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Of all the ramen joints in the West End (and there are plenty now) Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (Gold) shines brightest. Judges applauded this outlet of the renowned Japanese chain for its fantastically rich, milky tonkotsu (pork) stock, which is slow-cooked for 19 hours. “The dozens of Japanese students who line up every day can’t be wrong,” one judge noted. Motomachi Shokudo (Silver) is produced by the same folk behind local stalwart Kintaro, but here they focus on organic broths and lighter, cleaner flavours. “The resulting noodles,” as one judge noted, “have an unmatched restraint and purity, much appreciated by noodle aficionados.” Marutama Ramen (Bronze) offers a slow-cooked broth that reminded judges of a maternal chicken soup-deeply satisfying, yet alive and sweet. Bonus: you can get a kaedama noodle refill for less than two bucks.