Login or Register
Do a search below using the city or postal code search box if your city is not listed above.

3
  • Food3
  • Service3
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews53

Benkei Ramen

1741 Robson St
Vancouver, BC V6G1C9
Tel: (604) 688-6980
Fax: (604) 681-6633
Neighbourhood: West End
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Ramen
  • Price: $ ($15 or less)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Benkei serves Japanese ramen in a variety of flavours with many add ons to create a custom bowl of soup to your liking.

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 53 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Hit & Miss
By foodpro of Vancouver, BC (9 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 - 4:01pm [Dine in]

Our first time was the BEST, back in July. Went back a couple of times since then, but came out hugely dissapointed. Service were still pretty solid, but the ramen, especially the soup were a big downer. May be they are still tweaking and twightening some loose ends. Will go back there one more time to see if they can get it right.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Used to be better.
By ifrit of Westend, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 21, 2008 - 11:49pm [Dine in]

I found an article review this place when it first open and I visited them. They was amazingly good. Not any more. They had changed the recipe for their bbq pork. The pork used to be so good that I brought so many of my friends there again and again. Now the pork is chewy and the soup is too sweet. I saw them put a spoonful for syrup in each bowl. I will never go back there again.

I think one of the chef had quit. He has buzz cut hair with facial hair. Since then, the pork haven't been the same. If you know which chef I'm talking about and know where about he is working at, please let me know. I will go there to try his food.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

<More reviews below advertisement>

Right place, right ramen
By jay1984 of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 5:33pm [Dine in]

I went to this place for lunch at around 11:40am. Not so busy and I received fast service. Food arrived within 5 mins, which is very good for lunch time. The ramen is just right for me. I ordered a Shio ramen with extra chashu. The chashu is soft and thick, and of the right taste. There are bean sprouts and green onions as well. The soup tasted ok, not salty or oily. I would definitely go back again as the place is comfortable. Not shabby, nice decoration and lighting.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Don't go when it's busy...
By carmaniac of Richmond (2 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 3, 2008 - 4:29pm [Dine in]

My first experience at Benkei was a good one. The owner personally seated us and we were throughly introduced to the menu. I would say that the menu is superior to Kintaro's. Items such as Extra Noodles, Spinach and Seaweed sides give great customization. The noodles themselves are slightly different than Kintaro's but still tasty.

However, my second experience there was quite a bit different. It was busy. Lined up to the door in fact. My girlfriend and I noticed a table in near the front window that was empty, and had been for a long time. My girlfriend went to inquire about it, because it seemed that the people ahead of us were larger groups.

After waiting several minutes for someone to even acknowledge her existence, she finally stopped one of the servers (who was trying to run away from her...). She asked about the table at the front, and she was told that they were closing the section! When the restaurant is the busiest, they close a section? Needless to say I left, and went to Motomachi Shokudo where there was no line and the ramen was better!

We walked past Benkei later and found someone sitting at that table we saw earlier...

I won't be returning to Benkei.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Stingy Japanese Ramen
By wwasn of Vancouver (27 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 5, 2010 - 10:13pm [Dine in]

Went there for dinner around 6:30pm, ordered the Miso ramen.

Food/Value:

I can honestly say, this place would not survive if it was in Japan. Funny how they're opening a new location on Broadway. The noodles were too soft, the soup base was mostly MSG. The pork was bland. The thing I find ridiculous is the "sides" that you add, they're so expensive. In Japan, ramen is suppose to be a fast food. It's suppose to fill you up and served really quickly with tons of ingredients. I just can't wrap my mind around them being able to charge money for 2 pieces of nori sheets (seaweed). Also, their proportion sizes were small, so for that value, I don't see how it's worth it.

Service/Ambiance:

Service was slow and disorganized. We were standing at the door and didn't get addressed for 5 minutes. There were plenty of empty tables, but we were just being ignored. The ambiance was alright, nothing special.

