Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is a Japanese owned and operate chain of restaurants. The ramen restaurant company has many locations in Japan, two in Hong Kong, two in Singapore, and even seven in the U.S.A. Their only Canadian location is on Robson Street (corner of Bidwell) in the West End of Vancouver, BC.
It’s always quite busy during lunchtime hours, so you may have to wait awhile for a table. Quarters are close and you’ll probably be rubbing elbows with strangers.
You can watch the “ramen masters” behind the glass, working hard in their kitchen.
Tokusen Toroniku Ramen ($13) – choice pork cheek ramen is their signature dish and its toppings are served on a separate plate.
Miso Ramen ($8) – the soup is made from a mixture of pork broth and a rich, hearty miso paste. They use a different pork broth than the Shio Ramen, to bring out the distinct miso flavour.
Honestly, I’m not usually a fan of ramen. Maybe I OD’d on too much ‘ramyeon’ while living in Seoul. And, I really don’t enjoy the hunks of fat in the ramen at places like Kintaro. However, the pork cheek slices are extremely lean, tender, delicious, and melt in your mouth. Both broths were rich and creamy, without being too oily tasting. The ramen noodles were fresh and had a real substance to them – “Mr. Noodles”, they are not!
I would definitely recommend Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, especially to those who don’t usually enjoy ramen soup. You’ll be pleasantly surprised 🙂