Tonkotsu Ramen, Japanese Noodles (Soup)
Have been to many soup noodle places before but never tried Menya which is near Cambie and Broadway. Had the Tonkatsu noodles and made it a box set which includes gyoza and a rice ball. The soup base was pretty good but the noodles were average with the pork not very tasty. Very small portions with very little corn and bean sprouts. The gyoza (4) were good, nice thin wrapper. The rice ball was really a triangle of rice with some pork inside, just Ok. For the price, $7.50 for noodles and $3.50 more to combo, the value is just average. Would of preferred Pho or wonton noodles. Service was very good with the restaurant pretty basic. Would not return.
My gf and I visited this ramen noodle place figuring the dinner rush would make for a lengthy wait with the ramen places DT.
A decent effort was made to make the place look authentic but as previous reviewers have mentioned the tree stump seats aren't particularly comfortable.
My gf's miso had a good broth with mild miso flavour. She opted for the thicker noodles which didn't seem much different versus the regular noodles. Compared to the same bowl at other ramen places it's definitely not as heavily seasoned, perhaps even bland for some. BBQ pork was tender though not fatty enough in my opinion, and lacked flavour. My tan-tan men was excellent, however. Rich, spicy broth that was soothing rather than sharp. Noodles were just a skant past firm but held up well in the broth. We ordered a side of gyozas were which had a good wrapper, but the filling was far too little to assess flavour.
Service was Japanese typical. Friendly staff and quick with dish clearing and we were able to get tea top ups without asking.
The tan-tan men is a great bowl of noodles; it might be the bowl to get here.
Nice place, I'm pleased to see they put some thought into the interior rather than just whipping together the cheapest interior they could. At least it gives the impression they might be serious about this business...
(Yes, they are 100% Japanese run).
Anyways, we happened to go on a quiet weeknight, so with so much staff milling around, we had no issue with service. The food came reasonably quickly too. Pricing is inline with expectations. If memory serves, it is same or slightly cheaper than the ones downtown. (You can get one for less than $7)
We had the ramen set with the Nagahama and added a seafood champon. The sides with the set was okay. This is a ramen place. The Nagahama ramen used much finer noodles than other places in town. It's not my preference, but they managed to avoid being soggy while being in the broth, so thumbs up to that. The chashu pieces were a bit on the thin side, but by far the most soft and tender of the ramen places we've been too (so it sounds like they have consistency issues). The broth, I would rate as light. This is no where near as fatty as Kintaro's normal broth and it is not as salty either. The other one came with much more substantial noodles (just a preference thing), but this one the broth was much stronger in flavour. We had a split decision on both, so really it came down to preference. Both were good.
Going head to head with Kintaro, Benkei and Motomachi, well, Motomachi is in another league altogether (that includes price). I would probably give the edge to Kintaro or Benkei, so it's a good thing they're far away.
If I'd a craving, I wouldn't bother making the trek downtown if I were in the area. If I were half-way between, I'd probably pass on Menya.
But I'll say that this is probably personal preference. The food is good quality and is a recommended ramen destination. You should go to see if it's to your liking since it does serve a different style of ramen.
I'm a HUGE noodles in soup fan. Ramen, pho, udon, rice noodles, wonton noodles... as long as they're in soup, it adds a kick that's good in my books.
Anyway, this place was honestly a huge disappointment for me. Ordered the chasuramen and my friend ordered the ton ton and both were very bland. Not horrible, but the noodles just lacked that tenderness that you get from freshly/well made ramen noodles.
The portions are also very small compared to other ramen noodle places. I'm not expecting the same portioning of noodles compared to a Large Bowl of Beef Pho noodles, but the 'one-size' bowl of noodles here is quite small... and @ 7.50 - 9.50 a bowl very pricey for what you're getting. I'm smaller than the average person and was not full at all.
The service was the only bright spot... a couple of really cute servers work at this place... but unfortunately not cute enough for me to come back :-(
Still loving it. I know my ramen. My wife knows her ramen. This is a great ramen-ya. I've been reviewing some of the negative reviews and judging by the class of restaurants they have been to it's rather obvious why they give this a less than positive review. This is tonkotsu ramen.. it is pork based and pork tends to be on the fatty side. If you don't like pork, don't eat here.
Menya is not intended to be a fancy restaurant nor like those pseudo japanese all you can eat sushi restaurants who serve fish that has it's best before days gone waaay past. It is simply pure noodles. Great tasting, reasonable priced, and enough to make your tummy feel happy.
Enjoy the noodles here. It's the best value in Vancouver by far.