In the end, I don't think I'll try it anymore. I'll save my ramen craving until I go to Japan.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Decent Ramen Noodle House
By BCA333 of Richmond (22 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 3:59pm [Dine in]

Although this would not be my top choice for ramen places, I don't mind it at all. Texture of the noodles was good, soup broth was good, the meat portion was a little skimpy. But would probably go back only if the other ramen places were busy and I didn't feel like waiting for them.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

<More reviews below advertisement>

Decent Ramen
By moomoo55 of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 9:24pm [Dine in]

.. can give Kintaro a run. Ramen is hot and flavorful, not as much MSG as other ramen places. Also has more sitting-areas than Kintaro. Ambience is a bit more upscale than Kintaro, but honestly, each have their own strengths.

Chasiu and the soup base are of decent quality. They have other food choices also - gyozas, etc... it's a place where you can sit down and enjoy your ramen, instead of being rushed.

Definitely will come back when I have a Ramen craving.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Always friendly.
By silmycat of BC (25 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 8, 2008 - 6:33am [Dine in]

I have been to this ramen place numerous times and although I have never been disappointed in my meal I find it is inconsistant. I find the soup base sometimes is thicker, and other times thinner (I order the same base each time). When it first opened, the first few times I ate here the char sui was as thick as your tongue, now it is only a few mm in thickness. Service is sometimes slow and other times very efficient, but always friendly. Everything still taste good however. They really need to get air conditioning in the restaurant, especially for the summer!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Trade Offs
By Viviyan of Burnaby (27 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 5, 2008 - 2:07am [Dine in]

I've tried all 3 ramen places on the block now and Benkei would be the one rated in the middle between Kintaro and Motomachi. The price per bowl is $6.60 (miso soup base is $6.90) but the portions were a bit smaller than Kintaro and Motomachi. Also um, the toppings were skimped out. On my shoyu ramen, I noticed a lot or green onions, a small piece of nori, and 2 pieces each of charsu and bamboo shoots, JUST TWO! The broth, thank god, definitely was a plus for me. It didn't having floating pieces of lard like Kintaro and the broth wasn't so heavy. Could've used a bit more shoyu though.

For the ladies, this would be a good sized portion. And also the add-ons I guess are a gimmick. The charsu had a really nice smokey flavour. We tried the gyoza and they were super juicy and crispy. Wasn't too full so we tried the chopped charsu in onigiri. I would come back!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Great RaMen!
By jollyg of westend (11 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, November 16, 2009 - 8:52am [Dine in]

Less crowded than Kintaro and the RaMen is just as good. The service and ambiance is also noticably better. I recommend the Shio for it's subtle but flavourful pork goodyness! I don't know how much pork bones they use in the brother, but it pacts a flavour punch. The Gyoza is nothing special, just solid. Just go for the RaMen and maybe the extra sides.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Delicious and filling
By geekmom of Burnaby (10 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 17, 2009 - 7:35pm [Dine in]

My family brought some visitors from out of town here, all of us having eaten authentic ramen in Japan and hoping to revisit that experience. In spite of being a large party showing up at lunchtime on a busy Sunday, we were seated fairly quickly by the friendly and cheerful staff.

The menu is pretty straightforward, offering the three traditional options of shio, shoyu or miso broth as well as some interesting variations. All of us chose either shio (sea salt) or shoyu broth. We also tried the chashu onigiri and the gyoza.

The gyoza were delicious and highly approved of by all of us. The onigiri were okay, nothing spectacular but since we often make these at home maybe they aren't as exciting as they might otherwise be. As for the ramen, thoughts among our group were mixed. Though we were all happy to finish off everything in our bowls, the feeling was that the broth seemed to be lacking a certain depth and richness of flavour. The pork wasn't as tender as we would have liked, though the flavour was delicious. None of us could find fault with the noodles themselves though and we were all glad we paid a little extra to get more noodles added to our bowls.

Overall I would be happy to eat here again to try some of the other offerings on the menu, but we also want to try the other ramen shops in the neighbourhood to see whether we can find something a little closer to those simple street corner ramen shops in Japan.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
decent, not great
By jellybelly of Mount Pleasant, Vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 28, 2008 - 1:50am [Dine in]

On a cold winter day nothing beats a bowl of ramen. We had a couple of places in mind, our first choice had a long line up, so we went around the corner and tried this place. It was busy, but we got seated and served right away. The service was good. I ordered the light soy ramen. The presentation was nice, but I was disappointed at the two small slices of pork and the fact that it didn't have much veggies in it. The noodle itself was just ok. The soup was way too salty for my taste...and I happen to like soy sauce. There are a couple of other Japanese ramen places in downtown that are far better. If I do return, I'll order the other soup base and I'll pay the extra for more stuff in my bowl.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
They even have a stamp card.
By gyromite of False Creek, Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 25, 2008 - 7:15pm [Dine in]

Benkei Noodle Shop has been around for a short while and has been giving competition to the previous Vancouver ramen king Kintaro (located a half block down the street). This is the fourth time I have been to Benkei and the flavor of the broth has improved significantly, way tastier than the last few times. At Benkei, you have a choice between three types of ramen broth, miso, shoyu (soy sauce) and shio. There are some other types that are on available at lunch on Saturday. I ordered a side of gyoza and a bowl of miso ramen and added corn, extra bamboo shoots and a boiled egg.

The soup tasted pretty good, I wasn't blown away but it was a tasty cheap meal. The ramen costs $7.30 and it is 50 cents more for additional corn, or bamboo shoots or for the boiled egg. I love a pop with my ramen and a coke only costs $1.00 here, the finger goes to all those places that charge me $2.50 for a can of pop. I know you got to get yours but come on $2.50 for a non bottomless pop, thats just greedy. Karma, jerks!!!

The atmosphere of the restaurant is great, decorated with exposed wooden beams and Japanese paraphernalia. The restaurant is small in capacity and you can expect a line.

Benkei Noodle Shop
1741 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC

They even give you a stamp card, 10 stamps and you get a free bowl. Subway needs to bring their stamp game back.
The real question: Is Benkei better than Kintaro?
This time Benkei was better, last time Kintaro was tastier. Atmosphere is way better at Benkei.

pictures available on http://www.vancouverslop.com

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Awesome new ramen place
By LovingSun of West End, Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 11:15pm [Dine in]

I've been to Kintaro a couple of times and I always liked it but this place is definitely awesome too! I went on a weekday night and it was actually really busy. They did bring me fatty pork even tho i ordered lean one but once I told them, they brought me a whole bowl of lean pork so I could just put it into my soup. The restaurant has a very nice interior design, but most important really good prices for really good food. I can definitely recommend this place to anyone who likes ramen :)

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
There's a new Ramen place in town....
By Copious of West End, Vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 5:52pm [Dine in]

I consider myself pretty picky and a bit of a gourmand, but I'm not Japanese and not a ramen connoisseur, but if you are, please ignore my review and go experience it yourself.

This review will be more relevant if you've been to Kintaro, where many people consider to have one of the better/best ramen in town.... (although my Japanese friends wouldn't be caught dead eating there.)

Benkei basically have the same menu as Kintaro; pick your soup base, pick quantity of noodles, pick lean or fatty pork, and pick your toppings.

The presentation wasn't very flashy, at least Kintaro makes some effort of stacking the toppings a little. I picked the miso soup base; the ramen was cooked nicely, not too mushy and had a good bite. Soup was bold and rich, but it was slightly on the salty side for me. You get two pieces of pork by default. I wasn't sitting by the kitchen, but I'm pretty sure the pork was grilled over real flames to give it a smoky flavour. Although the pork had a wonderful flavour, my 'fatty' pork pieces were pretty darn chewy (not sure if it's prepared like that on purpose.)

