As an avid ramen lover, I’m always searching for a new place to try out. Sometimes I just can’t help myself but revisit old favourites over and over again. Living in the Tri-Cities, there aren’t many good options around for a comforting bowl of ramen compared to Vancouver, so whenever I get the chance to venture out to the city, my go to place for noodles is always ramen. A few weeks ago, the boyfriend and I paid a visit to Hokkaido Ramen Santouka for a quick bite. I’ve been raving about it ever since we started dating and the opportunity finally came!
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Ramen Santouka is a Japanese-based chain located on the West End of Robson Street. To date, they have about 45 locations across the world mainly Asia and the U.S. with the first location- originating from Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan. 🙂 Just like any other ramen shop in downtown, having long line-ups is no surprise. And just like any other ramen shop, they distinguish themselves differently from the broth, noodles, and toppings. For Santouka, it’s all about the broth! All of their soups are made by hand from scratch every day, with minimal salt and seasoning.
Store front with cute display of their menu.
Interior of the restaurant, kitchen action happening in the background!
The boyfriend and I waited about 15-20 minutes before getting seated at the communal table. Given that it was already close to 8:30pm that day, wait time wasn’t too bad!
Ramen essentials ..
Soy Sauce, Red Vinegar, White Vinegar. For gyozas I’m assuming?
Gyoza ($5.95) Pan-fried pork dumplings. The gyozas were nicely executed with a nice crisp exterior with a flavourful pork and vegetable filling.
Shio Ramen ($11.95) This is their signature white tonkotsu soup with cha siu, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushroom, green onion, naruto (fish cake) and a sour little umeboshi (pickled plum). Santouka’s mild and cream signature soup is made by simmering pork bones and pork rib broth for at least two whole days. The creamy texture is a result of mixing the oil and water for a prolonged period of time. There’s a mild salt flavour simmered into the broth and I thought the salt level was perfect for me. Cha siu meat was nice and tender and noodles had a good bite to them. The ramen here may be expensive especially if you add the extra fixings like egg, corn, and nori in! But still scrumptious without 🙂
Miso Cha-Siu Ramen ($13.95) Blend of akamiso and tonkotsu with cha siu, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushroom, naruto, and green onion. ‘Akamiso’ translates to dark red miso that has and has much stronger-tasting than other soybeans due to its prolonged fermentation time. For an extra few bucks, you can get two more slices of their thick, fatty cha siu. I had a sip of my boyfriend’s bowl and thought the miso was just as delicous- just .a tad saltier in my opinion.
Many patrons were ordering their Tokusen Toroniku Ramen ($16.50), but we couldn’t justify the price tag ! It looked delicious though. If one bowl of ramen isn’t enough for you, they have combos available to order! If line ups are a turn off for you, try their second location on West Broadway !
1690 Robson St
558 W Broadway