Back when I used to do dragon boat, my teammates and I would always eat a late meal together after practice. We weren’t exactly the most adventurous type of group since we would always stick with the usual cheap eats like Sushi Cali, Sushi Yama, Gigi’s on Thursdays (Chicken Parm Special), or Ramen Benkei. Eating out didn’t develop into hobby of mine until I went travelling to Europe for the first time. When you’re travelling to a foreign country, you’re either looking up attractions or places to eat. It was super fun researching through Trip Advisor and various travelling websites on where and what to eat. Ever since that experience, I came back with a new perspective on food.
Anyway, I was feeling super nostalgic yesterday so I paid a visit to Benkei for an early dinner. Popping in at 5pm for dinner service, the place was relatively quiet with a few patrons sitting at the communal table enjoying their bowl of ramen. I was feeling a bit greedy today so I went with their Special Tonkotsu ($11.95) and a side of spicy tuna don ($4.99). My bowl of ramen came with five generous slices of charsiu, corn, bamboo shoots, ajitama (egg), green onion, and bean sprouts. Considering the amount of toppings you get for this bowl, the price is pretty fair. Tonkotsu is a type of broth based on stewed pork bones so you can expect the broth to appear cloudy from all the fat that has been emulsified into liquid. The broth was rich and creamy with flavour. The addition of the black sesame paste added a slight nutty taste to the soup. The texture of their noodles were a little bit disappointing as they were too chewy for my liking.. I prefer my noodles firm but it’s just a personal preference.
The spicy tuna don features oceanwise tuna which explains the steep price tag for a side dish! The spicy tuna don was served atop a bowl of steamed rice, green onion, and seaweed. I could definitely taste the quality – however, for the price tag I don’t think I would order this again as a side dish.
545 West Broadway