Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
mamster

Kintaro

Recommended Posts

Deli Nippon

A new ramen place opened up only months ago in the most unlikely location: Knight Street on the south-west corner of its intersection with Kingsway. Despite its name, it's really not a "delicatessan" by any means; rather, it's a ramen specialist that serves up ramen that reminds me most of what I had in Tokyo, Japan.

Unlike the Robson area shops, it is not fancy either in decor or in menu choices: miso or shoyu, less chasu or more chasu, with gyoza or without. That's it. However, it is possible to order gyoza by itself, and Hiroshima-yaki (called okonomiyaki here) is also available. Now being summer, cold noodle is featured as well. All very reasonably priced at between $6 to $8.

What it does serve up are all high-quality, precisely-flavoured and consistent. The noodle always has a very pleasing texture and holds its form to the last bite. The soup, while layered with flavour, is neither oily nor weighing on one's stomach. The shoyu soup is the lighter of the two but the miso is loaded with surprises, unlike some of the others that are salty but not much else. Whereas the other shops, as good as they are, have their ups and downs, DN's ramen tastes the same in the half-a-dozen visits I have made so far.

Incidentally, every time I went, I spotted Japanese patrons eating there: that should be taken as a sign of how authentic this place is.

Deli Nippon is at 3913 Knight Street in Vancouver. The phone number is (604) 568-6101. It is closed on Monday; on other days, it's open from 11:00AM to 8:00PM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a great tip, nondual!

Seeing this thread again makes me just have to say that Menya has gone downhill since it opened. They just aren't consistent sadly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for posting on Nippon Deli! I saw it a few weeks ago when we went to Cuu Long but it wasn't open on a Sunday evening. I'd go just for the okonomyaki!

Also sorry to hear about Menya -- we only went once and it was decent but not hugely memorable. It is the closest and easiest to park at ramen place for us, but I consider myself warned. Will make the trek to Knight and K'way instead :smile:

Sounds like a great tip, nondual! 

Seeing this thread again makes me just have to say that Menya has gone downhill since it opened.  They just aren't consistent sadly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seeing this thread again makes me just have to say that Menya has gone downhill since it opened.  They just aren't consistent sadly.

It appears that, since ramen is such a work of the artisan, consistency has always been the issue. Who's the person standing in front of the stockpot makes all the difference.

I remember first visiting Kintaro within weeks of its opening and fell in love with the place, it being so so so much better than Ezogiku, then the only other authentic ramen shop in Vancouver. It stayed good for several years, until the owner decided to venture out and be an investor rather than just a ramen-master, handing over the noodle-strainer to lesser and younger chaps. I have never been back since he could no longer be found behind the counter. The story seems to be repeating itself somewhat at Motomachi Shokudo. Benkei's quality, while remaining mostly acceptable, varies quite a bit. The broth is also a bit too rich for my taste -- but then I am on par to redeeming my fifth free bowl of ramen from them regardless! I have only been to Menya once when it first opened; I like some, but not all, of its offerings.

Deli Nippon's okonomiyaki comes in three flavours: pork, beef (I think...) and Italian. Again very simply-prepared and not the over-done ones like some others. But since it is Hiroshima style, you'd better like ramen if you ordered it. Where else can one get respectable okonomiyaki in Vancouver anyway?

But Deli Nippon's miso ramen is truly something to try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out friends from Gyoza King on Robson opened up a Ramen shop in Richmond called G-Men. It's in the continental plaza on Cambie and Hazelbridge (I think).

The broth is quite good (although I still prefer Kintaro) but the pork is much softer than Kintaro's which I find to be tougher and dry.

All in all Kintaro has the soup and the "fixins" but G-Men has a mean pork and the wood ear mushrooms are a very nice compliment.

I was there last week and they offered a "dry" ramen noodle which was awesome. Of course at dinner time they also offer Gyoza!


"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seeing this thread again makes me just have to say that Menya has gone downhill since it opened.  They just aren't consistent sadly.

It appears that, since ramen is such a work of the artisan, consistency has always been the issue. Who's the person standing in front of the stockpot makes all the difference.

I remember first visiting Kintaro within weeks of its opening and fell in love with the place, it being so so so much better than Ezogiku, then the only other authentic ramen shop in Vancouver. It stayed good for several years, until the owner decided to venture out and be an investor rather than just a ramen-master, handing over the noodle-strainer to lesser and younger chaps. I have never been back since he could no longer be found behind the counter. The story seems to be repeating itself somewhat at Motomachi Shokudo. Benkei's quality, while remaining mostly acceptable, varies quite a bit. The broth is also a bit too rich for my taste -- but then I am on par to redeeming my fifth free bowl of ramen from them regardless! I have only been to Menya once when it first opened; I like some, but not all, of its offerings.

Deli Nippon's okonomiyaki comes in three flavours: pork, beef (I think...) and Italian. Again very simply-prepared and not the over-done ones like some others. But since it is Hiroshima style, you'd better like ramen if you ordered it. Where else can one get respectable okonomiyaki in Vancouver anyway?

But Deli Nippon's miso ramen is truly something to try.

Thanks in part to your comments, we went to Deli Nippon last weekend and really enjoyed it. The ramen was indeed excellent (we had the syoyu and the miso) and the okonomiyaki was double brill. Almost as good as Modern Club in its heyday, which is the only other place in Vancouver I've had the Hiroshima style and liked it. Sadly, the service was so ridiculously slow that we finally gave up on it and haven't been back in ages. I especially liked that they would put your meat of choice on the outside of the 'cake so it would crisp up nicely... ah well, Deli Nippon is a very good substitute with almost no waiting! Thanks again. Oh and did I mention the okonomiyaki is dinner plate sized and a good inch tall? I took half home for my lunch the next day...


Edited by grayelf (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I visited and I wonder if it was just a bad night. Tried the chashu miso and the broth really tasted like the type that use the instant powder. Soup was lukewarm, and the pork, corn, and bamboo were all cold to the touch.

Off night? Or permanent change?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I visited and I wonder if it was just a bad night.  Tried the chashu miso and the broth really tasted like the type that use the instant powder.  Soup was lukewarm, and the pork, corn, and bamboo were all cold to the touch.

Off night?  Or permanent change?

That's a drag. Ours didn't taste "bottled" at all, and there were deffo no heat (or lack of heat) issues. But keep in mind we are by no means ramen (or okonomiyaki) experts. Maybe we lucked out??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I visited and I wonder if it was just a bad night.  Tried the chashu miso and the broth really tasted like the type that use the instant powder.  Soup was lukewarm, and the pork, corn, and bamboo were all cold to the touch.

Off night?  Or permanent change?

That's a drag. Ours didn't taste "bottled" at all, and there were deffo no heat (or lack of heat) issues. But keep in mind we are by no means ramen (or okonomiyaki) experts. Maybe we lucked out??

It sounds like both you and nondual had good experiences there. I just wonder if it was an off night or a permanent change......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me Motomachi is king in Vancouver. Their shoyu ramen is on another level compared to anything else in this city. The design of the restaurant is awesome, it's really relaxing and they have friendly service + a couple cute servers. Also, they do serve beer which Benkai does not and for me beer is a necessity with a boiling bowl of ramen. Motomachi's garnishes are by far the best and the sexiest... watercress and pepper threads come on. I realize ramen is more about what's in the bowl and not the aesthetics of the restaurant, either way Motomachi is my joint... that is until someone comes out with Sloping Hills pork Ramen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For me Motomachi is king in Vancouver. Their shoyu ramen  is on another level compared to anything else in this city. The design of the restaurant is awesome, it's really relaxing and they have friendly service + a couple cute servers. Also, they do serve beer which Benkai does not and for me beer is a necessity with a boiling bowl of ramen. Motomachi's garnishes are by far the best and the sexiest... watercress and pepper threads come on. I realize ramen is more about what's in the bowl and not the aesthetics of the restaurant, either way Motomachi is my joint... that is until someone comes out with Sloping Hills pork Ramen.

I've been actively lobbying the folks at The Diamond for just that. They do Sloping Hills gyozas and great noodle dishes. Why not mix the two?


Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a dedicated ramen-ya can do ramen justice. (Sorry to sound puritanical, but that has been my experience). Now...Sloping Hills pork over at the Denman St places...that sounds interesting.


fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Only a dedicated ramen-ya can do ramen justice.

There are some who might disagree with that. One dimensional restaurants don't corner the excellence market in the one thing that they do. If a multi-dimensional restaurant like The Diamond can produce kickass gyozas that trump those on offer at Gyoza King and other Japanese and Asian hybrid restaurants in town, then it stands to reason that they could do just well with ramen too. The right combination of quality stock, pork, and noodles isn't a closely held family secret - nor is it hard to achieve for the home cook.


Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't have the gyoza at the Diamond on my recent visit there because I noticed that the gyozas came swimming in the dipping sauce...which is a crime, IMO. To be fair, I will try them (and a few other dishes) next time I'm in. I'll have to keep my prejudices in check.

PS...I do agree with the general thesis that one-dimensional restaurants don't corner the excellence market....ramen could be one of the few exceptions IMO.


fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exciting news on the ramen front! Vancouver will soon see its first Hokkaido-style ramen shop opening a couple of doors down from Kitanoya Guu with Garlic. Which should mean that we'll soon be getting some awesome miso ramen :wub: , since it originated in Hokkaido back in the 1950s.

While this new place probably won't be to the level of

, it'll certainly be a welcome addition to Vancouver's 'Ramen Alley'. This will make 5 ramen shops in the area near the corner of Denman and Robson - not quite the numbers of Sapporo's legendary 'Ramen Yokocho', but we're getting there...

健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The plot thickens...turns out it will be a branch of the Santouka (山頭火) chain of ramen shops that started out in 1988 in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. As far as I can tell, this is Vancouver's first branch of a Japanese ramen chain. I've never tried it, but hopefully it will up the level of competition for the city's ramen shops.

Exciting news on the ramen front! Vancouver will soon see its first Hokkaido-style ramen shop opening a couple of doors down from Kitanoya Guu with Garlic. Which should mean that we'll soon be getting some awesome miso ramen :wub: , since it originated in Hokkaido back in the 1950s.

While this new place probably won't be to the level of

, it'll certainly be a welcome addition to Vancouver's 'Ramen Alley'. This will make 5 ramen shops in the area near the corner of Denman and Robson - not quite the numbers of Sapporo's legendary 'Ramen Yokocho', but we're getting there...


健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The plot thickens...turns out it will be a branch of the Santouka (山頭火) chain of ramen shops that started out in 1988 in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. As far as I can tell, this is Vancouver's first branch of a Japanese ramen chain. I've never tried it, but hopefully it will up the level of competition for the city's ramen shops.

Thank you for the information -- it's good news indeed!

Technically speaking, Ajisen in Parker Place of Richmond is the first Japanese chain of ramen shops to land in Greater Vancouver; but we really mustn't hold it against ramen chains based on Ajisen's quality, as some chains are better than others.

During my trip to Hokkaido, I tried four ramen places in the span of 6 days -- would have gone to five or six, but I was too tired. Santouka was not one of them, so I will be looking forward to giving this new place a try. Aside from the miso base, Hokkaido (or Sapporo?)-style ramen is rather unique in other ways and it would be great if this place is able to turn out authentic version of it. Will report back after trying!


Edited by nondual1 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ramen shops head downtown!

Benkei Ramen will be opening a second location soon on Thurlow between Alberni and Robson.


健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ramen shops head downtown!

I have a dream...

I have a dream, that the Robson area is lined with ramen shops, blocks and blocks of them...

I have a dream, that I go "ramen-hopping" on a winter evening, slurping down one bowl of steaming hot ramen after another...

I have a dream, that from Sapporo to Tokyo, from Yokohama to Kyushu, from tonkutsu to shio, all styles and flavours of ramen are only steps away from each others...

I have a dream, that the ラーメン横丁 ("ramen yokocho") is a Vancouver dining destination, to be visited by locals and tourists alike...

I have a dream...!

But, darn it, why isn't the Santouka (山頭火) shop opened yet??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ramen shops head downtown!

I have a dream...

I have a dream, that the Robson area is lined with ramen shops, blocks and blocks of them...

I have a dream, that I go "ramen-hopping" on a winter evening, slurping down one bowl of steaming hot ramen after another...

I have a dream, that from Sapporo to Tokyo, from Yokohama to Kyushu, from tonkutsu to shio, all styles and flavours of ramen are only steps away from each others...

I have a dream, that the ラーメン横丁 ("ramen yokocho") is a Vancouver dining destination, to be visited by locals and tourists alike...

I have a dream...!

But, darn it, why isn't the Santouka (山頭火) shop opened yet??

If you dream it it will come :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, darn it, why isn't the Santouka (山頭火) shop opened yet??


健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

where exactly is japan house going to be? i've been searching but to no avail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

where exactly is japan house going to be? i've been searching but to no avail

It's in the Empire Landmark Hotel at 1400 Robson St. My guess is that it'll be strictly for athletes and support staff, unlike Swiss House or Holland House.


健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woo-hoo! Santouka (山頭火) ramen opens tomorrow. Hope it's worth the wait. :smile:

Santouka.JPG


健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...