Benkei serves Japanese ramen in a variety of flavours with many add ons to create a custom bowl of soup to your liking.
I've been going to Benkei on Robson for the last year. Initially I was impressed with how everything tasted. I don't have a big appetite so I always have to order a smaller portion. Lately, I'm not quite sure what has changed in the kitchen but over the past 2 months the taste has become really bland. The portions have shrunk so much that it's laughable. The cuts of meat are now terrible, very thin, very fatty, and I would venture to say inedible. I am definitely going to switch to a different ramen place. I've given it enough time to see that this is a recurring theme with this restaurant and they are eager to cut back on costs no matter the effect in their quality of product.
I usually go to the place around the corner for ramen but I am going to stick to this place for now when I want a bowl of ramen.
I ordered the Shio Ramen. The soup was really tasty and strong. There was no fat floating around either. The tonkatsu was perfect in fatness and leanness. I was able to eat it without feeling too guilty.
The price was reasonable compared to other Ramen houses in Vancouer. The amount of noodle it came with the order was good enough for me. However, if you are a big eater I would suggest ordering the extra noodle for a dollar more.
The ambiance is good. You didn't had to share a round table (like the other ramen place around the corner).
The shio ramen is outstanding. It has one of the best tasting tonkotsu. The service has also been outstanding and much improved since my first visit.
The chashu nigiri is not great, but edible when hungry. The great shio does make up for everything else.
The waiteress with the generous smile is wonderful. She is nice to all the customers and seems to take pride in doing a good job.
The chashu is now lean but not too dry. So, it seems that Benkei has redeemed itself fantastically. Kintaro may have to watch out. Motomachi can still sit comfortably for its superior food quality, but Benkei is a competitive value choice.
I will go back to Benkei for more shio. Tasted good to the last drop. The ramen is quite plain though, and the cost can quickly add up with the extras. That is not an issue because the shio tastes fine without the extras.
I had their amazing miso ramen with all toppings! We also had the chashu origiri..wuuuuuu that was really good too. I am drooling just thinking about it now. Their staff is efficient, and courteous. Despite huge line-ups, we were seated timely. I have had nothing but pleasant experiences with them, will definitely go back for more ramen.
I've been here twice and both times:
Ramen wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I ordered the miso ramen.
Service was quick and friendly, drinks were filled up before they were empty.
Good value for money... for less than $10 you will walk away full.
The decor was okay.
You get a stamp card as well... buy 10, get 1 free.
Maybe I'll come back if I'm in the area.
Been to Benkei twice. First time I had the Shio with all toppings. The shio base had the right amount of richness and was generally good. The second time around however, I had the Miso which was very bland. Both times the noodles were decent and the extra toppings really add to the ramen however Kintaro and Motomachi do ramen better.
This place needs work. We ordered miso and a shio with egg. The broth was lacklustre with a very simple flavour and the noodles were quite firm. There was nothing memorable about it.
The place is decorated quite nicely, but it's not nearly enough if the food isn't up to par. One complaint: I'm sure they are trying to be all cool with the stools you sit on, but they were not very comfortable. I hate sitting on chairs with little or no back.
Service was all right. Competent but nothing amazing. It is cheaper than Kintaro or Motomachi, but you are getting what you pay for, in this case. The appearance of a 'buy 10 get 1 free' stamp card at the end put the nail in the coffin on this place: even they seem to realize that the food isn't doing a good enough job of selling itself.
The ramen tastes differently each time I go (went 4 times so far). Sometimes the soup is thicker and saltier, other times quite bland. When you're lucky, you'll get good cut of the pork, when you're not, the pork is hard. The egg is soft boiled and tastes really good.
When it's good, it tastes better than Kintaro and Motomachi. When it's not, it's sub-par to the 2 other nearby ramen restaurants.
I ordered a Shio ramen today and find it totally tasteless. Little toppings, and the noodle is sticking altogether and this is absolutely a NO-NO for japanese ramen. Soup base is like half Shio and half Tonkotsu, shio should be clear transparent but it was not; tonkotsu should be rich and cloudy white but it wasn't neither.
My hubby ordered the miso ramen it was tasteless too.
We won't go back again for sure, their ramen is worse than the ones in Japanese food court.
This place rocks. Since we stumbled up on it two weeks after it opened, we've been back at least every other weekend. We are obvious noodle heads.
The service is a bit slow and they've gone through some growing pains in terms of fine tuning their menu. Other than that, we have consistently enjoyed their noodles.
Went down there to have lunch and was immediately greeted in Japanese by a friendly waitress.
There's basically 4 different types of ramen, so I chose the Shio Ramen. Service was speedy, and with the first sip of the broth, I knew this place meant business. It's one of the best ramen broth you can find in Vancouver.
Then with a bite of the ramen noodle and tonkotsu (braised pork), the flavour just explodes in your mouth.
Only one thing I would like to see improved is they could put some more noodles to make it more filling for those with a bigger appetite.
The ramen here is outstanding!
Always go for the shoyu ramen with extra noodles and bamboo shoots.
The price for that huge size bowl of goods is simply a gift from above.
If you want to try ramen, I strongly recommend all to try out benkei.
Believe me when I say, every cent is worth it.
Their summer campaign of "hiyashichuuka" was excellent!
Hope they will do it again!
I took my good Japanese friend there to try my first ramen. It's a relatively new place with a well-designed menu, pretty decorations and interior design for a small place. Back then I thought the food was pretty good, which was until i went to experience another ramen place on denman not too far away from Benkei. I always question the authenticity of the food as well as the taste. We got their onigiri (rice ball) which was quite tasty. On the other hand, Benkei's ramen tastes decent but it's nowhere near the authenticity or generosity of Kintaro. Toppings and pieces of Chashu (BBQ pork) you would get in Benkei is extremely poor compared to Kintaro. Also they use the wrong type of noodles -- it should be straight, not curvy. You can say that I am too picky, but if you want a real Ramen experience in the city, for the same price, I suggest you go to Kintaro instead.