In case you fans out there aren’t aware of it yet… Santouka Ramen on Robson is back in business!
Yes it had been a very long wait folks but they are back and is back with new items on the menu. My regular readers out there who knows I have a boyfriend obsessed with ramen. Yes, I’ve already been there at least 3-4 times since they re-open. #mylifewithramen
It’s not necessary a bad thing but I really don’t want to get tired of Santouka already. The closing part really made me miss the food there and craved for it.
Yes, like I mentioned. Santouka is back with new items on the menu! And why am I not surprise it would be tsukemen? If you’re new to tsukemen, check out my previous post on Taishoken Ramen. I mentioned what is tsukemen. Surprisingly tsukemen seems to be rising in popularity in Vancouver. Other than Santouka, I saw a few other ramen restaurants start pushing the same item.
My honest words. NO. No I don’t like it! It was not a disaster but close to one. Let me start with the noodles. The noodles are not your ordinary ramen noodles. They are way more chewy and thick than ramen noodles. For people who tried the Chinese version of ramen back in China, this is the same noodles you will be eating. Honestly, it wasn’t bad. I like chewy noodles on its own, just not happy when I ordered ramen and this came through. The broth is also another problem. It was not as salty as the tsukemen from Taishoken Ramen but it is also not as thick and rich as the broth from Taishoken Ramen. And because it is not rich and thick, it was really hard for me to pick up the broth with my noodles. I had to drink straight off of the soup which to me defeats the original character of tsukemen.
Something that was also disappointing was the cha siu (bbq pork). I did not get the traditional ramen bbq pork. Instead, I got random pieces of pork. You know when you go to Kintaro and order a side of pork for an extra dollar. That is what I got with the Santouka tsukemen. Oh so disappointing!! The taste is fine but it’s just disappointing. I feel like I’m eating leftovers. Not to mention, all Santouka regulars would know that it ramen at Santouka doesn’t come with soft boiled eggs. A big impression discount here.
Shio and Miso Ramen
Shio ramen and miso ramen is obviously not a new item on the menu. Shio ramen is always my favourite at Santouka. A lot of foodie didn’t appreciate Santouka ramen cause they think Santouka is not legit enough. When I first had Santouka in Asia it was really good. I must say it is true that Santouka here is not as legit. With the re-open, I found that Santouka ramen is different. The noodles are the same but the broth became richer. I can instantly tell by seeing the fat in the soup. It is not as rich as Kintaro but it definitely improved from previous Santouka broths.
Miso ramen is pretty much the same. Since Santouka’s broth are all made from the same pork bone base broth. Miso is obviously a bit more salty than shio.
Just to clarify. Shio ramen doesn’t have a different treatment than miso. The shio ramen you see from my picture is a large portion shio order and the miso is a regular portion order. That is why the shio ramen had more cha siu compared to the miso ramen in the pictures.
The Santouka Super Combo
Santouka Super Combo is also not a new item on the menu. You get to pick your ramen broth and it comes in the same portion as your regular ramen. The combo comes with a salmon bowl and an ice cream soda.
There’s really not much to say about the combo. My thoughts on the salmon bowl is it’s a bit dry. I prefer salmon bowls with sashimi salmon instead of cooked salmon. Cause the raw salmon have a higher fat content and it gives the donburi (rice bowl) moisture. But I do love the tamago (sweet egg) that was added to the donburi.
You get a choice to exclude the ice cream soda for your Super Combo for $3 less. I would just get the soda unless you have anything against ice cream (lol) Another note for the combo, you can NOT change the donburi to something else. Salmon is your only choice if you want the combo deal. However, you do have other combo choices in the menu where you can choose a different donburi. You just don’t get the ice cream soda. And if you want the ice cream soda, then you just need to make an individual order.
Gyoza is also not a new menu item. But for the re-open, gyoza was half off! I honestly don’t remember the taste of the Santouka gyoza so I don’t know if there’s anything different about it after the re-open. But gyoza was nicely cooked with a crispy outer. Gyoza in Japan, you will bite into it and have the juice of the meat pouring out. But gyoza here doesn’t do the same. I know I can’t be that picky. Like I said, it taste good and it had the most important crispy texture on the outer. It was such a great deal with the half off. For original price it was about $5 something. Not quite sure I will order it again for that price. It’s at least a dollar a piece… Bit pricy for gyoza isn’t it?
As mentioned earlier. There are a few new items on the menu.
- Tsukemen – main
- Onigiri (rice ball) – sides
- Strawberry cheesecake – dessert
- Selection of ice cream with waffler cookies – dessert
And for the re-open, Santouka gave out clear folders as a souvenir and a token of thank you for the long wait. Cute.
Glad they are back. (Cause that means I get one more extra choice when my boyfriend ask for ramen again #lol)
Santouka use to be a 3.5 star rated ramen restaurant for me. The noodles were okay, and the broth was just not quite there yet. Plus, disappointing extra cost for soft boil eggs. But with the comeback, I really feel the improvement with the broth. It is now in the game for competition with other ramen restaurants in Vancouver. Although, I still think it is not on the top… Santouka is on its run towards the top with a step of improvement.