Benkei Ramen

October 9, 2012

January 9th, 2012. Benkei Ramen

benkei ramen

benkei ramen

 

 

 

 

Any day is a great day for Japanese ramen 🙂

benkei ramen

benkei ramen

 

 

 

 

 

 




I was downtown with my boss for a meeting and he wanted to grab  lunch….so we headed to Benkei on Roson for some delicious, soupy goodness.

benkei ramen

benkei ramen

 

 

 

 

 




After much contemplation over a cup of hot tea I made the decision to go with the Shio Ramen.

benkei ramen

benkei ramen

 

 

 




The Shio is a ramen with extremely rich broth that comes from the long boiling of pork.  As per the Benkei website: “Boiling the pork and sapping out the rich taste, this Fukuoka-born ramen contains collagen and calcium – a source for beatiful skin and strong bones.”  Guess I picked the right one!

 

benkei ramen

benkei ramen

 

 

 

 

 


Lip-smacking goodness?  Absolutely!  It’s the ultimate Japanese comfort food with the steaming hot, rich broth, perfectly al dente noodles, super tender chashu, and earthy bamboo shoots.  Love!

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January 6th, 2012. Ramen Photo Shoot: Pulmuone Nature is Delicious!

pulmuone photoshoot

pulmuone photoshoot

 

 

 

 

It’s for work, I swear! We took an afternoon at the office to do a photoshoot with the new “healthy” ramen that Pulmuone just came out with.  I brought a bunch of kitchen equipment from home and proceeded to make a big pot of instant ramen 🙂

pulmuone photoshoot

pulmuone photoshoot

 

 

 

 

 

After the shoot, of course we got to eat!  I’d say the ramen is okay and the broth has good depth of flavor.  But the noodles take longer to cook.  I found that the normal 2~3 minutes still had the noodles not quite tender.

pulmuone photoshoot

pulmuone photoshoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not deep fried+all natural ingredients=more healthy for the same delicious!

May 19th, 2011.  Momofuku Noodle Bar

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

  Meeting DLee for the first time for an evening of fun in the East Village!  We had discussed a few different options for dinner, but in the end came to a consensus to make first impressions over Japanese ramen.  I know.  2 in a row.  But hey, how can you not love Japanese comfort food?

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

  The restaurant is tucked away in a niche on 1st Avenue.  The full windowed front shows the never-ending crowd of people inside slurping away on their noodles.  It’s one of my favorite kinds of interior styles with the warm, slightly ruggedness with the brick and wood but with a clean, modern silhouettes.  Love it!

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

  D had the Full Sail Session Lager from Hood River, Oregon and I had the Lychee Soju Slushie.  The slushie was pretty yummy!  As soju can be it kind of flies under the radar.  Paired with the sweetness of lychee, this could be deadly!!  Luckily, I knew what I was getting into 😉

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

  Baos again!  I have a thing for them   These are the Pork/Shiitake Buns with hoisen sauce, cucumber and scallions.  Juicy pork with the earthiness of the shiitake mushrooms, sweetness of the hoisen, cool freshness of cucumber and the mild tang of scallions.  Great precursor

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

 

  I usually don’t over-order.  I know I have a smaller stomache so I try to stick with just enough instead of too much.  But with D’s staple “eff it”, we ended up with a second appetizer, the Kimchi Pork Tamale

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I found that it was slightly underseasoned and still prefer the bun, but it was still fun to eat!

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

  We both had the Momofuku Ramen: pork belly, pork shoulder and poached egg.  It’s totally different from my ramen experience at Ippudo.  The broth is clearer, but the deep richness comes from the fatty pork belly and shoulder, which were fall-apart-melt-in-your-mouth tender! 

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

  Add the creaminess of egg yolk and you’ve got a heavy bowl of soup.  I liked the lightness the asian cabbage lent to the soup.  Unfortunately, we over-estimated our stomaches..and couldn’t finish our meal….which was, by the way, AMAZING! 

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

  

 

 

 

  Momofuku lived up to expectations and I only hope that I’ll be able to visit all the other Momofuku establishments sometime in my lifetime

Linn – Astoria, NY

October 16, 2011

February 1st, 2011.  Astoria Is My New Home

Linn - Astoria, NY

Linn - Astoria, NY

  

  

 

  After almost ending up homeless I just barely found a pretty great apartment/living situation in Astoria, which is just along the border of Long Island and Queens.

Linn - Astoria, NY

Linn - Astoria, NY

  

 

 

 

 

   There are 3 sushi places on my steert, but this place, Linn, caught my eye because they have ramen! Also the modern decor… Of course I had to try it 🙂

Linn - Astoria, NY

Linn - Astoria, NY

  

 

 

 

 

 

  Miso Ramen: ramen noodles with a miso broth served with slices of marinated boiled egg, bamboo shoots and wakame salad 🙂 

Linn - Astoria, NY

Linn - Astoria, NY

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I’ve had better ramen.  The broth was quite salty and some how they had the right components, but they all just didn’t mesh.  But it was a long, cold, day and I really wanted some hot soup

Suika Snack Bar

September 10, 2011

December 18th, 2010. Izakaya Christmas Dinner @ Suika 

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

Unconventional? Yes.  Perfectly west coast?  Absolutely!  I was invited to a Christmas dinner by a bunch of new friends to this new up and coming Izakaya place, Suika.  Suika=Watermelon.  Heh 🙂

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

The appeal of this place is that it’s not located in the heart of downtown with all the others.  Rather, it sets itself apart on West Broadway.  The other pull is the huge Sake bottle chandelier.  Really a one of a kind, unique light fixture!  I was completely excited for some fun company, great Japanese fusion food and secret santa!!