Yes, i've been to Kintaro, Benkei, Motomachi Shokudo and they too are good. Again, nothing fancy but Menya stands heads and shoulders above them. Plus I like the fact you don't have to pay the price of a bowl of ramen for parking at Menya
The broth was too salty and fatty, and the noodles just so - so.
Not to mention that for the price we pay elsewhere, the quantity is NOT enough to fill you up.
Usually I can only eat half my bowl of ramen, but here I ate the whole thing and was still hungry!
There was only 2 pieces of pork, and a few bits of veggie.... Very disappointing indeed. Will definitely not be returning.
My husband and I came here with 2 Japanese girls who are quite picky about their ramen, and everyone really liked their noodles. The miso ramen's soup has a stronger flavour, while the nagahama ramen is creamy and lighter. The noodles in the nagahama ramen are also thinner, almost like somen. Next time we'll try the nagasaki champon. My husband is a big eater so he needed two extra servings of noodles (kaedama) plus he finished off noodles my friend was unable to eat! My friends also ordered a plate of gyoza and were quite satisfied with those too. $4.80 for a 8 gyoza fried up in a pinwheel shape. Menya also serves udon and soba but the specialty is ramen so I'm not so sure how good they are.
Sagging from riding the Canada Line with the hordes I staggered into this place I wanted to try for a while.
Since I don't eat pig meat/pig meat products the choices were limited to exactly one thing-homemade fish soup stock with Udon noodles.
Ordered it with Tempura veggies and added Green Onion not expecting much since I can never understand the Japanese fondness for taking a crisp fried veggie and dumping it in soup there to become all soggy.
However the bowl was made to order and overall was-as per the subject -a tasty lunch just what I needed at the time.
The broth has a slightly smoky flavour deep but not too strong with a hint of fish head richness in the foreground-quite unlike the usual instant dashi one receives elsewhere.
I would have given the place a higher rating but the waitress tried to smile too hard I could tell she really couldn't care less and there was a smell of gas in the place the air was stuffy and smelly.
I'd go back but since the menu is so limited not for a while.
I'm addicted to the Shoyu Ramen with Chicken. I'm trying to limit myself to once a week, but I could easily go more often than that! The staff is also very friendly. A welcome addition to the neighbourhood! The portions are the perfect size - always eat it all, but definitely full after that. For non soup lovers, the Tan Tan Men is a favourite of my lunch mates.
I love Menya noodle! My favorite is the Tan-Tan-Men with added egg and Bamboo shoot. The presentation is so cute. I usually avoid ramen places because I can never finish my bowl, and they won't let you take the rest home. Seems like such a waste.This place let's you take home what you can't finish! I can't think of any other ramen place that allows you to do that.
I appreciate all that Menya has done in their early days, bringing to Vancouver a pure representation of Hakata-style, tonkotsu ramen, as well as including the little nuances of ramen culture into their menu setup. By focusing on this soup broth, and this alone, I think it can carve out its own niche. Menya deserves consideration for your tonkotsu option in your Vancouver ramen preference set.
We certainly were not full after slurping down two bowls of Ramen called Nagahama ramen and Miso tonkotsu ramen. We were actually a little disappointed with the lack of flavour and substance in these items. But comparing to the distance required to go to a downtown ramenya and the likelihood of overcrowding and long wait-lines, I would go back to Menya, simply because of its proximity to where we live. The gyoza wasn't so-so bad either.
Although I appreciate the effort of Menya to create an authentic tonkotsu ramen dish, I wish they would have used more to create a thicker soup base. It would have made the experience all the more enjoyable.
I am not a big ramen expert, in fact the first time I ate it was at Menya. I would definitely reccomend this place and was really pleased with my experience there (the restaurant that was there before Menya is another story...some little thai hole that I am surprised I even survived it was so bad...)
FOOD >>> Excellent, tasty, steaming hot and flavorful. I ate there when Vancouver was full of snow and it was wonderful, it just warmed me and filled me right up.
SERVICE >>> We arrived at lunchtime, in a party of 3 but were seated immediately, by the window. We were treated nicely, I have always had super friendly japanese waiters. They're just a nice race I think!
VALUE >>> I thought it was a fair deal for the amount of food. One bowl of ramen and a gyoza were enough to fill me up until dinnertime.
AMBIANCE >>> They've definitely cleaned it up since the last restaurant that was there. Simple but clean and pleasantly full of people. I felt very comfortable. THey did have an extra heater awkwardly placed at the entrance, but it was exceptionally cold then so I guess that is ok.
