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Japanese chain Santouka Ramen to open in Toronto this summer

A hot bowl of shio ramen from an Illinois branch of Santouka (Image: B.2010)

Though the ramen trend has been booming elsewhere for years, Toronto still has only a handful of joints serving up the rich, brothy goodness (and none of those satisfy the snobs experts on Chowhound). Good news, though—there should be at least one more option come summer, courtesy of one of Japan’s larger ramen chains, Santouka Ramen. According to Ben Hada, manager of Vancouver’s Santouka location, the company is looking at spaces in downtown Toronto and working to find local suppliers (which is causing some difficulty: apparently the Japanese restaurant supply network in Toronto is not nearly as developed as that in Vancouver). Santouka has devoted fans in Vancouver and California, where its tokusen toroniku ramen, featuring pork cheek served very rare, is particularly loved by locals. We have to admit we were a little disappointed when we found out that Santouka’s noodles are made by a Japanese manufacturer in the U.S. and not fresh onsite. What would Tampopo say? (h/t Eat)