（Contributed by Alana)
Ramen and Sushi
Last weekend, I felt like I was in Japan! I ate ramen for dinner on Saturday and sushi for lunch on Sunday. Although I eat sushi quite often, it was my first time trying ramen.
On Saturday evening, I was visiting a friend in Toronto and she took me to her favourite ramen restaurant. Now, there are a lot of Japanese restaurants in Toronto – some more authentic than others – but this one seemed like the real deal.
When we entered the small restaurant, all the servers and chefs shouted what I later found out was the traditional greeting used when visiting a shop or restaurant in Japan: irasshaimase. I have never heard this before and I’m glad I was able to experience some traditional Japanese etiquette. Although it was a little confusing at first, (I was wondering if I did something wrong that was making them shout at me!) it became nice to hear every time a new customer entered the restaurant.
I ordered Shoyu ramen (with extra noodles – I was starving) and it was delicious. I can’t believe I’ve never tried it before! It was full of pork, noodles, onions and seaweed and tasted so savory. My friend also ordered ikura, which I’ve never tried before. I think I prefer the taste of tobiko to ikura, but it was still delicious.
On Sunday for lunch, my family and I went to all-you-can-eat sushi at a restaurant I frequent near my apartment. This restaurant is a bit less traditional and offers sushi and Japanese dishes, as well as some Thai food and Asian-fusion dishes. There was no ‘irasshaimase’ when we entered here. My favourite menu items there are the crab and salmon sashimi, tobiko sushi, and spicy salmon or spicy tuna maki. Another favourite of mine is sushi pizza, where a rice patty is deep fried and topped with onions, peppers, spicy mayonnaise, and smoked salmon. It’s not the healthiest menu item, but it is definitely delicious.
I hope one day I can come to Japan to see how authentic my restaurant experiences in Canada have been.