Benkei Ramen

Benkei Ramen on UrbanspoonI’m so sad to see all the other Benkei locations have closed and this is the only one left…I’d already seen Ezogiku disappear completely after opening more than one location. Ezogiku was the pioneers of bringing ramen into the Vancouver scene. In 1974, they were the first Ramen specialized restaurant in Hawaii. Then, in 1990, they established the first Ramen specialized restaurant in Vancouver. I still remember (though a bit foggy…since I was little) when they had their first small restaurant. It was super crammed (and a bit sketchy) and could only fit like 5-7 people. However, for our family that had just immigrated from Japan, it was the only place that had ramen in Vancouver. In fact, back then, there weren’t that many sushi places either. Hard to imagine right!? I still remember how my friends were grossed out at the nori (black seaweed). I wasn’t even eating raw fish. It was only kappa (cucumber). Since then, I never ate any sushi in front of non-Japanese people. Not until things changed. Sad when you think about it…

And with this change, time and new competition, Ezogiku was gone. Though I remember my last ramen at Ezogiku not being that good. It was a big portion, but noodle and soup wise, it wasn’t great. Now with all the negative comments on Benkei’s review, I am worried about Benkei following the same fate as Ezogiku.

Personally, Benkei is my favourite ramen-ya. I’m not into the really oily and heavy ramen at Santouka or Kintaro. The restaurant (even at other locations) usually has a very Japanese-ramen-ya feel. I remember those days when we would have to wait a bit a for a jam packed Benkei. Now when I go, it’s always only half full…but maybe it’s also because we go after 8pm.

idearabbit-benkei idearabbit-benkei2You can collect stamps. Every time you dine, you get a stamp, and once you’ve accumulated 10 stamps on the card, you get a free bowl of ramen! Unfortunately, I never go enough, and they expire after a year.

The service is fast and efficient. The servers are friendly, though perhaps we’re biased on this as one of them is an acquaintance of Sheepie.

idearabbit-benkei4Gyoza $2.50 (part of combo) idearabbit-benkei3Tori Shio $7.50

The texture, how the noodle is cooked is just the way I like it. The broth is light, but flavorful. I feel I can eat 2 bowls…LOL. I usually order the Tori Shio $7.50 – really good :D The prices are quite cheaper than the currently popular ramen-ya  in town. If you’re feeling quite hungry, getting a combo might be a good idea though the Gyoza $2.50 on the side is meh…nothing special to report…actually this time it was a bit burnt :P

I just hope they can survive the over saturated ramen-ya industry!

Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot     Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrot