Best Noodle House 2012
May 1, 2012
Silver: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka | Bronze: Motomachi Shokudo | Honourable Mentions: Deer Garden Signatures & Kintaro Ramen
Rainy Vancouver nights and cozy, steamy noodle bars are a match made in heaven, and this new category represents the best of a crush of joints that opened last year. Gold winner Chef Hung, an acclaimed chain from Taiwan, offers “a dark, rich broth with distinct hits of five spice, carrying noodles that are rough hewn, flat or thin, but always buoyant and toothsome. For extra depth, the beef shank in fire chili soup has great Szechuan pepper heat. And the room is lovely.” The toroniku shio ramen stands out at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (Silver)—“The broth, a mainstay of Hokkaido, nourishes the body and satisfies the soul, and is utterly authentic. The noodles, cooked to order in wire baskets before being tossed in the broth, maintain a delicate snap, and are served with achingly tender pork cheeks, salted plum, fishcake, green onion, and wood ear fungus for textural nuance.” Find distinctive ramen at the hands of chef Daiji Matsubara at Bronze-winner Motomachi Shokudo. “He uses quality ingredients including organic meats and chicken bones for a lighter broth for his tonkotsu. Matsubara’s innovation in presentation should not be overlooked.” Honourable Mentions to value-oriented Deer Garden Signatures, “a phenomenon among Chinese noodle lovers,” and the boisterous Kintaro.