Chinatown—Taking over the location formerly occupied by the underrated East of Main Cafe, The Ramen Butcher is the latest ramen joint in town. Already, it has developed a curious following and buzz for diners in the area. All their handmade ramen offerings represent the current, popular trend of Tonkotsu flavours straight from Japan and the Menya Koji Group.
Things are a little different (but still authentic) than we're usually use to here. Among the differences is the specialty ramen options being colour coded: red (spicy garlic), black (roasted garlic), green (basil and parmesan), and orange (miso ground pork), as well as the classic, Tori (chicken), and veggie options.
I had the black ramen (in Tonkatsu pork broth with roasted garlic oil, fatty aburi pork chashu, and a marinated egg). It definitely tasted a little different. I enjoyed the thin noodles and diverse flavours mixed into the rich and smoky broth. It took some time to get use to the intriguing taste.
I quite liked the simple yet satisfying spicy gyōza (with spicy garlic paste and scallions) and all the mild yet tasty toppings and sauciness, although it could use more heat to it.
On a return visit, I had the red ramen (in Tonkotsu pork broth with spicy garlic paste with lean aburi pork chashu, and a marinated egg). I really enjoyed its mildly spicy flavour mixed with the rich, garlic texture, and full of comforting pork goodness. It's my pick, so far.
I was surprised by the cheese gyōza (with stringy, melted cheese) and the added flavour (and novelty) of the cheese topping. It's worth trying for the curious.
It should take a few more visits to acclimate to their style of ramen with the heavier broth and creamier texture. All that said, any diversity in our noodle soup offerings is intriguing and welcomed.
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