ramen in Edmonton
when I was in Japan you could get fantastic bowls of Raman noodles in miso (or other) broth. Since then (8 yrs ago), i have been trying to find something similar. Does anyone know what I am talking about & where to get it? Aparently it is actually a Chinese dish?
Mmmm yummy warm comfort food ramen. Yes, I know of what you speak. I have had a few ramen bowls here in Edmonton, though most not as good as from a simple ramen shop in Japan.
The one I most enjoyed was from Tokyo Noodle on Whyte Ave. They offered (at the time - this was a couple of years ago) nice, perfectly cooked wriggly ramen noodles in a choice of miso or soya sauce flavoured broth. I believe you had other options of meat or veg added in as well. I had the miso broth and it was very nice.
Ramen is actually pronounced "La Mien", which means pulled noodles. Which is indeed chinese in origin. However, the Japanese have, as they are wont to do, taken the original idea of ramen and made it there own.
Typically, there are four types of broth. Miso (miso), Shoyu (soy), Tonkatsu (pork), and Shio (salt). There are regional variations (Wakayama Tonkatsu Ramen and Hokkaido Tonkatsu Ramen are completely different. Even Shikoku and Wakayama, which are neighbours, have completely different ramen styles).
In Alberta, they typically serve miso ramen. The broth, in theory, is usually the most complex part of a bowl of ramen. It has the most variation as well. The problem here is due to what i am assuming is low demand, they cannot, nor do they choose to take the 24-48 hours it takes to properly prepare a ramen broth. Instead, they squeeze some miso paste into some form of stock, throw in noodles and meat, and call it a day. They also bring in vietnamese style cha-su (BBQ pork), which is really different than what you had in Japan, where they properly prepare their own cha-su.
Shoyu ramen here is just that - soy sauce and broth mixed together. Im not a fan.
Anyway, my whole point is, you won't find anything like what you had in Japan here. Just some very very pale imitations of the real thing. Sadly, the closest place i've found that has a good Tonkatsu Kotteri style ramen is in Cali.
I heard rumour that Wa's in Calgary serves Tonkatsu Ramen, but they have run out every time i've been there and remembered to ask. If i ever find out, i'll let you know.
The 'ramen' I once had at the Tokyo Noodle place in E-town was a sorry dish that looked and tasted more like regular spaghetti than anything else and don't get me started on the soup it was swimming in. :( As for Calgary, I'd say Shikiji's "shio" (salt) ramen is more than passable and probably the best you will find in Alberta - they used to be in Banff, and I made more than a few treks down from Edmonton just to satisfy my ramen craving back in the day. :) Yen - Wa's does have the Tonkotsu ramen you refer to, but I've never had it but a friend of mine says its decent. But alas, not what the level you find in Japan...
I don't have any suggestions either, but if you find something let me know! The only Japanese style ramen I've had was at Chaya in Banff.
I guess this is ramen related, so hopefully people won't mind the tangent... I read this article over the year end holidays from the LA Times about a huge ramen fan down there, who also has his own ramen dedicated website. Might be of interest to some...