Between bar seating with backless stools, booth seats, and small group tables, Raku appeared to serve up to fifty customers at full capacity.
A microscopic portion of ankimo arrived first. Partially submerged in ponzu sauce and topped generously with scallions, the consistency of the dish flirted with the likes of pâté and tofu. Concluded each forkful was the lingering taste of pig liver congee (豬潤粥). Fine bits of a tomato-like substance contributed a dash of acidity.
My own hot udon was served in an obnoxiously large bowl, of which only half was occupied. "Canadian prime beef" and "Tokyo negi" (Tokyo onion?) were listed as the two sole constituents of the bowl, though a few bits of spinach were discovered floating about as well. The supposedly local beef veered not far from blanched shabu shabu strips in taste and fat content. The onions were, well, onions; perhaps the only discernible difference was their softer texture.
In the Gyunan's defense, I did enjoy the dashi broth and delicately springy housemade noodles. Not wishing to waste even a strand, I requested a container to take leftovers home. This demand was partially owed to a desire to finish my order, and partially due to the shocking price tag of seventeen dollars.
Other disappointing aspects included the menu's limited protein-rice selection, the waitstaff's inability to introduce the restaurant's signature offerings, spotty drinking glasses with lemon-lacking water, and additional charges for essentially every single add-on.
We later sauntered towards Trinity Bellwoods, away from my original post-lunch proposal of Milkys. Apparently, it was bloom time.
This particular combination was tasty: with a prominent presence of coconut and rich smoothness of ube, the vanilla bean only worked to enhance these flavours to the next degree. On the other hand, I wasn't too fond of the extreme frigidty of the formula. Despite atmospheric temperatures hovering about the ten-degree mark, my fingers nearly went numb clinging onto the edge of the plastic cup.