Living in the Tri-Cities, I consider driving to Richmond such a luxury these days given the rising gas prices. Of course, every time I come to Richmond, I always convince myself that visiting a new restaurant is a must! Since the boyfriend and I were heading to the outlet for some shopping, we decided to fuel up on some ramen for lunch. Luckily, we came just after the lunch rush so there was ample street parking along No.3 Road and we waited only about 5 minutes for a table. Throughout our meal, they had a steady influx of patrons – young families, too!
Asaka Ramen is a relatively new Japanese restaurant located in Richmond. They specialize in ramen featuring a variety of authentic broths ranging from pork-based Tonkotsu broth to classic options like Shoyu and Shio. Similar to many restaurants in the downtown core, you can customize your ramen with either hard / soft ramen noodles, and popular add-on ramen toppings like sweet soya inari tofu, corn, spinach, bamboo shoots, green onion, dried seaweed, crispy fried onions, and spicy sauce. Majority of their ramens already include the toppings mentioned above including ajitama. In addition to their ramen bowls, they offer a diverse range of izakaya-style side dishes and rice bowls.
One interesting concept about Asaka Ramen is that it’s joint with Tmix Bubble Tea & Dessert Bar, so if you’re craving for some Asian desserts or bubble tea, you can kill two birds with one stone here 😛 Aside from bubble, ice cream, and bubble waffles offered at this location, their mochi donuts are quite popular and sell out fast. Priority is given to dine-in patrons so you can order in advance and they’ll reserve your mochi donuts until you grab the bill.
Here’s a quick look of their food menu below: Link is here
Chili oil and seven spice pepper (?) Unfortunately, no tea is served here – so just water!
Romantic Sunset ($6.30) Iced BPF, passionfruit, green tea. Every time boyfriend sees bubble tea on the menu, his cravings kicks in. We normally get some sort of milk tea based drink but being their #1 Topseller, we knew we had to get it just to get our curiosity out of the way. We opted for regular sweetness and ice, I personally thought it was way too sweet and tasted extremely artificial. The pearls, on the other hand, were decent. The boyfriend’s comment was just “good”.
Chicken Karaage ($7.50) served with mayo. This is another top seller of theirs. Both boyfriend and I were really looking forward to their chicken karaage, however, it was extremely disappointing down from the portion size to taste. The chicken pieces were small and lacked freshness. Overall, they tasted overcooked, dry, and bland.
Roasted Black Garlic Tonkotsu($15) Rich pork-based flavour broth served with two slices of chashu, corn, spinach, bamboo shoots, green onion, 1/2 ajitama, and dried seafood. The boyfriend loves trying out black garlic tonkotsu-based ramen – this is also their best seller! I thought the broth lacked depth, but he thinks it’s better than most of the ones he’s tried in the Lower Mainland.
Shio ($13) Simple salt-flavour broth served with two slices of chashu, corn, spinach, bamboo shoots, green onion, 1/2 ajitama, and dried seafood. It’s quite rare that I order shio-based ramen as I love my fatty tonkotsu broths! When it comes to Shio, the broth is usually made with chicken, fish or pork bones, vegetables and salt. The broth gives off a pale to golden yellow hue depending on the types of bones and vegetable used.
I’ve read online reviews that people aren’t a fan of the portion sizes here – but I personally think it’s quite standard and comparable to all the other ramen joints. Not a huge fan of the toppings as I find them quite boring, but I quite liked the richness of the broth. My noodles soaked up the broth nicely.
Mochi Donuts ($2ish) Matcha, Coffee, Cookies and Cream. Their mochi donuts gained a lot of attention via social media which was how I discovered this ramen joint in the first place. They’re all handmade in small batches (about 50 donuts) and the first batch is usually available around 1pm on weekends and 2pm on weekdays. To be honest, they’re overhyped – I’m now regretting not trying mochi donuts in Japan to get a good comparison! Surprisingly I liked coffee most out of the three. Matcha tasted extremely artificial and bland – I couldn’t get much green tea flavour. Texture was chewy as anticipated.
Although my experience at Asaka was lackluster, service was extremely attentive and friendly. Our waitress was extremely patient and maintained professionalism during the lunch rush hour, kept our waters filled, and remembered to bring our mochi donuts without any prompting which boyfriend and I appreciated!
2780 No 3 Rd