At first, I was going to order the tsukemen (dipping ramen) since that was the one selling point that attracted me to Santouku when they first opened. However, glancing around the room seeing bowls and bowls of regular ramen, the thought of tsukemen didn’t seem as appealing. That, coupled with the fact that Carn.H thought the tsukemen was just “ok” back when he tried Santouku a few months ago.
But the main determining factor for me, was the pork jowl. I guess I could have ordered it on the side but I wanted to try my luck with the “limited quantity, first come first serve” toroniku kara miso ramen.
The pork jowl was very soft, supple and delicious but you have to warm it up in the soup broth or else you have coagulated cold pork.
The soup broth was tasty and had a good amount of spice but somehow seemed to lack depth.
The slight downfall were the ramen noodles. Slightly undercooked at first and soggy by the end of the meal. They also seemed very “separate” from the broth, not being able to pick up flavor. I don’t tend to drink soup broth from noodle bowls but it was almost a necessity to give my noodles some flavor.
For $13.45, I felt that it was a quite over priced but not a bad meal. Definitely falls short of good ramen in Tokyo, but Vancouver’s not Japan and it’d never be fair for me to expect Japan standards.
My dinner partners ordered the (same?) rice and ramen combos for $14 sth
On a Friday night, with a consistently large number of customers waiting for a seat, the service was not compromised. The waitresses had a carefree demeanor for the most part and we didn’t feel rushed until closer to the end of our meal. Our noodles had come out quite quickly after our order was placed and our dishes were cleared up fast.
As an incentive to go back, they have a “raffle draw” of a sorts where, depending on the ball color you draw you get a corresponding coupon. We ended up with two “free topping” coupons and one “free reg ramen” coupon 🙂
Likelihood of revisiting: 50%
Culinary mindset: falls short but gives you a taste of what you’d like to expect
– C.Herb –
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