Konjiki Ramen & Saryo, Toronto

Dialogue 38, Toronto

Photography by Kerun Ip 

Since its inception in Tokyo in 2006, Konjiki Ramen has done the classic noodle soup to Michelin standards, perennially winning Michelin’s Bib Gourmand, the guidebook’s award for outstanding, moderately priced food. Konjiki recently opened its second Toronto outpost at Yorkdale Mall, where a two-storey picture frame sets Konjiki’s entry apart from adjoining storefronts with theatrical flair. An abstract landscape mosaic of floral elements found in Japanese art clads the storefront’s second storey and partially wraps the entry on the first storey, where a smaller, one-storey-high picture frame delineates the small Saryo dessert café. However, most of the mall traffic walks through the doorway beside Saryo to enter the Konjiki Ramen dining room, where, under the black ceiling and skinny black lighting pendants, shadows play on the angled slats in the blond-wood wall screens lining the perimeter. The floral landscape mosaic continues along the entry corridor wall and into the dining room, on and above the long servery front and elsewhere. The mosaic’s jewel tones, and the subtle greyed-out greens and blues of the slate floor tiles, provide the room’s principal colour hit.