Leave No Noodle Behind (Hokkaido Ramen Santouka)

Video Credit: Karan Dhani

Through rain, through snow, and through belly bloat and stomach pains, no noodle is left behind because when you are paying $1 extra to upgrade to a larger size, you endure.

On the mission to find the Top 3 Comfort Foods of all time, today I’m tackling Number 2 on my list – a delicious and heartwarming bowl of ramen.  To get the Real Deal Ramen Experience, don’t forget to click the youtube video up above.

Carbohydrates, warmth, and creaminess – ramen has got everything you’re craving in a top notch comfort food.  Most importantly, after devouring a big bowl of these noo noos, you can bet you’ll be leaving with a round belly, warm heart, and a longing desire to take a three hour nap.

In a city where ramen joints are aplenty, trust me when I say it’s no easy task to choose a winner but you can’t go wrong with a classic like Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.

Not exactly a newcomer to the noodle scene, Santouka has been notorious for its lineups for the past few years which just goes to show you that when you give the people what they want, they will wait and wait and wait.

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No ramen dinner ever feels quite complete without a good old fashioned dumpling so it’s the Gyoza appetizer for us tonight.  Served with your choice of vinegar, soy sauce, and chilli oil, this feels akin to winning the lottery.  All of them, I will take them all.

Stuffed with juicy pork and veg, these golden beauties are a tasty delight.  Keep em coming all night long.

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The main event, the star of the show, the apple of my eye arrives next.  It’s Karo Miso Ramen for me and Shio Ramen for Karan.

The Ice Age has so obviously descended upon Vancouver and if anybody looks at you with derisive scorn when you upgrade to the large, you sock it to them because packing on the blubber to stay warm is a matter of life and death.  If you want to make it through our mean winters than you will keep quiet and eat as many noodles as it takes.

A rich velvety miso broth with a subtle fiery kick and a noodle with a bouncy chew is just what I’m looking for tonight.  A few petite pieces of pork cha-shiu are scattered throughout the bowl but what is notably missing, much to my dismay, is an egg.

10 demerit points here because what is ramen if not for an egg?

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Scrambling madly to catch the servers attention, I request a egg side oder.  But alas, weakly marinated and cold with not enough ooze, it was a disappointment.

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With a side order of sweet corn, the Shio Ramen made with a creamy mild salt based broth arrived with pork cha-shiu and a cuttlefish treat, which slightly compensates for their dull egg.

Stuffed to bursting and ready to take a nap right in the middle of Robson Street, would I return?

At around $11 for each large bowl of ramen and $5 for gyozas, the prices are fair.

You win some, you lose some in life and while still a solid bowl of ramen, the taste and loving care that once seemed to have gone into their noodles at Santouka has somewhat declined since its heyday not so long ago.

Still, on those freezing Vancouver nights where you’ve lost complete feeling and usage in both hands and feet, this ramen sure hits the spot.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka on Urbanspoon

6 thoughts on “Leave No Noodle Behind (Hokkaido Ramen Santouka)

  1. On the topic of ramen, want to hear a sad story? I made my way to Taishoken to finally try their ramen yesterday in the freezing cold. Finally got there and they were sold out on most of their ramen. 😦

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