Address: 120 Bloor Street East. Unit 103. Toronto, ON M4W 1B7
Phone: (416) 436-7997
Please be advised, this review is only on Soba Canada, not Ichiriki.
Soba Canada only opens on Tuesday evenings at Ichiriki Japanese Restaurant. Call ahead to make sure they are opened. I was told the owner has the restaurant sublet to the soba maker to spread the health benefits of buckwheat noodle and to show Japanese cuisine has other varieties than just sushi, iazakaya tapas, udon and sashimi. It is nice to know there is a eatery that is dedicated to only soba.
Located in the heart of Toronto, on Bloor and Yonge intersection, surrounded by numerous corporate companies, majority of the clientele come from employees or whitenecks of these local corporates. Lunchtime is the busiest moment of the day, when there is a high concentration of people around the strip. At the end of a working day, everyone rushes to go home, therefore, dinner is usually quiet. Therefore, I was not surprised to see just six tables occupied when I went to try the soba.
The soba noodles are handmade the day of and to order, with ingredients – flour, water – shipped freshly from Japan. Waiting for the food or service can be long bcause of the kneading and cooking process. The waitress sometimes disappeared to assist the chef in the kitchen. Our bowls of soba took a minimum of thirty minutes to arrive. Do expect waits or delays. Is it worth it? Yes!
Chirashi Soba ($21.00) is a mixture of shrimp, roe, strips of pan fried egg, cucumber resting on top of cold soba in tsuyu sauce, topped with seaweed, green onions. This was scrumptious, like eating a salad, very fresh and crunchy. It was a very light and clean combination. Nothing can go wrong.
Oboro Soba ($19.00) is a cold soba noodle in Tsuyu sauce, topped with oboro tofu and minced green onion. Their oboro tofu is made using only natural grown organic soybeans and natural extracts of seawater. No chemicals are used. This was my favourite soba of the evening. The tofu was in excellent harmony with soba. The tofu was so soft, melts with every strand of soba. Tofu had a strong natural soy bean flavour, just extremely refreshing. It adds a subtle flavour to the tasteless soba, and with the tsuyu sauce, it just heightens the palette, giving the combination a dash of saltiness. This is a great vegan option, and a healthy one too. This unexpected combination was just outstanding!
Deep Fried Soba (approximately $19.00) is rested in tsuyu sauce, topped with grated daikon, green onions and shrimp. This was the only hot soba ordered. Initially, the fried soba was very crunchy, but gradually became soggy after absorbing the sauce, making it oily and salty. The minced daikon aka raddish and green onions made the sauce sweet, which was absorbed easily by the shrimps and noodles. I find this cooking style kind of wasted the soba, lost the natural flavours and health benefits. Overall, this was an interesting selection.
Rutin of buckwheat and isoflavon of soybean keep you young and healthy. Soba has a lot of health benefits, if ingested occasionally. There are many variations as to how soba can be cooked. Experimenting with the selection from Soba Canada gives me the inspiration and creativity to attempt making a soba feast. No doubt, I really liked the restaurant and is a great choice for a light meal, especially after festive eating events. I highly recommend. Remember to bring cash~