For my first authentic ramen experience in Japan, I went to Ichiran. This ramen chain specializes in Tonkotsu ramen. I didn’t actually know much about Ichiran except that everyone seems to go when they’re in Japan. They only serve one type of ramen here and I was surprised by that because I’m used to having a variety to choose from. However, that does make the ordering process a lot faster!
As usual, you order from a vending machine like the one pictured above. You insert cash and then select one of the options and then the machine will print an order ticket for you. If you need to add sides, you will need to insert money again and get another ticket. The ramen is very affordable and only costs 890 yen. There is also an option to order a set which comes with ramen, a chashu rice bowl and an egg. Continue reading →
Yokohama is a good place for a day trip if you’re visiting Tokyo. We had activated our JR Pass so it was only about a 30 minute ride on the bullet train or less. We didn’t have a lot planned for our day in Yokohama besides visiting Yokohama Chinatown, Osanbashi Pier, Cosmo World and the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum. The ramen museum is just a short 10 minute walk from Shin-Yokohama station. We were surprised that admission was only 310 yen which is about $3.50 CAD. I noticed they even offer an annual pass for people who want to visit often! The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum was opened in 1994 and is the world’s first food-themed museum.
The ramen museum features specialty ramen from 9 different regions in Japan. Once you buy your ticket and go in, you will be in a lobby area with a small gift shop and slot car racing for kids. This is also where you can learn about the origins of ramen through some large poster panels on the wall. At first I wasn’t very impressed because there wasn’t much on this floor but the ramen eating area is actually located downstairs. You can get a glimpse of the waiting times for the various ramen restaurants from a TV screen in the lobby. Continue reading →
The last time I was at Yuu Japanese Tapas was quite a few years ago. I took my parents here for dinner to check out their “new” location as they had expanded into another larger storefront but still in Continental Square.
My dad had the Chicken Cutlet Rice with Egg and Onion which came with miso soup and a small tray of side dishes including Japanese pickle, edamame and marinated bean sprouts. The chicken was very tender but I thought the sauce could’ve been stronger? It wasn’t very flavourful to me. They were very generous with the portion of rice here. Continue reading →
Ramen Danbo opened up last year on W. 4th and opened another location on Robson as well. After watching Dr. Strange, my friends and I craved ramen on a cold rainy day so we headed over to their Robson location. It wasn’t too busy and after a quick wait, we were seated at the bar. The “bar” is actually a really low one instead of the high counter top kind that you usually think of when people say they’re sitting at the bar.
Each wooden stool is actually hollow inside and there’s a lid that you can remove so that you can place your coat and bag inside since there is usually no where to put your belongings in many ramen shops. I thought that was super nifty! Continue reading →
As a Vancouverite, I’m used to seeing Asians everywhere but I was surprised that there was such a large Asian population in Sydney too! There are possibly even MORE Asians there. I also noticed that they have a lot more bubble tea shops in their “downtown” area, known as Central. Like how we have a Starbucks on every block here. With that being said, I was happy to find that there were a lot of Asian food options!
I was researching where to get ramen and I found that Ramen Zundo had good reviews. It is located in World Square Centre and there is a little “alley” inside the mall with small eateries! By the way, I must say that the mall layouts in Sydney are really cool! They all have small cafes/restaurants inside with their own seating areas making it super convenient! Here at Ramen Zundo, you order at the counter and they will give you a number and bring the food over. Continue reading →
Marutama has been highly praised for their perfectly soft boiled egg and flavourful chicken broth so it was about time that I tried it. Located on Bidwell Street, it’s just around the corner from the ever-popular Santouka and it’s never ending line ups. I arrived right at 12pm and there was no line up! Score for me!
I recently started a new job and I had the chance to go on a business trip to Toronto. Of course I had to use this opportunity to try as much food as possible. Momofuku is a chain restaurant from New York and their only location in Canada is in Toronto. Momofuku is located inside the Shangri-La Hotel and they take up 3 floors. The noodle bar is located on the first floor.
The seating area consists of some communal tables and it’s very spacious looking compared to places I’ve been to in Vancouver! But then again this is a famous restaurant chain and they’re inside a hotel. Continue reading →
Jinya Ramen Bar opened their new location in Kerrisdale back in May. It’s right next to The Hills and there’s a bus stop right in front of the store so it’s a great location. I went around 3pm and there was still a short wait! I was super hungry during this visit so it could’ve biased me slightly since everything tastes good when you’re hungry! Just letting you guys know!
My coworker alerted me about Santouka Anniversary Day where they would have 50% off select ramen bowls! That was a deal we couldn’t pass up!!! Unfortunately she was too busy to come with us =(
The special event was all day until they ran out of soup! The 50% off only applies to their shio, shoyu, miso and kara-miso ramen. We went really early and got there at 11:15am! We ended up waiting for 20mins which isn’t too bad.
We both ordered the Kara-Miso which is a spicy version of their regular miso. Since it was a busy day for them, we placed our order in line before we were seated and after we were seated our ramen arrived almost right away. So efficient!
The noodles were al dente and the cut of pork was well marbled just the way I like it. It was thick enough too. The broth was rich and creamy while having the right kick of spiciness. I liked this much better than the red ramen I had at the Ramen Butcher.
When the Ramen Butcher had their grand opening special week ($5/bowl!), I tried to go but the line up was waaay too long, we are talking about at least 30 people or more… totally not worth lining up so we just went the week after!
This was the Red Ramen which is their spicy ramen. The broth was not overly thick and rich but still creamy. It actually wasn’t very spicy to me though. I wish it came with another piece of chashu! The chashu was a good balance between fatty and lean. The weirdest thing was the noodles because they were really thin and more like soba noodles so I wasn’t used to it. The portions aren’t too big but they do give you complimentary noodles after you are finished if you still want more!
This was the Orange Ramen which came with miso marinated ground pork and also a piece of chashu. It didn’t really taste that much different than my Red ramen though but I only had some of the soup so I can’t really say.
This was the Original Ramen.
We also had to order some of their gyozas to share! On the left we have the Cheese Gyozas and on the right we have the Okonomi Gyozas covered in bonito flakes. The wrappers were thin and the fillings were juicy and flavourful. The cheese and okonomi toppings were good additions to make it more interesting but they’re not like a must order item to me. I kind of feel like I can add my own toppings or I’m just really cheap. On the other hand, the gyozas were probably more memorable than the ramen?
I think the ramen was good but nothing too exciting? It wouldn’t be my favourite ramen joint… I don’t think I have one yet since I haven’t tried them all.