I’ve been hearing all sorts of hype for awhile now about a chain ramen restaurant originating from Japan that opened up earlier this year on Robson Street near Denman – Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. As a result, a few of us, including beautiful ladies Melody (Vancouver Food Tour) and Teresa (Senses Inspired) decided to dine there one night recently.
In order to not have to wait for a table at this busy restaurant, we figured that we should meet up fairly early at 6PM on a Monday evening. When we arrived, we managed to snag the last seats at the large communal table at the front of the dining room. Although this made it a bit difficult for conversation, we made do and were content to sit down happily to our meals.
I excitedly looked through the various pages in the menu and had issues deciding on what to get – so many things were available to satisfy my generally interesting Asian food cravings.
Finally, based on a recommendation from Mel, I decided to go with one of the Toroniku bowls – namely the spicy Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen. This came in two parts – the soup broth and ramen noodles, and the sides of pork jowl, green onion, mushroom and bamboo on a plate.
Once I mixed everything together and had my first bite, I noticed the rich and tasty spicy broth, and enjoyed the tenderness of the meat. Although this hearty bowl of soup is around $12 (which is quite high in comparison to other ramen restaurants in the Robson / West End area, such as Kintaro), I really valued the quality of the meal.
We also all enjoyed some crisp and delicious Gyoza on the side. Cooked just right, I managed to make my way through quite a few of these (and we had to get multiple orders).
The only complaint I had that evening was when we tried to pay separately for our bill, and they wouldn’t allow us to do so. I’m assuming this is due to dealing with a busy rush at dinner all the time, but it was still really inconvenient for our group. Santouka also only accepts debit or cash for payment.
Other than that, I will definitely make sure to return again. Perfect for a quick meal with some really great ramen on a cold and rainy Vancouver day.