Ever since my trip to Tokyo I have been looking for a ramen restaurant in Vancouver that comes close to the ramen I had there. Ramen joints have been popping up all over Vancouver in the recent years. I have tried a few of them; some were good, some not so good.
My friends recently recommended Tai Sho Ken Ramen located in Downtown Vancouver, 515 Abbott Street. The place was tiny but comfy. The staff were nice and welcoming. There was an interesting sign up sheet at the front door. Instead of the host writing your name down, you write your own name down and wait until they call your name.
I ordered the Tonkatsu ramen and my boyfriend ordered the Tsukemen noodles. The noodles in the Tonkatsu were thick and chewy. They were the best noodles I have had since Tokyo. The Tonkatsu pork broth was thick and creamy and very tasty and rich. It was not too salty. You can tell that it was real slow cooked pork broth because of the cloudiness in the broth. You are given two pieces of your choice. I chose a medium and lean cut. There was also bamboo shoots and seaweed. The bowl size was just right. Not too small; enough for a decent meal.
You can upgrade your meal by adding gyoza or other sides. I ordered the Okonomi gyoza which had okonomi sauce and bonito flakes. The gyoza was extra crispy and juicy. The picture below shows the okonomi gyoza on the right and the regular gyoza on the left. (They messed up and gave us regular gyoza instead of spicy. Oh well, I am not the type to complain. It was still amazing.)
The Tsukemen is a type of dipping noodles. Instead of the noodles served inside the broth, the noodles are served separately and you dip portions of the noodle into the sauce before you eat it. The broth is slightly oilier than the ramen broth and spicy, but still really tasty. The noodles served in the Tsukemen were the same as the one in the ramen dish; thick and chewy.
Overall, I would go back to this restaurant and try a couple of their other noodles. The broth was really nice and reminded me on the broth in Japan. The noodles were pleasant and chewy and the gyoza was really good. I really enjoyed my experience here. My mouth is drooling from the memory. Mmm.
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