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Opening? Menya Japanese Noodles, Vancouver

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Spotted on the corner of West Broadway and Yukon St. today, all its windows covered up in paper but the outside signage was finished. Seems to be an upcoming opening. Not sure of any details, if anyone does, would be curious to hear. Given the growing ramen area downtown, thought it interesting someone appears to be setting up shop in this part of town.

Can't remember if there was another restaurant in that location previously...

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  1. It sounds like the old Nakorn Thai location.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Took the words right out of my mouth!

      I too saw the windows papered but only just remembered it as I read this, since it was at 6 this morning....

      1. re: starlady

        Saw the paper down yesterday, perhaps opening soon?

      2. re: fmed

        Yes! That's it, I knew there was something there before but just couldn't place it.

      3. From the name, I will not get too excited. Sounds like chinese operators. jay, it looks like you are in the area quite frequently. Try it and let us know ;)

        8 Replies
        1. re: kwailan4

          For sure, I'm well aware that it will probably be Chinese-owned, thus no need to get excited. I just get stopped at the light at that intersection all the time, so I guess I just notice it when I am waiting for the light to change. :)

          1. re: jay_kay

            I went.

            It was the second day of being open and the atmosphere is quite nice. Looks like a couple of trees were cut down to do the interior but I like the Wood look and feel. The washrooms could use a little bit more of an upgrade.

            We walked in and were immediately seated, there were about four other groups in the restaurant already and over 10 Japanese people on staff.

            There were two types of tonkatsu ramen on the menu, priced at 6.75 and 7.00. We all added an egg for an extra 75 cents (highly recommend). There were a few other items on the menu such as cha siu rice dish, fried gyoza, rice balls and a few other things I can't recall.

            The broth tasted good, I wouldn't say incredible but it was on par with Benkei and Kintaro. The noodles are the thinner type, and the soup is filled with bamboo shoots, some pickled ginger, green onions and 2-3 pieces of fatty pork. There did not appear to be an option to add corn, or more bamboo shoots or butter but maybe you could ask. But we all know what happens when you ask for things that are not on the menu at Japanese restaurants, it causes utter confusion. All in all the soup was good, gyoza ($4.95) was nice and crispy. The meal did not stand out in my ramen experiences but did not rank any higher or lower than the few other ramen spots in this city, could use a few more pieces of pork in the soup though.

            Service was good, but they did get a little confused with us paying 13 dollar each on debit. It took three of them 10 minutes with a calculator and a pad and pen to find out they just got a 10 dollar tip.

            Menya Noodle
            401 West Broadway, Vancouver
            Corner of Yukon and Broadway.
            I would rate this place at an 8. It is on par with Kintaro and Benkei. I will return as the price is fair. Make sure you get the egg.

            pictures on www.Vancouverslop.com

            1. re: tom_edo

              Thanks for checking it out tom_edo. Might try to sample it myself one day when I pass by.

              1. re: jay_kay

                its decent but not amazing, I still have to try Motomachi, I have heard good things and bad things.

                1. re: tom_edo

                  Thanks! Sounds promising.

                  I've pretty much given up on Benkei and been going to Kintaro more frequently. If there is a queue at Kintaro, I usually end up at Motomachi. The BBQ pork at Motomachi is my favorite amongst the 3, but I prefer the rich soup at Kintaro.

                  1. re: kwailan4

                    kwailan4 - what's led to your giving up on Benkei?

                    1. re: twinkienic

                      It started with the BBQ pork. It used to be fatty and tender. The last 2 times I visited, it turned out lean and chewy. The soup was not as flavorful as I remembered as well.

                      I stopped by Menya yesterday around 2:30 pm and they were closed for the afternoon. I will try to make another trip tomorrow. BTW, I saw lots of flowers with Japanese recipients. So the operators should be Japanese!

              2. re: tom_edo

                I tried this today for lunch and had the $7.00 tonkatsu ramen & the egg! Thank you tom edo! I only ordered the egg because of your post here. That was my favourite part. I've never had Japanese soup before, well udon I guess, but not like this, so I have no rating to give it really.

                I thought the egg was so good! The broth was plain tasting to me really. There wasn't very many noodles. There was one bite of pork only with a couple of mini cubes, but really no pork.

                Semi-satisfying lunch...without the egg, I probably wouldn't have been too impressed! The other thing is sitting on the chairs (tree stumps)...they were too high for the table and I really had to lean over to eat...not comfortable really. Service was polite & good.

          2. I know this may seem impartial, but shokutsu just posted a very informative posting about Hakata Ramen and Menya. This is why im such a big fan of reading blogs - for those postings that are both concise, and extremely informative.

