My favourite ramen shops in Vancouver: Motomachi Shokudo and Santouka
Monday, November 19, 2012

Here’s a post dedicated to one of my favourite noodles: ramen. Luckily, Vancouver has quite a few good quality and inexpensive places to get your ramen fix. On a normal day, I’d be satisfied with Kintaro, the decade-old ramen shop on Denman Street that was the first of its kind to open in downtown Vancouver.

But if you’re only in Vancouver for a quick visit like I am usually, then I recommend heading to it’s sister restaurant around the corner, Motomachi Shokudo. Opened by the same Chef, Daiji Matsubara, it offers a lighter chicken broth soup base (instead of pork) and uses organic ingredients. The menu is also a little more interesting, with flavours like Bamboo Charcoal Dark Miso. However, what’s special about this ramen shop is their marinated soft-boiled eggs. I like to get an extra order of their soft-boiled eggs on the side because the half they give you in your ramen is just not enough.

Outside Motomachi Shokudo, located at 740 Denman Street, Vancouver.

Inside, the tiny ramen shop seats no more than 20 people.

A light shio (salt) ramen.

Gotta have that extra order of marinated soft-boiled egg! The yolk is cooked to the perfect gelatinous texture. Then, the egg is lightly marinated in a sweet soy sauce.

The Chef’s creation, Bamboo Charcoal Dark Miso. Looks a bit scary but it’s supposedly a strong antitoxin. The charcoal lends a smokey flavour to the miso soup broth.

Spicy miso ramen.

Shio ramen with vegetables.

Cold ramen. Although it’s a nice alternative to hot soup during the summer, I didn’t enjoy this too much. I found the noodles too stiff and the beef a little dry. The sauce that goes with the ramen is a light sweet soy.

My other favourite ramen shop is a chain from Japan called Santouka. According to their website, they simmer pork bones for 20 hours before adding other ingredients to create the flavour and milky-colour soup broth. Their signature ramen is Tokusen Toroniku ramen which features slices of rare pork cheek that melts in your mouth, literally. I wouldn’t even use the word tender to describe it as it’s texture is closer to a fatty tuna as they describe on their menu.

Their small open kitchen lets you watch every bowl of ramen being prepared.

Tokusen Toroniku ramen with soft-boiled egg on the side.

Their summer special was a hot tomato/pork-broth with bacon and parmesan. I really enjoyed the soup broth of this ramen. The sourness of the tomato helped cut the fatty pork broth.

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!