I was chatting with my friend Jeff the other day and he mentioned he was on his way to have lunch with his nephew Dylan at Ramen Buta-Nibo, the first restaurant in Toronto to serve Jiro-style ramen. They were going to order the MEGA Mori, which is a colossal dish of over four pounds of ramen.
Ramen Buta-Nibo opened about a month ago and is run by same owners as Ryus Noodle Bar on Broadview, who are known for serving up some of the best Japanese noodles in the city. Jiro-style means thick noodles, heaping portions and tons of toppings in a rich umami pork broth. Here’s a description from the menu:
The “Ramen Jiro” style originated at the Mita Main Store in Tokyo. The noodles are thick and chewy, and go well with the flavor of the soup. The broth is prepared with plenty of pork fat that is boiled for hours until it mellows out to a complex, rich “umami” flavour. On the top is a generous amount of garlic paste and an oversized cha-shu called “Buta”.
The menu features a variety of pork ramen dishes (buta is Japanese for pig/pork) in the rich Jiro-style. In contrast, the fish based ramen dishes are served in a light, crisp dried sardine broth with Bonito and Kelp seaweed (nibo means dried sardines). For starters and sides, the menu includes gyoza, karaage (fried chicken thighs) takoyaki and Donburi rice bowls.
The MEGA Mori has arrived. Thick noodles in a pork broth, very generously topped with cabbage, bean sprouts, house-made garlic paste, bamboo shoots, and pieces of pork fat, pork belly, pork shoulder, and karaage.
Someone has made excellent progress on their four pounds of ramen.
The review for this meal was outstanding, as was the nap taken afterwards. Ramen Buta-Nibo is open Tuesday-Sunday from 12-9pm, Friday and Saturday 12-10pm. 547 Danforth Avenue, Toronto.