After the flight of Ken’s Ramen, the tiny noodle shop with the unmarked awning on Washington Street, a new restaurant quickly took its place. Tori Tomo, a Washington Street newcomer, serves ramen, donburi, and tapas. The joint made its debut in the beginning of June this year.
The brainchild of X Premwat and Kazu Kondo (Wara Wara), the interior of Tori Tomo is striking upon first glance: one wall is emblazoned with a gray-and-red mural, and matching red, funky chairs line the tables. The exposed wood beams give off a rural Japanese Izakaya vibe to counterbalance the sleekness of the rest of the decor. Owner X says that he and his partner were looking for a smaller restaurant to expand their business, and when Ken’s left the space on Washington Street, it was a no-brainer. With the new location, the restaurateur hopes to attract a different clientele than Wara Wara – tourists, college students, and office workers.
Peruse the menu and you’ll find that unlike its sister restaurant Wara Wara, Tori Tomo offers Providence diners a somewhat truncated, slightly different assortment of East Asian cuisine. Doburi, a common Japanese rice bowl dish, is available to customers with ingredients like thinly sliced sirloin steak, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and brown butter. Other combinations are served to satisfy the non-meat eaters of the city, presenting us with sauteed broccoli, corn, and sweet soy Donburi.
But, the real star of the Tori Tomo show is the ramen. After all, who can resist those chewy yellow noodles slowly bathing in a creamy broth? I’d like to be on a wonton raft in that bowl of soup, slowly floating by the globules of chicken and pork fat, maybe using a bamboo shoot or two as an oar.
At the new noodle shop, different varieties of meat and vegetarian ramen are on the menu, and you can add extra toppings for a small price if you wish. So the next time you’re in the downtown area, check out this new spot and enjoy a nice bowl of noodles.
69 Washington Street