July 10, 2011

Vancouver Day 1 @ Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Hi all, this is Vivian and I will be contribute as a guest blogger 
while I'm in Vancouver for 2 weeks. So stay tuned!

Ramen Santouka is a famous Japanese ramen chain that has been around since 1988. I've
always heard good thing about it and have been dying to try their famous tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen, since they claimed to have used 20 hours to simmer the pork bones to extract the best flavor. My trip to Japan was cancelled due to earthquakes, so I was determined to make it up to myself by trying this noodle shop while I'm in Vancouver.

As I stepped into the shop at 5:30 pm, there were already people waiting in line. I wasn't surprised, this place is always highly recommended by Vancouver newspapers and food bloggers such as Sherman's Food adventures and Follow me Foodie

First thing that caught my eye, a satisfied customer downing the soup like it is water. 
We waited for 10 minutes and the waitress sat us down.

Their spoon was designed to sit comfortably on the side of the bowl to prevent the spoon from falling into the soup, which was a nice touch.

Utensils were self-served.

I ordered the Shio Ramen with Cha Shu Gohan combo, which came with a little nice sidedish of egg and raddish. The first thing I did was took a sip of the soup.... wow, I was speechless. Ajisen Ramen, you are lucky that this chain hasn't came to Toronto yet. I mean, the soup is so rich and flavorful that it is better than any tonkotsu soup I have ever tried. The saltiness of the broth was just right, and the fattiness of the soup is not so much that would made it repugnant. The noodle was also nicely cooked. The pork melts in your mouth along with the soup. After tasting the soup and noodle, the Cha Shu Gohan fell short in flavor, just any normal Cha Shu Gohan on the streets, nothing special.    

My friend got the Tokusen Toroniku Ramen with spicy miso flavor. This ramen includes pork cheeks and topping that is served separately from the noodle. We tried the pork cheek first. The ratio of fat to lean meat from the pork cheeks were just right. We both agreed at the end it was a tad salty, but was still quite enjoyable. The spicy miso flavor was not as good as the shio flavored soup, however still better than what other ramen shops in Toronto has to offer. I also want to add that for 1$ more they will increase the portion of the ramen, which is a pretty good deal considering all of their ramen are generally above 10 dollars.

 Even after days of eating that ramen that creamy savory broth flavor still lingers in my mind, I would definetley go back again before I leave Vancouver!

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka



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