Toroniku shio ramen. With a side of egg. $12.95 (gulp!) Rating: 6/6
OMG. I have gone to pork cheek heaven. This particular dish is a special that is offered by Santouka ramen. If you order early enough, you can get it. However, it states clearly on the menu that it may be sold out and is subject to availability. I would be so disappointed if I had a hankering for pork cheek and couldn’t have this.
The shio broth had great depth and was milky thick and savoury. The vats of steaming broth in the kitchen could be seen in the back. It tastes as if the broth’s been reducing for hours. It’s rich and unctuous. I can’t say enough about the tender pork cheeks. The side dish egg is my favourite when I go for ramen. The yolk is golden yellow and runny when you cut into it. Yum!
Kara Miso Ramen. $9.45 Rating: 6/6
Spicy hot in a miso-based broth.
If perchance, you read Japanese, the link to Santouka’s site is HERE.
I have never paid so much money for a bowl of ramen in my life. That being said, it was the best bowl of ramen I’ve had in a long time. My order was about $13.00. That can buy you a lot of instant noodles! Wowsa. I don’t want to diminish the integrity of the ramen here by comparing it with instant noodles…but all I can say is, yikes! I paid $14.00 for a bowl of ramen noodles. With pork jowl. Real good, tender as butter pork jowl.
The noodles were great, the broth was superb and the service was good. I didn’t like the cramped quarters, but that’s what you get for being a successful ramen joint.
This restaurant is located along the main drag of Robson street. There’s street parking (metered) along Robson street if you can get it, and there’s ample transit. Generally, there’s a lineup out the door and like I said, it’s cramped and crowded. Turnover isn’t as quick as some other ramen places probably because some patrons like to linger and chit-chat, but that’s no fault of the restaurant. The restaurant is also small and dark. There aren’t many tables to be had and there is a sort of communal bar where you can sit to eat. Don’t even think about coming here with a large party of 10.