Ramen is Ramen is Ramen: Ramen Danbo

Forgive me for being crass, but to me all good ramen pretty much taste the same. Sure, the broth may be thicker at one place, the chashu fattier at another place, and the noodles thinner at yet a third place, but when it comes right down to it, when the flavours and textures meld together to become mouthful after mouthful of noodle soup in my mouth, I can’t really discern much of a difference between the shio ramen from Santouka, Kintaro, or Motomachi Shokudo. To tell you the truth, I can’t honestly say that there is a huge difference between … Continue reading Ramen is Ramen is Ramen: Ramen Danbo

Japanese Ramen? I think not: Gyoza Bar

I get why people hate on Miku. I do. It’s easy to dislike a sushi place when it seems big, corporate, untraditional, and most importantly, sorely lacking when it comes to the residence of an Itamae who you can recognize by name. But I happen to like Miku. It is my favourite sushi restaurant in the area. It is unique, and it presents flavours that are not only pleasurable to my palate, but also innovative and different. I think the restaurant embodies the character of the city more than any other Japanese restaurant. It is Japanese in its core but … Continue reading Japanese Ramen? I think not: Gyoza Bar

Osaka: Ippudo Ramen (at Momofuku Ando’s Original Ramen Restaurant)

  Ippudo probably severed me the best bowl of ramen that I’ve had in North America. I knew that I had to visit one of its locations when I made my next trip to Japan. I also knew that it wouldn’t be that hard to find an Ippudo in Japan since they have in excess of 60 branches all over the country. Out of the 60 some odd locations, I was fortunate enough to visit one of their most unique outposts. It is located in the building that housed the original ramen operation Momofuku Ando ran at around the same … Continue reading Osaka: Ippudo Ramen (at Momofuku Ando’s Original Ramen Restaurant)

There’s a Reason This Place is Not Called Ramen King or Chahan King

Gyoza King – Gyoza king was quite the popular restaurant when I first visited the city a few years ago. I can’t attest to its popularity now because I’m not usually out at the hours izakayas become busy, but I will say that there is much less online buzz about the place right now than there was on my first visit to the city. My first visit to Gyoza King was during lunch time about two weeks after my move to the city a little over a year ago. I wasn’t able to sample any of their usual izakaya fare … Continue reading There’s a Reason This Place is Not Called Ramen King or Chahan King

A Surprise Visit

Ramen Sanpachi – Sometimes you’ve just got to go with the flow. You have to submit to the situation and let it lead you to new and unexpected experiences. With a lot of things in life, that’s exactly my attitude. But I’m different when it comes to food and dining out. I’ve become so obsessed with food over the years that I have to plan every meal out beforehand, and I even have to have a contingency list of places to visit if my original plan falls through. Before I visit a restaurant – if I have some spare time … Continue reading A Surprise Visit

Personal Preference

Ramen Santouka – How many times have I eaten at Ramen Santouka? I would say in excess of 50 times. Not at their Vancouver location, of course, since it has only been opened for a few months. I’m talking about their location in Costa Mesa, California. Their Orange County outpost is located in the food court of a Japanese Supermarket named Mitsuwa. Among the 5 vendors in the food court, Santouka serves the best food and is the most popular, by far. I would say that, no matter what time of day, around 75% of the people at the food … Continue reading Personal Preference

Do Not Come Here For The Sushi

Shuraku Sake Bar & Bistro – I didn’t know what I was thinking. How could I have expected good nigiri sushi at Shuraku Sake Bar & Bistro? It is an izakaya; which is essentially a gastro-pub. And even the best Japanese gastro-pubs in town, such as Kingyo, are not known for producing good, traditional nigiri sushi. I guess I was so hungry today that I wasn’t thinking straight. I had an extra-early breakfast at 6:30 AM and by the time my wife and I arrived at Shuraku for lunch at 12:45 PM, I was beyond starving. For some reason, I … Continue reading Do Not Come Here For The Sushi