After hearing a lot of buzz about Santouka Ramen on Robson, it was time to see why everyone loves this place. M, InsecureGirl, FragileBoy and I were heading Downtown anyways…so we decided to go here.
We were really bummed about the line up, but looking at their display case and gossiping made the time go by fast. I am sure everyone who goes to this place has the “line up” problem. Surprisingly, it only took about 10 – 15 mins to get a table since they have a fast turnover rate. One bad thing is that if you are super hungry, the images of the display will make you more hungry.
The inside of the restaurant is not that large, but you get a really nice view of the kitchen. If you ever wonder how they make ramen, the mystery is now over!
This is their menu, they have different types of ramen with different options, but it still not as diverse as the other ramen places a few blocks away.
We started off with Asahi beers ($5.25) and I thought it was funny how it was served in a Sapporo glass.
M had the Karamiso Cha Shu Ramen ($10.95) and the Ikura Gohan ($5.45). The broth of the Karamiso Cha Shu is made of pork broth, hot spices and miso. It came with double amount of Cha Shu, which M loves! The other ingredients inside were noodles, bamboo shoots, jelly ears, and green onions. M thought it was good, but it could have been more spicy. The Ikura gohan has Ikura (Salmon roe), which are like little balloons filled with a salty mixture. When you eat the Ikura with rice, it complements nicely to dull down the salty taste of ikura.
M and I shared the Chef Special Gyoza. For $5, I found this expensive for 5 pieces of dumplings. He was so excited that when I took the picture he just had to reach for a gyoza with his chopsticks. Overall, the gyozas were good, nice and crispy on the outside and nice and juicy meat on the inside.
I had the Toroniku Ramen ($12.95), which is their signature ramen and the toppings served separately. Toroniku Cha-shu is simmered pork cheek meat. According to their website, pork cheek meat is very rare and only 200-300g can be taken from each pig. It has a very rich flavour and it is tender like fatty tuna. It was really good and I liked their thin noodles because that meant you could taste the flavour of the broth!
InsecureGirl and FragileBoy got combos ($11.90)….both of them were shoyu ramen and came with a gohan. She got the grilled salmon gohan and he got the Ikura Gohan.
On the plus side, your spoon will never fall into the bowl! Good invention…I wonder where they got it.
Words of Wisdom:
- Long line ups, wear a jacket or go really early or really late in the evening
- Having the comfort of knowing your spoon will never fall into the soup
- Hard to find parking, mostly street parking.
- Small portions
- Cash and Debit ( No credit cards)
The overall experience at Santouka Ramen was pretty good….and expensive. This whole meal totaled about $90 after tax and tip. The quality of their ingredients is good, but you may not get full on the size of the dish. This place does beat other ramen places like Benkei Ramen, Kawawa Ramen….but can never beat Kintaro Ramen on Denman.
We rate Santouka Ramen:
Check out their website: http://www.santouka.co.jp/en/