breakfast buffet. It wasn't just a sad cereal and fruit selection with juice, coffee, and hot water. No, no. They had stuff like scrambled eggs, bagels, sliced bread, cubed fruits, and a waffle machine.

I didn't mean to have a carb-heavy breakfast. Lucy shared half of her waffle. I suspected that she couldn't finish it all. The breakfast sausages were very lean. They were close to being dry.

Lucy's comments:
Being the first one in the family at breakfast, I excitedly texted everyone to let them know that there was a waffle machine available.  It was an impressive feature for a complimentary breakfast.

After breakfast, we packed up and checked out of the hotel. We headed to Pacific Mall to walk around a bit and get some bubble tea. We had already been drinking our bubble teas when we walked by a bubble tea shop that had winter melon tea available! Holy! Even though I barely had any of my drink, I was so tempted to buy a winter melon-flavoured drink. I think it must be a Taiwanese thing, because I can't really find it anywhere else. I found some expensive cans of winter melon tea at T&T. Not worth it. Next time... bubble tea shop... next time.

I have to admit that while walking around Pacific Mall, I was trying to buy time so that we could go for dim sum in the GTA before we head back home. But then I realized that we all had a late breakfast. No go. I gave up and we to Kingston for a late lunch.

While we planned to go somewhere else to eat, the place was closed on Sunday and so we kept walking to find something else. Lucy wanted sushi. Jimmy wanted ramen. Andrew didn't care. I still wanted dim sum, though I knew Kingston is the wrong place for that.

While walking southbound on Princess Street, Andrew spotted a sign that read "Ramen" and "Sushi". Done. Maru is a Japanese and Korean restaurant. We walked in and heard Korean songs play in the background. We looked over their menu. You can do the same by going to their website.

Lucy essentially wanted everything on the menu. Jimmy wanted the ramen & rice ball combo B. Andrew was undecided, as usual. I was tempted by a few things; shio ramen (salt broth), tonkatsu ramen (pork cutlet with a pork & chicken based soup), donburi (a bowl of rice with meat and vegetables, eggs, and a sweet sauce), chicken karaage (fried chicken bits), and tang soo yook (sweet and sour pork - Korean style).

In the end, I chose the shio ramen for the simplicity. The ramen looked alright. Upon first glance, the slices of cha siu were really thin and really lean, the egg was over-boiled, and there was napa cabbage and bean sprouts. Shio ramen is supposed to be really simple...

Kenzo Ramen: Shio
Like this bowl of shio ramen from one of my many trips to Kenzo Ramen in Toronto.

I took a sip of the soup. To be honest, it reminded me of the Nissin chicken flavoured instant noodles -- which isn't a bad thing because I actually like that soup. But all the other stuff like the cabbage, napa cabbage, and bean sprouts were just too much. It was too distracting from the ramen and soup. I mixed the bowl and it revealed even more vegetable matter. What the?

The cha siu was indeed dry and not impressive. The ramen and soup were good though.

Andrew was torn between the karasaki ramen (spicy pork & chicken broth with seafood, pork, vegetables, and an egg) or the hot netsu ramen (spicy beef & soy sauce broth with seafood, pork, vegetables, and an egg). He went with the pork and chicken broth.

I'll let Lucy write about what she and Jimmy had.

We didn't really know what to expect from this little restaurant, but my appetite was ramped up after being cooped up in the car for a few hours. Jimmy and I ordered one of the value combos (Combo D, $29.99) which comes with two bowls of ramen and two rice balls. 

I ordered the Nagasaki ramen (pork and chicken broth with seafood) with a spicy salmon rice ball, and Jimmy had the tonkotsu ramen (pork bone broth) with a kimchi rice ball.  My ramen's broth was a nice balanced bowl of soup. However, the ramen and toppings left a lot to be desired. The seafood was definitely frozen, the noodles passable, and as Christine mentioned, there were too many vegetables.

We finished lunch and returned home to end our trip.


Maru on Urbanspoon

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