As promised, I tried some non-instant ramen for the first time ever last weekend, and if you follow me on Instagram (@cookbooksandcardigans) then you’ve already seen images of the bowls that my mom and I got to try.
Crafty Ramen recently opened in Guelph (in February to be exact); my belly could not be happier and my bank account could not be more empty. Owners Miki and Jared have combined Japanese traditions while utilizing local, Ontarian ingredients to create a mouth watering menu. Jared explained that many ramen shops in Canada work to imitate the traditional dishes exactly or use all family recipes. What they worked on here was creating original dishes to highlight Ontario flavours at their best; a “very Guelph” take on classic ramen soup. Approachably hipster, in my opinion. I encourage you to visit their website to read about their story and how this foodie hotspot came to be.
I’m not the only one who has been loving this place either. You have to get here early during their opening hours or else you could get caught in a line that goes out the door! An amazing feat for a restaurant that has only been open for 2 months. And yes, I did say here, because I am currently slurping noodles from the Tokyo Salary Man bowl.
Walk into the shop and you are drawn in by the bar, which reminds me of the ramen shops I’ve only had the chance to see on YouTube (here’s hoping I get to go to Japan for real one day soon). The statement wall as you walk in, where you can hang your coats and bags, was created using reclaimed wood from another Ontarian company. It is cute, quaint and homey, so having homemade noodle soup here is a great substitute to heading home when I’m getting sick in the middle of exam season.
The menu here is simple, with seven ramen bowls and two appetizers. I have fallen in love with the gyoza, which is a family recipe that I have already been constantly coming back for. As I mentioned, they source ingredients locally, as well as making their own noodles (from Canadian wheat) in-shop using a machine brought over from Japan. Each dish has a unique combination of flavours and a hearty, housemade bone broth. It’s actually difficult writing this right now because my broth is distracting me, as I can feel my joints relaxing with every slurp. You can also add a marinated egg to any of your bowls, just double check that you’ve got yours since they are making dozens of bowls at a time.
I’m going to have to leave you there. I need to enjoy the rest of this soup and head back to studying with my refreshed immune system. If you are ever in the Guelph area, you NEED to stop in and eat here, and don’t forget to follow them on Instagram (@crafty_ramen). You don’t need to tell them I sent you though, because they have clearly already built a massive customer base. Just slurp up and have fun!