Now that Dine Out Vancouver season is over, we can go back to regular restaurant menus. I usually opt-out of Dine Out since it’s a set menu and prefer the full experience rather than a trimmed down version of a restaurant. You really want to see if a place can *really* make it at all times.
If you were wondering, I did visit one restaurant during Dine Out last month. During that dinner, one of my foodie friends mentioned Hokkaido Ramen Santouka was going to open soon. You know what that means, a food adventure! I am a huge fan of Santouka and was very excited to hear about it.
Located at 558 West Broadway in the Fairview area of Vancouver. This popular ramen chain restaurant opened a second location, which opened on January 31st. It’s been around for less than two weeks. And did I mention that this location is new?!
At this particular point, no one knows about the opening so I suggest to go soon before the crazy line-ups start. Remember what I said about Breakfast Table, Jam Café and Kissa Tanto before the craze and popularity?!
Like most new places, they are figuring out a routine for its new location. Service was decent and we had to ask for water and the bill twice since they were extremely busy on a midweek lunch rush after a snowmageddon day. I would suggest to visit after a couple of weeks so the experience is better and more consistent. As for the decor of this place, it’s brand new and modern. I did not take a photo since it was super busy! This location is bigger than the one on Robson and seats about 40 people.
As for food items, it’s the exact same menu as the first location on Robson. However, they have a jalapeño ramen & zangi ramen exclusive for that location. And no, we didn’t try it since it’s a spicy bowl. I can imagine it being super spicy so we had to pass.
I went with my foodie mom and we are fans of ramen and often find the best in ramen. We even walked 30 minutes in the pouring rain to the famous Momofuku noodle bar in New York City. That is food committment! Momofuku is a nice casual dining place and Santouka is borderline fast-food pace with rich noodle goodness.
Here’s what we have to say about the ramen at Santouka. The ramen bowl is full of flavour with a nice soup base and noodles are tender. The pork chasu on rice is perfect. We could have forgoed the gyozas since they arrived halfway into our meal but we wanted the full experience and were extra hungry for lunch.
I personally prefer gyozas/dumplings on the crispy side. I like the three options for dipping sauce so you can choose your level of flavour and spicy. There’s nothing special on those dumplings so no photo on here.
If you were wondering, I ordered the spicy kara miso ramen and my mom got the shio ramen. We shared the gyozas and pork chasu on rice. The kara miso isn’t that spicy and it’s pretty mild. We both agree that it is the best of the best in the ramen category. It is at the top! Everything is rich and extra good, especially on a typical Vancouver rainy day.
I’ve noticed there is a ramen block around the Cambie and Broadway area. Benkei Ramen opened a second location on Broadway and opened sometime this past fall. We are starting to see (food) blocks in surrounding areas throughout the City these days. Keefer Street in Chinatown is a drinking street with Juniper and its lovely cocktails. And there is Kissa Tanto on Pender Street as well.
It’s the Family Day long weekend here. Hope you enjoy your time with your family! 🙂