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handwritten menus, just like Guu.  It’s in keeping with the whole casual Japanese bar theme.

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

First up, Torotoro Cha-Shu: Pork roasted thewn slowly braised til tender, served with Suika’s special secret sauce.  Suuuuper soft and tender literally melting in your mouth! Soooooo good!!

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

  5 Kinds of Sashimi: Amaebi, Scallops, Tuna, Hamachi and Sockeye Salmon with a little bit of black and orange tobiko.  Can you see how beautiful it all looks?  Yeah, it tasted that good, too!

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

  Beef Short Rib: Fried and tossed with sweet balsamic.  One of the most popular dishes on the menu.  As soon as we got sat Jay knew we had to order this.  He’d been here before and said that it was to DIE for!  Indeed, it was awesome 😉  Again, melt-in-your-mouth meat and fat and the sweet balsamic was incredibly addicting!  One of the best dishes of the night!

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Aburi Shime-Saba Salad: Seared cured mackerel on organic greens & sliced onion with mustard soy dressing.  It’s no secret that I love saba.  Loved the flavors and loved this salad!

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

  Lightly Smoked Tuna Tataki with homemade chili oil on a bed of sliced onions and topped with fresh scallions.  The chili oil is a nice departure from the usual ponzu or peanut sauces I’ve seen that.  As a fan of tuna tataki of course I enjoyed this dish 😀

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

  Tokyo Oxtail Ramen: Slowly braised oxtail & noodles in soy broth topped with dried fish powder and scallions.  Mmmmmmm~ soup~~!  Perfect for a winter evening!  The soup had a surprising level of depth, the noodles were perfect, and of course, the meat was delish!

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 
 
  Gyu Yukke Don:  Marinated AAA Beef Sashimi with Garlic, Scallions and Nori topped with Raw Egg Yolk.  Another must-try signature dish.  As soon as it came out Jay began vigorously grinding up the sesame seeds.  I love a good beef sashimi, and this one had such a flavorful marinade.  All the ingredients married well together with the egg yolk lending a creaminess to the whole dish.  I appreciated that the rice was just right in terms of cinsistency.  It wasn’t sticky, which made for good texture and no over-stickyness when everything was blended.
suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

We had asked for the heads of the Amaebi from the sashimi plate to be deep fried.  Because, you know, there’s nothing like a deep-fried shrimp head  😉

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert #1:  Yummy yummy custard!!!  Light, just the right amount of sweet and a good balance between being gelatinous and creamy 😀

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert #2: Matcha cake??

suika snack bar

suika snack bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert #3 – Yukimi Daifuku: Green Tea and Red Bean Gelato wrapped in Sweet Sticky Rice.

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas dinner was a success!!  The food was super delicious, the atmosphere was festive, the company was hilarious and we were all having a good time.  Another home run for izakaya!!

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

August 4, 2010

June 27th, 2010. Delish Japanese Ramen!!

hokkaido ramen santouka

hokkaido ramen santouka

  I know, I’m severely overdue for Japanese Ramen.  It seems that with the current Japanese Ramen following more seem to be taking root (whether authentic or not) and I knew I had to get in on this bandwagon while it was still a novelty!  Because the thing with crazes is that once it become a given it also starts to become a sell out. 

hokkaido ramen santouka

hokkaido ramen santouka

I felt like I hadn’t really been spending a lotof time with Kipum Unni and hardly was seeing her, so I invited her and Joohee to come out to with me to downtown Vancouver.  My original plan was to go to Kintaro, since it’s one of the original Japanese Ramen “bars” on Robson.  Joohee insisted that even Japanese fiends who’d been there told her it’s not all that authentic..so we went across the street to the newer Hokkaido Ramen Santouka instead.

hokkaido ramen santouka

hokkaido ramen santouka

 It’s just a few doors down from Guu and has a similar style with the low wooden tables and stumps as chairs and an open kitchen crammed into a small space but with a little more polish.  We were seated at a longish and winding wooden table aside others a la family style dining.  I was so extremely excited to order and get my meal!

hokkaido ramen santouka

hokkaido ramen santouka

Kipum Unni had the Kara Miso Ramen: Pork Seasoned Broth with Hot Spices and Miso.  She said it wasn’t really spicy, but still seemed to enjoy it.  I tried some of the soup while waiting for my bowl to arrive.  I agree that it really wasn’t spicy..but it was so flavorful that I was salivating for mine!

hokkaido ramen santouka

hokkaido ramen santouka

Joohee and I both got the Miso Ramen: Pork Broth Seasoned with Miso.  I don’t know about Joohee, but it was soooooo flavorful and deep!  The noodles were cooked just right, and the pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender! I was so very satisfied and so very full afterwards…I had to practically roll myself out the door!