How we skipped the line at Raku’s Toronto location

Raku is a New York based udon shop with locations in SOHO, the East Village and as of 3 weeks ago, a Toronto location just steps away from Queen W & Spadina.

Since we were in the area last Friday evening, Eden and I decided to visit Raku and here is how we were able to skip the line on a bustling
Friday evening:

1. Download the Yelp app

2. Search “RAKU” and select ‘Join the Waitlist’.

* we confirmed with the restaurant that the wait times shown on the YELP app ARE NOT accurate but your position in line is accurately reflected on the restaurant’s end. So my suggestion is to call the RAKU and confirm the wait time and then you can calculate the best time for you to join the “virtual line”

3. Once you’ve joined the waitlist, you will receive a confirmation text.

4. When your table is ready, you will receive a second confirmation text from the restaurant and you will have 10 minutes to physically show up at the restaurant and confirm your attendance with the hostess.

Eden and I were a couple minutes away from Raku when we decided to check out the new udon shop. I quickly joined the waitlist on the Yelp app as we were walking towards the restaurant. When we arrived there were a few people physically waiting outside, but within 6 mins of joining the “virtual queue”, our table was already ready for us.

I think this virtual queue feature is great, especially if you want to visit on a Friday /Saturday evening when you know there will be a line for sure. If the line up is going to be an hour, then depending on where you live you can literally join the “virtual queue” as you head out the door and still account for rush hour traffic, finding parking while reducing the amount of time you are physically standing in line. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I noticed that this Yelp app feature is available for some restaurants and not others. While some restaurants do have this feature, they may not necessarily be using this “virtual queue” service. RAKU is quite efficient and ahead of the curve in offering & using this service knowing Torontonians “love” lining up for pretty much everything!

So there you have it! That’s how we were able to skip the line at RAKU by using Yelp’s “virtual queue” service!

Eden and I ordered 1 appetizer, 1 rice bowl & 3 udon bowl for a total of 5 items between the 2 of us.

Gyoza ($8.00)

  • Six pan-fried pork or vegetable dumplings
  • We opted for the pork dumplings. Despite the burnt colour of the dumplings, the skin was rather soft; we would have preferred the dumplings to be more crispy.

Kani ankake ($22.00)

  • Crab in thick egg soup
  • The famous udon were a good long length and had a chewy texture and was perfect for slurping. It was evident from each bowl that Raku is a speciality udon shop.
  • I really enjoyed the flavours of the thick egg soup especially the heaps of crab chunks in the soup
  • This bowl is perfect for a cold chilly day, however, it does become quite filling due to the thick egg soup

Niku ($20.00)

  • Beef short ribs, honeycomb tripe
  • Famous Raku udon accentuated the flavour of all the ingredients
  • The short rib was super tender and the broth was well balanced. We found that the flavour was similar to a Chinese Beef Brisket Noodle Soup and the Raku udon brought the dish to another level.

Kamonan ($19.00)

  • Duck breast, Tokyo negi
  • Famous Raku udon accentuated the flavour of all the ingredients
  • The duck breast could have been more tender and we preferred the other two bowls of udon

Unatama don ($17.00)

  • BBQ eel, onion, egg rice bowl
  • Finally last but not least, the eel rice is a must order. This rice bowl is a classic and simple dish but is executed perfectly with heaps of eel embedded in a pipping hot fried egg with rice. Each mouthful leaves you wanting more.

Written by Grace Yeung
Edited by Eden Yeung

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