BE STILL my beating heart.
Known to many as ‘the secret sushi place’ located inside the basement of Spring Garden Place, Dora-Q hosted their first ever Ramen Night last night. The event was limited to 30 tickets and I was extremely anxious about the possibility of not getting one. Luckily, I have a friend who loves noodles probably even more than I do, who procured eight early-bird tickets (she’s amazing) for $11 + HST apiece. Each ticket got you a huge bowl of ramen noodles with seven kinds of toppings (egg, beef, seaweed, green onions, crab, nori, corn) served in a delicious (slightly spicy) broth. Good thing we bought our tickets well in advance, as they completely sold out days before the event.
You might think of ramen as the store-bought packages of mummified noodles and sauce, à la Mr. Noodle, to be rehydrated and brought back to life with hot water in order to keep college students alive, but you don’t really know ramen until you’ve tried ramen made fresh. In Japan, you can find ramen stands all over the place. They’re as ubiquitous as Tim Horton’s in Canada (if not more so). They run the full gamut: street food stands; Mom and Pop joints; corporate-branded mega-restaurants; and, “is that a hole in the wall?”
This doesn’t matter though. What does matter? Ramen.
Everyone brought their A+ noodle-face game.
If you haven’t been to Dora-Q, they recently finished renovations and the new place looks absolutely amazing. Brightly painted walls bring a vibrant energy to the place, and the smartly black-painted exposed heating vents add a modern flare. There’s even a beautiful looking VIP-section at the back (that was closed when we visited). They keep adding new touches. “That shelf with the Samurai book wasn’t here last week,” one friend said.
I asked one of the women working the counter that night if the restaurant plans to do ramen night again. She said that they have a mind to start doing specialized Japanese cuisine nights once a month, and that they may do ramen again in the future.
Summary = Yum. Keep your eyes open for the next ramen night.
Lesson = Don’t plan to do much after ramen night. You will be in a food coma.