ISO Ramen recommendations
In Vancouver and Calgary there are ramen places all over. What are some of the recommended places in the city and which ones should I avoid?
I went to Ramen-Ya 3-4 times and it was decent. I had the Ramen soup with chicken. I really liked the noodles but I found the broth rather bland and the quality of the chicken not that appetizing. I added alot of extra spice and soy but once I was done jazzing it up it was yummy. The appetizers are good! I had the gyozas and imperial rolls. The service was very good and I think the decor is kind of cute for a tiny place. I went when it first opened so I am assuming it got better.
As far we know, there's only one ramen joint in the city and it's been talked about in depth here:
the thing with ramen is that to get it right is such a huge pain, the demand has to be high enough, and the price accordingly. but it's viewed as a "fast food", so you can't charge too much. (in a town that loves it's 6-7$ pho, you can't charge the 9-10$ minimum for excellent ramen.)
the local market needs one of two things:
- a large enough japanese community which would include japanese interested in making ramen
- a large enough demand from the marketplace and corresponding willingness to pay for it
both will come eventually. the local japanese population is growing steadily and familairity with japanese culture apace with it.
I want to make it very clear that I am not recommending this place as a place for authentic Japanese ramen, but.....
In the category of really cheap eats, I have to add the ramen at 5000 Ans on St. Catherine Street, near the Montreal Children's Hospital. This is Korean-style ramen, so this is definitely not going to do it for the die-hard fans of Japanese Ramen. For example, you can get kimchi as a topping for your ramen. But for $5, I got huge bowl of vegetable ramen, with kimchi (an extra addition), cabbage, green onions, etc. It was actually pretty tasty, and perfect for a cheap lunch on a cold autumn day. $5 for a large yummy bowl of noodle soup? Not bad I say. I would not go out of your way to get this ramen, it isn't that wonderful. But if you are in the area, and you need a cheap filling warm lunch, this isn't a half bad way to go. The pork option is a bit more ($7), but it is still very cheap. Good recession choices.
Is there another 5000 Ans? The one I know of is on Saint Denis near Sherbrooke Metro. I live near there and go frequently. Just had the spicy beef ramen last night actually, for the second time in a row. I agree though that this is not authentic ramen (I think they use packets of ramen, or at least the noodles). But the broth is nice and spicy and comes with kimchi like Moh mentioned and also some additional veggies, and the beef is nice and tender and sweet.