I am always looking for a good Ramen shop close to where I live. Currently my favorite is Santouka Ramen on Broadway. It is a Hokkaido style ramen. It opened up this year. The original location in Vancouver is on Robson Street but I seldom travel downtown. So I have never been.
I have been to Broadway location a few times now and have tried different dishes. Each time it was delicious and I was not disappointed. One thing you need to be careful of is the time that you go to eat. If it is past 11:30 am you are at a risk of waiting in a line up. Yes I have seen a line up outside the door. This location is quite small and looks like a railway station. It is cozy and cute and gets really busy.
Whenever I first try a ramen restaurant I always order their tonkatsu ramen as a comparison (also because that is my favorite type of ramen).
The picture below is their Shio Ramen. The broth is rich and flavorful and their noodles are thick and chewy. The nice thing at Santouka is that you can order sides to go with your ramen (eg tofu, egg, veggies, seaweed, corn etc). I always order their steamed veggies. Their bowls seem small but the broth is rich and you will definitely feel full. I usually order their small size and it is perfect for me. The pork belly is tender and juicy.
My husband’s favorite dish is the tsuke-men, dipping noodles. The noodles in this dish is thicker than the ramen noodles and the broth is really flavorful and has a rich bamboo shoot flavor. You can also order their spicy version.
I have also tried their jalapeno cilantro ramen and it is something different. Not sure if I will order this one again. The flavors to me didn’t really go together. It wasn’t too spicy but the cilantro was a bit weird with the broth.
If you have a vegetarian friend, they can always join you because there is a vegetarian ramen. It has a soy based soup. I would say it was pretty tasty and satisfying. This is good if you want a lighter version of ramen. The soup is creamy because of the soya milk and it almost reminds me of a corn soup.
The miso ramen is lighter in flavor too and also really tasty.
Finally you can’t have ramen without a drink. We ordered their japanese cream soda. Fizzy cream soda with ice cream just like a root beer float. It is sweet and creamy.
Their sides are good too. I have tried the fried chicken and it is crispy and seasoned well. The gyoza is also pretty decent but could be crispier.
I would definitely be coming back to eat here. It is a great place to eat with a variety of choices. The broth is always flavorful and delicious and the noodles are thick and chewy.