Located in the heart of Chinatown, my friend who had recently gone to check out the restaurant wanted to go again, so the five of us went for a super late lunch at 3pm. I was expecting a lineup, but to our luck, we had a big table to our self. The decor was modern, hipster and a mix of art and Japanese culture. On a warm day, the inside was a bit too warm. It would have been nice to have the windows open, or the door left open a crack to have some ventilation.
The menu was more than I expected. Usually, ramen-ya were quite simple in their menu selection so you knew what to get right away, but I was indecisive. Finally, I decided that I wanted something light and refreshing, so I ordered the Tori (chicken) $9.95.
My friend said that they have some special offers everyday, and this time their sandwich board in front said that by following them on Instagram gets you free Cha-shu (slices of pork). My friend did, so he had cha-shu on his ramen which were fatty and thick.
The presentation is really nice. Care is put in for placement, and reminds me of ramen in Japan. The broth was light, but really good. The noodle was a bit too al dente, once again. I wonder if I can ask them to cook a little longer next time… that’s what I should start doing when I go out for ramen, rather than trying to eat something I don’t want when I’m paying for it. Maybe even for 30 seconds longer. The chicken meatball was a pleasant surprise. It was good meat with garlic and herbs. Very tasty!
The great thing about this ramen-ya which I have not yet seen anywhere else in Vancouver, is the free seconds. The system is known as kae-dama (替え玉), where customers who have finished their noodles can request a “refill” to be put into their remaining soup. But that means you can’t drink your soup one the first bowl because they only give you extra noodles – not soup. The ‘kaedama’ was small, but good enough. This time, the noodles were even harder, and more difficult to eat.
Overall, the taste was fantastic but I seriously need to ask them to ‘over’ cook next time. There was a bit of confusion as the two of us wanted the kaedama, and I thought my friend ordered to the staff, but they brought us the bill instead. When they returned, they only had one kaedama for my friend, and not for me. But other than that, it was good. Average pricing as well. Will be back!