I’ve been to Benkei Ramen a few times, but this is my first time at their newest location on Thurlow. We were seated fairly quickly which is surprising because we were there during prime dinner time during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. We were seated in a kind of open booth, the waitress can walk in the middle and take orders and serve the food. We are seated on wooden box-like chairs with an opening on the bottom for you to put your stuff. I don’t want to put my jacket on the floor, so I just placed my jacket on my lap while I ate. Kind of uncomfortable.
After we seated we placed our orders. I ordered the Shoyu Ramen and a Cha Siu Nigiri. Our waitress was kind of out of place. I think normally they always hire Japanese employees, but this one was Chinese, and had a harder time taking our orders. Oh well. I got my Cha Siu Nigiri first and it wasn’t as good as I remembered, or maybe just not as good as the Robson location. It fell apart way too easily so that made it a bit harder to eat, and it seemed like their was less pork. The flavour was decent though.
Our Ramen came a few moments after. I guess let me start off by saying that I’m not much of a ramen fan, because I find the broth a bit too salty for my liking. I just ordered my ramen with no extras. The one thing I do love about ramen is the fatty pork (belly?). It tastes really good, and is definitely my favorite part. The noodles were cooked well, and there was quite a bit of them. It came with some seaweed on top, and some green onions and bamboo. It was decent but still a bit too salty for me. I’ve had the Shio flavour as well, and that also seemed too salty for me.
They seemed to have more broth choices at this location, or they just changed their menu. My friend ordered a spicy one which he really liked. My other friend ordered a lighter based soup which I can’t remember what it was called, but of course she liked it too.
I don’t know, I’ve had ramen about 4 times (three times at Benkei, and once at Ajisen in Toronto) but I guess ramen isn’t my thing. However, I still do want to try the ramen at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. If I’m not fond of that one, maybe I’ll stop eating it. Many of my friends really like it though and Benkei is currenlty their favorite.
I think Benkei is opening up a new location too.
747 Thurlow St