The second location has opened for Danbo on Robson. The unfortunate thing is, they took took over the location where a previous Ramen-ya used to be, Maruko Ramen, which was one of my favourite ramen-ya. So sad to see it go… But will the new ramen-ya be just as good?
A friend of mine knew the person running the restaurant, so despite my negative review for the one of 4th, I thought I’d give it another try.
We met for lunch at 11:30am on a cold, drizzling Saturday. The place was bare, and there was only a single man eating. There were 3 front staff.
I ordered the Classic Tonkotsu Ramen $9.95 this time, with thick noodles, standard firmness, light broth, no lard and standard spiciness. This time, the noodles were the thickness that I was used to, and loved. However, I and my friend both found it a bit too firm once again. If I ever go back, I will ask for soft. As I got closer to ending my bowl, the firmness got a bit better as it soaked up more broth, which was light and good. Next time, I would completely take out the spiciness (the mountain of red stuff) as since it seems to completely mask the good pork broth.
As time went by, there were 2-3 other tables, mostly in pairs that joined for lunch. By then, there were 5 Japanese female staff, standing there, having not much to do. I felt like so many eyes were on us. It did feel a little uncomfortable.
I know they’d like to make the experience as authentic as possible, but the staff’s name tag had their names written big – in Japanese, and in romaji/English in small underneath, barely able to read. My Japanese is super rusty, and I couldn’t read any of them. Even worse is the fact that names in Japanese characters have so many ways to read them (sometimes uniquely for names only), so that even Japanese people can’t always read names. Though not sure how important knowing the names of the staff is…
My friend had the Blazing Hot Ramen.Every time they served a bowl, they all shouted “Goyukkuri meshiagarikudasai”. I guess that can be translated to ‘take time, enjoy the food’. Staff in Japan do say that to you directly, but it was the first time that the entire staff shouted. It doesn’t bother me – cuz I understand it, but for the majority, I doubt anyone does, or even notices. If they’re used to Guu, they’d think Japanese staff are always shouting something, lol.
But service was excellent. English for some was a bit of trouble… but no major problems.
Shout outs of “Arigatougozaimashita” (thank you) echoed as we got up to leave, and our main server helped open the door for us.
Although the ramen was better this time, it’s still not the kind of ramen I’d go back for on my own.