            For those interested in learning more about Hakata Ramen, check out his post here:

            http://foodosophy.wordpress.com/2008/...

            Just thought i'd share.

            14 Replies
            1. re: foodosopher

              Excellent writeup. It's interesting to see the Ramen scene here is diversifying and maturing. I still remember the days when Ezogiku was the only game in town.

              1. re: fmed

                Thanks for the feedback fmed. I do also recall that Ezogiku was one of the only options (how is it there nowadays BTW?), as well at a place that used to exist across the street, which I believe is now housing Gyoza King.

                1. re: shoku_tsu

                  I haven't been to Ezogiku in years now. I hear it has gone "downhill"...however, it is more likely that the ramen quality bar is just higher in general and Ezogiku went relatively downhill compared to the new kingpins over on Robson and Denman.

              2. re: foodosopher

                I think you meant "may not seem impartial", but i think we can forgive you :)
                Thanks for pointing it out. It is an excellent post.

                1. re: yen

                  Yes - sorry. I did mean that i know it does not look impartial, considering we both write for the same site. But it was such a good post from an information point of view that I thought people from chowhound would be interested in reading it.

                  1. re: foodosopher

                    Yes, thanks foodosopher, I learned what soup I was actually eating!!! Was a great read! :-)

                    1. re: ck1234

                      Happy to hear it was of some value to you Christine. Just remember, soup is key with ramen, maybe more so than the noodles themselves, in the opinion of some. :)

                      1. re: shoku_tsu

                        Hubs and I went last night. I had the tonkatsu ramen with an egg and hubs had the miso one with an egg. Let's start with mine. The soups was very rich and very oil, more oily than I prefer. Also, it had a lot of pork/meat flavour that was a bit too over powering for my taste buds. It kinds reminds me of the ones at Kintaro. With the preserved ginger and chilli peppers, it wasn't as porky. My egg was fully cook so I couldn't enjoy the softness of the middle =(

                        Hubs miso ramen was very tasty, I really enjoyed the miso taste to it,more than the other 3 popular ramen places, mainly b/c of the miso taste and it's not as salty as the others. However, the soup is very thick but it didn't taste as greasy as the tonkatsu one. This was my preference.

                        We also tried the rice balls, it was okay. Overall everything wasn't bad but nothing to rave about but I will give them another chance. Since they've only been opened a month, I'll wait a couple of months for them to work out their hiccups and I do want to try their ramen salad.

                        1. re: gourmet wife

                          Mum and Dad sussed out Menya in mid-Feb and gave it the green light, so we decided to research further last week. The three of us all liked the way the restaurant is laid out and decorated, making what could be a very spare room quite inviting. The doorway detail is especially clever for that. We decided to order one ramen set to try (soup with four gyoza and a takikomi rice ball which adds $3.40 to the price of your ramen) and two other ramen bowls. Dad and I had the nagahama ramen (pork tonkotsu with special soy sauce seasoning for $6.75 -- dad added an egg for $0.75) and mum when for the tonkotsu miso ramen for $7. The gyoza were tastier than they looked and I would order them again but since I am not exactly a gyoza maven, you may not agree. I didn't care for the rice ball as I prefer a drier, plainer version such as the grilled one at Zakkushi but it was in no way offensive. The noodles in all the ramen bowls were nicely cooked and the broth hearty and tasty, though I would give an edge to the miso ramen, as Dad and I both found the naga a bit bland. A trip to the condiment tray at the end of the table soon fixed that however and we slurped away happily. I noted that they offer kaedama (extra noodles) for $1.25 which is good to know if you go with a big eater but we all found the regular amount to be more than adequate. Complimentary tea was plentiful and good. We'll be back for sure to this ramen outpost which offers easier access and parking than the squadron of ramen joints in the West End.

                          Here's a few photos -- I took the dangling noodles ones to try and show the difference between the noodles in the two type of ramen. Naga is first, miso is second...

                           
                           
                           
                           
                          1. re: grayelf

                            A few more photos...

                             
                             
                             
                            1. re: grayelf

                              Pics! Alright!

                              1. re: fmed

                                LOL -- that's one of the advantages of a bright room; my photos actually turn out okay.

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  Hmmm... I wish I were back in Vancouver to try it out. By the way, just to clarify, it's "tonkotsu" (broth derived from pork) not "tonkatsu" (deep fried pork cutlet).

                                  1. re: foodslut

                                    Thanks, fs -- I just checked to make sure I didn't mix them up :-).