Ramen Koika is located on Davie Street opened by Caleb Lee. He traveled to Japan to learn how to make ramen in Chiba, Tokyo and Osaka. Did you know he also was a banker before getting into the restaurant industry? Vancouver Sun has a pretty good article talking about it how they began their journey into creating Ramen Koika.
We were invited to try a few items off their menu. I was pretty excited since I haven’t been here yet.
The restaurant is a good size for small and large groups. You can see right into the kitchen to see the staff cooking up a storm.
Tako Wasabi is fresh octopus marinated in wasabi. The portion size was very good and had a nice subtle kick of wasabi.
Chashu Wrap is grilled in a panini press before serving. A nice snack if you are coming here and want something small.
Gyoza comes with 5 pieces in either veggie or pork. Nice crisp bottom and savoury filling.
Chashu panini has cream cheese, cajun honey chashu, lettuce, and wasabi mayo. Not a usual item you would find in a ramen shop, but the option is there.
Kakuni is pork belly stewed in a secret Koika soy sauce and topped with a marsala wine sauce. Delicious!
Tornado Potato Stick starts out as a potato that is sliced in a spiral shape and then deep fried. It wasn’t as crispy as other places that have it in town. It might be because of the potatoes they chose to use.
Sapporo Miso Ramen has bamboo shoots, ground pork, bean sprouts, green onion and corn. It had a goo balance of flavours and if you usually like miso, you’ll enjoy this.
Kara Miso Ramen is the spicy version of the Sapporo Miso Ramen and it has the same toppings inside like bamboo shoots, ground pork, bean sprouts, green onion and corn. It has a decent amount of spice but it isn’t too spicy.
Chiba Black Ramen has bamboo shoots, roasted seaweed, soft boiled egg, chashu, black tree fungus, green onion, garlic chip, black garlic oil. You can choose the chashu to be lean or fatty.
The egg was cooked perfectly. Look at that egg. Yum. The ramen tasted good and a lot of people enjoyed this dish, but I always find it comes down to personal preference. I still prefer the Black Garlic Ramen from Jinya.
Kings Ramen uses their Wok Smoky Cuisine-Chicken Broth and can be mild or spicy. It also has carrot, cabbage, mushroom, green onion, bean sprouts, shredded pork, seaweed, bamboo shoot, and the soft boiled ramen egg. There’s definitely a lot of flavours going on in this dish.
Okinawa Umi Ramen has fresh mussels, garlic, green pepper, red pepper, green ramen and ramen in the veggie and seafood broth. A very unique ramen dish but the amount of pepper inside was quite strong.
Kimchi Ramen has shredded pork, kimchi, mushroom, spring onion, onion, cabbage, and green onions. There was a good amount of kimchi taste with subtle sour notes.
Nagasaki Champon Ramen is topped with Black tree fungus, bok choy, onion, cabbage, red pepper, green pepper, Thai chili, prawns, scallop, mussel, squid, and bean sprouts. There’s so many ingredients in there that took away from the noodles and the broth.
They also serve beer here, which is great if you want a drink with your ramen.
I find that with some of the ramen, it has a lot of toppings that didn’t add too much flavour to the ramen. Perhaps it’s just a style that wasn’t what I liked at Ramen Koika. My personal preference for ramen is very rich and fatty with less amount of toppings.
It’s good that they offer more options than just ramen, so if you are with friends that don’t want ramen, they can find other types of items on their menu.
We rate Ramen Koika:
1231 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC