The long wait finally paid off !! Santouka ramen isn't open for the public yet but there's been a soft-open occuring since February 26 and will have their grand opening on March 5.
The first time I tried Santouka Ramen was in Los Angeles. This was the first time I'd ever been blown away by ramen. Hands down Santouka makes the best ramen, at least it's the best ramen I've tasted so far. I was very delighted to learn that Santouka would be planting itself in the heart of Vancouver's Ramen District aka. Robson Street.
Santouka will definitely give the other ramen shops run for the money - Benkei and Kintaro watch your backs!
This ramen shop has been spreading its wings throughout the United States for quite a while already. Perhaps this is because this Hokkaido Ramen chain is also very famous in Japan known for it's delicious and unique tasting ramen. Santouka is a corporate chain of ramen restaurants whose popularity and great sales allow them to import all of their ingredients straight from Japan and straight into their stores abroad. Lucky for us!
This Asahikawa style ramen is characterized by a tonkotsu and seafood soup stock paired with one of the traditional shio ( salt ), shoyu ( soy sauce ) or miso. With shio being its speciality.
Best of its class, this shio ramen is undoubtedly the best shio I ever had. I don't usually go for shio for ramen. However, this Asahikawa-style tonkotsu shio blew me away.
If you've ever wondered what the small red thing is in the middle, it's a pickled plum (umeboshi).
The shoyu base was above standard as well. The richness of the soup just makes you want more and more. The noodle that's used in Santouka is thicker and chewier, not a typical Hakata style thin noodle.
For the miso lover, Santouka delivers a quality miso-based ramen. The soup was luscious and well seasoned. And with the buttery slabs of char siu, this bowl certainly won't disappoint miso-based ramen lovers.
Below is kara miso ramen. If you like it hot, you should definitely try this spicy miso ramen.
The side dishes are not available yet for soft opening. I took this photos on my visit to Santouka in Hong Kong last month. Santouka offers many different types of small bowl side dishes and they are all very appealing. Below is negitoro rice.
And here is their mini char siu don.