Duelling diners truly tasty lives up to its name the chronicle herald chicken easy dinner recipes

A. BAKER — truly tasty ramen and dumplings is located at 6214 quinpool rd. As I approach the entrance the large front window on the sidewalk is completely steamed up. The scent of meat and cabbage emanating from the kitchen is almost palpable. It’s a monday night and the place is packed, with a steady stream of people arriving to eat or pick up takeout.

L. PRIMA — nestled in an endless row of restaurants and shops lining quinpool road, you may miss truly tasty if you aren’t looking for it. The dark, modern exterior opens into a small area with two bench-lined tables occupying the first floor. The remaining seating runs along the narrow area in front and behind the small partially open kitchen.

A. BAKER — A server greets me as soon as I walk in and leads me to the only available seat in the house at the end of a larger communal table.

Almost immediately a large plastic glass of ice water, a paper napkin, a set of chopsticks in paper, and a spoon shaped like a ladle arrive.Chicken appetizer two servers tag team my order, delivery of food and payment throughout my meal and both are courteous and efficient.

L. PRIMA — the restaurant is packed when we arrive for an early weeknight dinner. Luckily we only wait mere minutes for a table to open up. The two servers work efficiently as a team to seat us, get our drinks and take our order. Despite how busy they must be, service remains friendly and efficient right up until we pay our bill.

A. BAKER — I choose the pan-fried homemade dumplings (six pieces, chicken with cabbage, served with homemade chili oil and chinese rice vinegar ($6.50), the crispy fried chicken appetizer ($9), and the spicy miso ramen with soy-braised pork shoulder ($8.50).

The dumplings arrive on a rectangle pottery plate with a side dish of chili oil. Though there are a few black char marks on the dumplings, the dough is soft, supple and crispy in all the right places. The chicken and cabbage filling is delicious and I can taste green onion and possibly star anise.Fried chicken the dipping sauce, a mix of chili oil and dark rice vinegar, is a perfect mix of heat and tangy pungency.

The crispy fried chicken appetizer is huge. Small strips of chicken curled from a swim in hot oil are piled high on a black square plate lined with green-checked paper. A ramekin of what looks to be spicy mayo is brought on the side. Pieces of dark meat with the skin on have been dredged in seasoned flour and I can’t quite place my finger on the spices I taste. The chicken is moist, the skin and the flour coating are crunchy, and overall it’s fantastic. I actually prefer the pieces without the spicy mayo.

The spicy miso ramen bowl is also very large and filled to the brim with broth topped with pork and cooked cabbage. A dip of the chopsticks reveals a nest of noodles just below the surface. The pulled pork is salty and plentiful and the cabbage has been boiled and is served unseasoned. The noodles are slightly thinner than spaghetti and because of the whole wheat flour they have a decent amount of chew.Fried chicken appetizer the broth is very good, with lots of umami flavour and as indicated on the menu, is quite mild but I find myself wishing for some hot sauce or chili oil.

L. PRIMA — the fried chicken appetizer ($9) is lightly battered and fried perfectly. It is crisp, moist and very flavourful. The accompanying dip tastes much like the spicy mayo served in sushi restaurants. It has a great amount of heat to complement the savoury chicken.

The light shoyu chashu ramen is mild but the broth has just the right amount of salt and umami. The delicious homemade noodles are cooked just long enough that they maintain a chewy texture, then soften further in the hot broth. A plentiful portion of two kinds of soy-braised chashu pork top the noodles. Large slices of roasted pork are tender but it’s the shredded pork shoulder that’s the star. It is pleasantly sweet. Other additions include green onions, shredded cabbage to add texture, and a soft poached egg that was done a tad too soft for my liking.Fried chicken for $11, this is a huge and filling meal.

The spicy miso chashu ramen ($11.50) is even better. The broth is much richer and deeply flavoured with miso. However, it is quite mild despite the spicy designation. I have a feeling they may err on the side of caution. If you like it hot, I suggest mentioning it to your server.

A. BAKER — it’s not hard to see why truly tasty is packed on a monday night. The prices are extremely reasonable and the food is delicious. The dumplings and noodles were great but I’d go back just for the fried chicken appetizer.

L. PRIMA — the food at truly tasty is simple and satisfying. The ramen is centred around rich broth, perfect noodles and flavourful meat. This is comfort food at its best.