After what felt like weeks of weather around 40 degrees celsius, it finally cooled down enough for Sam and I to take a trip to Ryo's Noodles on Gouger Street in Chinatown for a big bowl of steaming hot ramen. Having travelled through a lot of Asian countries and eaten a lot of authentic food, Sam is a bit of a noodle snob. Me? I'm just happy when the noodles are soft and the soup is hot!
Ryo's is a very ambient space, with a lot of black and neutral tones complimented by splashes of red, the smooth jazz that was playing made it a very relaxing place to eat. The service at was great - we were promptly greeted, seated, and given menus to look over. Around five minutes later, we had decided on what we wanted to order and a waitress was with us almost immediately. Another ten or fifteen minutes after that, we had our bowls in front of us! I love not having to wait too long for food because I get really excited about eating, and when I get excited I get even hungrier.
I had the #2 - a tonkotsu soup with pork slices, narutomaki, egg, and greens - with slightly less salt than usual and it was delicious! Everything was fresh and piping hot, the noodles were perfectly cooked and the meat was super tender. I loved that there were a lot of greens in the bowl because I'm not very partial to the bamboo shoots that are usually in ramen, so this was a nice replacement for me. The soup was still quite salty, but not as overpowering as some other places I've eaten at. The narutomaki also didn't taste as processed and fake fish-like as it does at most other ramen eateries, which was another subtle difference that I really enjoyed.
My eyes are unfortunately a lot bigger than my stomach, so I usually struggle to eat a full serve of noodles and have never actually finished a whole bowl - but this time I did! I picked that sucker up and drained it, not because it was a small serve, but because it was so delicious that I didn't want to leave any behind. I had a noodle baby for at least three hours afterwards, but it was totally worth it. I think that next time I go I'll see if I can get a kids sized bowl, because there are lots of delicious sides that I want to try - we had the karaage on this visit, and it was so tasty that I want to try everything else on the menu too!
As for the price, Ryo's is very very generous. We used a special offer that was posted on their Facebook page and got our bowls for $10 each (the special is valid until the 28th of February, so hurry!) but even at full price I don't think that there's anything over $17 on the menu, and for the amount of food that you get it's a pretty economical price. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and slurp!