I finally had a chance to stop in at Menya. I'm not sure if it was because my expectations were high (due to some positive reviews) but I was greatly disappointed. The broth was way too salty! So much so that I couldn't finish the noodles. I felt the price point wasn't as good either if I compare it to the downtown counterparts. The toppings were minimal and the char shui was some of the worst I've had at a ramen place. Stringy and a bit tough. Service was decent as most ramen place are.
I would definitely endure a trip over the bridge and the downtown parking scene to get better ramen.I appreciate the effort of this place but I won't be recommending it to others.
I've had their noodle bowls and I am not a huge fan of Ramen noodles, but their seafood one is very good and is a huge portion, I can't finish it. What they shine for to me is their gyoza. They are authentic, fresh to order and just little dumplings of goodness... I order two orders sometimes to make a lunch out of it. You get 8 little dumplings for $4.80.
It's hard to find good, authentic and fresh gyoza that don't have that already-been-pan-fried taste. The servers look at me a bit weird when I order two orders, but I don't really care. They are all sweet Japanese students or immigrants. They try really hard to speak English and have that cute and polite Japanese way about them. I have never had poor service at that place. They know how to treat their customers.
This review might not be the best for the soup, as I am not as well versed in ramen as I am in pho, but all in all you shouldn't be disappointed if you know what the soup and cuisine entails. As other posters have said, this soup is authentic pork soup. There are a couple other options, but the specialize in the pork bone broth (to which I am not a huge fan of).
I discovered this place because one of my friends loved their soups and I met her for lunch here. I was a bit turned off at first with their lack of menu choice, but I ordered the gyoza and come back for them every time.
I finally tried Menya few weeks ago for the first time after hundreds of times that I drove by the restaurant. All the staff were Japanese, so I anticipated authentic taste. The ramen came quickly. My wife had the Kyushu tonkotsu ramen and it was delicious. The noodles were thinner than the usual ramen and had good texture. My son had the Nagahama ramen and he was happy slurping it all in. I had the Nagasaki champon and it had lots of vegetables. The size was quite large, considering it was almost $10 compared to all their other ramen at $7 to 8. We had the ramen set with the gyoza and rice ball. The gyoza had thin skin and the filling was tasty. The rice ball was just ok as it did not have much flavour. Our 3 different soup flavours were all good.
The service was attentive and fast. The waitress was friendly.
The value was reasonable and inline with other ramen places. Menya does give more noodles than other places. I have been to Kintaro once and have not returned due to their small portion and long line ups. We did try G-Men in Richmond and I found the soup is the best, but the noodle portion is small.
The ambiance is casual and decorated in Japanese style. The tree stump stools adds to the natural and simple style of the restaurant. I will go back to have hardy noodles.
I went there over the weekend with friends and ordered the noodles in the sea food broth, however it was utterly disappointing as it was bland and the seafoof and meat were like condiments. The gyozas were crispy on the bottom and soft on the inside, if only they were more filling.Alas!!!! The rice bowl looked attractive however the feast for the eye didn`t turn out a feast for the stomach. I don`t think I will ever recommend this to anyone.
I would have to say that if all ramen restaurants were located in the same area in town.. this would hit top 3... but since this is by far the closest to my house.. i am giving it two thumbs up.
i had the ramen set.. came with grilled rice and gyozas.. and a ramen..
Very well balanced in flavour.. and not loaded with lard like kintaro..
I'll be going back !
It's great to have a good, quick lunch spot with friendly service around the busy Cambie & Broadway area. There are many places to eat around there, but sometimes I'm just in the mood for Japanese noodles. Although their menu is not an extensive one, it's good enough if you have a craving for ramen.
It was a warm day so I wasn't in the mood for something hot. I was pleased to see a cold ramen salad dish on the menu. I'm not usually crazy about the mixed salads that come in a bag/box, but it was good in this dish. My friend who hates onions of any kind asked for no onions, and no pork - after some back and forth from the kitchen to our table, the waitress was friendly, patient, and the kitchen staff very accomodating.
The gyoza was different in that it came stuck to each other in a small circle, as if it was in a small frying pan, but all in all it was good.
I'd definitely return the next time I have a craving for ramen noodles.
The portions does not work for in favor of those who eat. The two guys I was with each ordered a ramen bowl and had to split a third.
I had the Ramen Salad and Takikomo Rice Ball. Both looked really really good- the color and texture were saliva-worthy. u=Unfortunately, both turned out to be flavorless. I had to add gyoza sauce in both dishes.
In any case- the noodles were quite yum- great coloring and bite. looks authentic enough.
I most likely won't return to this place- as there are many other well- known ramen places to try.