Japanese ramen shops have popped up all over Toronto serving hearty and delicious bowls of noodles in soup. While many may associate ramen with Japan, the soup noodle in fact has its roots in China. The term “Ramen” (ラーメン) is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese words “Lamian” (拉麵) meaning “pulled noodles”. Chinese Lamian generally comprises of strands of wheat noodles pulled from a block of dough and served in a light broth. Since Chinese noodles have been a staple food in China for centuries before reaching Japan, Chinese Lamian can therefore be said to be an ancestor of modern Japanese ramen.
Toronto is fortunate to have a number of restaurants specializing in Lamian dishes to allow ramen fans to check out. One of them is Magic Noodle, with locations throughout Toronto and in the 905 area. There is one downtown location situated on Harbord St. near the University of Toronto (93 Harbord St. near Spadina, (647) 345-8839). The noodles are made fresh by hand by twisting and pulling a piece of dough into noodle strands.
In Toronto’s Chinatown on Spadina Ave, Homemade Ramen (263 Spadina, South of Dundas on the East Side) also offers freshly pulled noodles in a mild beef broth Lanzhou Style noodles. Both Magic Noodle and Homemade Ramen also offer various northern Chinese and other regional Chinese dishes to share as appetizers. So there you have it. If you enjoy eating Japanese ramen noodle, you might also enjoy Ramen’s ancestor Lamian.
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