The interior was very nicely decorated (as you would expect for a new place), miles ahead of the utilitarian and grungy state of Kintaro. I was at Benkei around 2.30 in the afternoon on a weekday, and the place was buzzing at 80% capacity. Staff was quite busy, so don't expect to get a second or third round of water without asking. (they're still hiring)

Benkei's food quality is pretty much at par with its closest competitions, but its clean and new setting puts the whole dining experience beyond them.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Ramen was delicious
By ballin_eater of Vancouver (34 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 1:03pm [Dine in]

Came here with a friend a couple days ago looking for some ramen action. Was in d/t around 11am and this was the only ramen place opened so we went in.

Food: Ordered the miso ramen and friend ordered creamy ramen with rice ball chasu. Miso tasted the best out of both ramen. I requested for extra noodles for a dollar extra which wasn't bad value. Soup was rich and full of flavour. The pork pieces were 3 slim but really tender to compliment the chewy noodles.

Service: the restaurant wasn't full so the service was very attentive.

Value: Prices comparable to other d/t ramen joints which was good.

Verdict: Overall a really good place to go and good value in d/t area. Highly recommended 9 out of 10.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Terrible ramen.
By mister_jacky of Vancouver (22 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 21, 2012 - 5:28pm [Dine in]

I went here because there was a line at Santouka Ramen on Robson, and we were too hungry to wait. I've been the the Benkei that was on Thurlow St, which was pretty good.

I ordered the Shio and side of gyozas.
What a disappointment with the ramen. My broth was so bland and plain, salty with a bad pork taste to it. The meat in my soup was dry, added in after. Gyozas were pretty good. Overall I would have preferred to cook up some packaged ramen.

It was empty inside. No wonder

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
One Of The Best Ramen House In Town?
By boosterk of Vancouver (downtown) (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, February 20, 2012 - 1:36am [Dine in]

This was my third time dining in at Benkei Ramen. I've been to three locations (Robson, Thurlow and Broadway). It has never impressed me, and has since been a last-resort type of restaurant for me.

Food: The noodles, itself, are too soggy while the soup base is much too MSG based. Some people might even mistaken this as being rich. Traditional ramen broth is to be boiled slowly, but a sip of Benkei's soup tells a ramen lover that their soup uses preservatives and MSG to cover up the lack of preparation.

Service: Much better than the food. They seat you down and refill your cups accordingly. It is nothing of the ordinary.

Value: For their prices, I would much enjoy a meal at a neighbouring restaurant like Santouka or Kintaro (they are worth the line ups if you're looking for tradition, Japanese ramen).

I applaud Benkei's ability to build such a strong customer chain, but they must step up the quality of their food in order to gain the acceptance of the real Ramenist audience and not just those that have not ate traditional ramen.

There are many other Chinese-run Japanese restaurants in town that serve better ramen. Being Chinese is not an excuse to serve poor food.

Definitely not recommended.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Always a Pleasure: the noodles are eggcellent
By girl_in20s of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 12:56pm [Dine in]

This place is one of my favourites to go when it's rainy and cold and I need comfort food! The ambiance is fantastic and very authentic. The servers are all Japanese and are very friendly and helpful - especially if it's your first time ordering there.

My favourite broth is the Shoyu, and the serving portions are very filling - especially for the price (around $7).

Don't be disappointed when you see only a couple of pieces of meat in your dish though, (it's the authentic way of preparing it).
My friend claims "that the chicken could've survived" losing a bit of meat for a bowl of ramen.
("just a flesh wound!")

I also recommend asking for the chicken broth instead of the pork broth (I don't think it's written on the menu).

They also have stamp cards. Booya!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Favourite Ramen place in Downtown Van!
By tarobbt of Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 1:20pm [Dine in]

This restaurant is always full of energy!! The place is well decorated and the wait times are not bad at all.
The service is quick and the waiters are very friendly. The menus are easy to understand and I appreciate the detailed descriptions of the different ramen bowls. It's always difficult to choose which bowl to order!!

I love the food - it's so tasty and filling! The soup tasted great, and the noodles were just right!
I highly recommend this place to anyone craving ramen! :)

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

Images

Displaying 101 - 1 of 1 Images Found