Calling in advance to place an order, we were delighted to find the shop open despite the Easter holiday and requested their top three non-spicy picks: Shoyu, Shio, and Pork Blaster w/ Miso.
The broths and noodles were stored in separate containers within orderly knotted plastic bags and labelled with an incredible amount of clarity. Extra precautions had been taken by sealing the broth-containing tubs with tape.
In addition to chashu, the soy sauce-based ramen consisted of arugula, bamboo shoots, and a few camouflaged red pepper threads that were milder than they appeared to be. The lean piece of pork was rather uniform in terms of fat distribution, while the more unctuous piece presented meat and fat in distinctive segments.
Sodium-packed satisfaction was present in the two bowls, with Shio boasting a slightly richer broth than its darker-toned counterpart.
An exuberant depth of flavour was tasted within this bowl, along with melt-in-your-mouth chashu. The only downside was the excessiveness of it all; perhaps pickled radish or umeboshi would have managed to cut through the grease.
I would have liked a more uniform distribution of fat in all of the chashu pieces, but complaints were kept to a minimum with this visit.
Nearby, on Baldwin on the west side of Spadina, was a tiny spot that had piqued my interest for some time. Little Pebbles had opened up diagonally across from Millie Creperie in the bustling district of Kensington several months ago and I had been itching to try their pastries since.
Their roll cakes were nowhere in sight, but dacquoise, macarons, and chiffon cake slices were displayed attractively in a refrigerated display case adjacent to the cashier and beverage preparation area. From their daily selection, Black Sesame Chiffon, Kinako Adzuki, and Matcha Chiffon Cake were my picks for the visit. Each of the $5.25 slices (or $5.50 for Matcha) measured roughly four inches in effective diameter, including frosting.
With each swipe of the fork was a sensational grainy aftertaste; kinako is an acquired taste, so to speak, however the bakery had managed to incorporate such to be readily accepted by unsuspecting dessert-lovers unfamiliar with the ingredient. The gentle bits of red bean were another nice touch to the fluffy golden chiffon.
Next up shall be their strawberry-adorned roll cakes, and perhaps a Matcha Latte.