Santouka Anniversary Day

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 =(

Santouka RamenThe 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.

Santouka Ramen

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.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火 on Urbanspoon

Kung Pao Wok

While doing some Christmas shopping at Richmond Centre, I decided to have a snack which turned into an entire meal haha For some reason, I really wanted some fast Chinese food or Asian food in general so I was debating between Kung Pao Wok and the Thai place next to it and some other place next to that but Kung Pao Wok was cheaper so I went there instead.

Kung Pao Wok

As with other fast food Chinese places, they have pre-made food for you to choose from to go with rice or noodles. I picked a noodle combo with 1 item and I got the Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Beef with some Spicy Chicken. Despite expecting the noodles to be greasy, this surpassed my expectations by being SUPER greasy. There was literally a small pool of oil underneath. The spicy chicken was a tad spicy from the Sichuan peppers and not really dry. It was on the salty side though so probably lots of seasoning and msg.

I was really hungry and the greasy food hit the spot for me. Sometimes you gotta indulge at the food court right?

It was around $7 so I could’ve almost gotten some better Chinese food for the same price but it was the food court so yeah I wasn’t expecting much.  The portion of noodles was pretty big for me. I actually thought there’d be less but the server just kept piling it on. You can also ask for a sample of the different food items if you can’t decide like me.

Also, the banana peppers on the side were not part of the meal; they were from Quiznos.

Kung Pao Wok on Urbanspoon

Feeling Conflicted about the Noodle Box

The Noodle Box opened up a new location on Main and Broadway this year and I had always been curious about it. They serve Asian inspired noodles and I chose the Spicy Peanut Noodles to-go. With each noodle bowl you have a choice of protein: Rossdown Chicken, Beef, Pulled Pork or Organic Tofu. I went with the pulled pork.

The Noodle Box

It came in a cute take out container! The container says it can hold 30oz of food. When the noodles are served in a bowl at the restaurant the portion looks bigger but the box was pretty filling for me and I assume they would give you the same amount of food even though it looks like it’s less.

The Noodle Box

The food was ready really fast. This is what it looks like when you open it. Everything is really packed in and there were lots of peanuts on top!

The Noodle Box

The noodles are stir fried with bean sprouts, peppers, green onion, cilantro, peanuts and mixed with an Indonesian peanut sauce. You can choose your level of spiciness too and it ranges from mild to scorching hot. I picked medium and it was spicy enough for me especially since the noodles are hot it made it seem spicier. The peanut sauce was quite creamy and thick and I appreciated that they were a decent amount of veggies in  here. The pulled pork was less noticeable since it sort of melted down? I think picking chicken or beef would be better.

The only thing I didn’t like was the price. This was $12.50 and for a fast food place, I feel like I could’ve gone somewhere else for authentic Asian food with service for the same price or less. Especially since we have lots of Asian food in Vancouver! I liked the spicy peanut flavour and it was a filling meal but I’m not in a hurry to come back.

The Noodle Box on Urbanspoon

Kintaro Ramen

I’m not crazy about ramen but it is pretty good on a cold day! On another lunch trip with my co workers I finally got to try Kintaro Ramen which is like the original ramen shop in Vancouver! Stepping into the restaurant we could already feel the heat from their open kitchen and luckily we didn’t have to wait too long although we did have to split our group of 4 into 2 groups of 2 due to limited seating.

Kintaro RamenMy friend had the Cheese Ramen and I think it had a Miso soup base? Basically the cheese was some mozzarella that was sprinkled on top and there was also another slice of it too. You also get to choose lean or fatty cha siu here. Her’s was lean. This was a little more expensive because of the cheese but if you like cheese this is highly recommended!

Kintaro RamenI always order something spicy so naturally I picked the Spicy Garlic Ramen with fatty cha siu and a medium broth. That ball on top of the pork that you see is actually the garlic! This did not occur to me until I tried to take a bite out of it and promptly had to drink copious amounts of water. @___@ The noodles were al dente and the broth was indeed spicy. In fact I hardly noticed the garlic taste till afterwards. Since I ordered the medium rich broth, I began to see the oil and fat coagulating on top as the soup cooled down which was slightly disturbing. The cha siu was super soft and tender though since I got the fatty option. Unfortunately this also gave you garlic breath after so be sure to take some of those mints they offer you at the end of your meal! I think I liked the spicy ramen I had at Ramen Jinya better.

Kintaro Ramen 金太郞 on Urbanspoon

Ramen Jinya

My coworkers and I went for lunch at Ramen Jinya. It’s across from the public library downtown on Robson. I had previously never heard of it before so I was interested in giving it a try when my coworkers mentioned it. I also noticed there’s a lot of small restaurants on that strip of Robson too. There was a small lineup outside during lunch hours and you can just put your name on a list and wait for them to call you. The interior wasn’t that big but it was well lit from the large windows at the front. They had ramen with either a pork broth or a chicken broth. I chose the Tonkotsu Spicy Ramen and you can choose your spiciness level from mild, spicy or hot. I picked spicy.

Ramen Jinya I actually really liked this! It was the right level of spiciness for me and the broth tasted rich and delicious. I think it’s also because it was salty too. The noodles were al dente and the pieces of tonkotsu were fatty and chopped up into small pieces. I wanted to keep drinking the broth but I knew it was probably super fattening and oily. They also have the Tonkotsu Red Ramen where you can choose your spiciness level from 1-10 and I heard 5 was pretty spicy already. I definitely would come back to try their Red Ramen or Black Ramen. I always thought that ramen joints were on the other end of Robson but I guess not! My only issue was that we were seated on these high bar like stools and there was no where to put my jacket or bag…  Also, they do have a minimum charge of $9.75 per person.

Ramen Jinya 陣家 on Urbanspoon