Tonkotsu Ramen, Japanese Noodles (Soup)
My friend and I thought we'd give it a try, we both ordered different dishes. An hour after I left I had terrible stomach cramps followed by "fire hose" diarrhea. I called my buddy to see if he was sick too and he reported an immediate trip to the bathroom that was not unlike the sound of a boat motor only half in the water.
After reading a positive review in the newspaper I decided to head down the give this japanese ramen resturant a try. To be on the safe side, I decided to go with something generic and ordered the basic ramen with cha shu (very similar to bbq pork), bamboo shoots, some type of veggie/fungus, and some red ginger. Instinctively thinking that the portions might be on the lower end, I added some gyozas and a japanese rice ball.
Boy was I right, the portion for seven bucks was nowhere near what I expected. There were exactly three pieces of meat and a lot of other veggies. The amount of noodles is comparable to a pack of instant noodles. Sure the ramen itself was quite good but the soup was a tad bit on the salty side so in the end you did not really taste much. The only positive was the gyozas- perfectly fried and was nice and soft on the inside. Waitresses were very nice, quick, and friendly but since I was one of the only ones eating then can't really judge that service overall if it had been busy. On the positive it was nice and clean with traditional japanese decour that complimented the food quite well.
Nothing special about this place, but at least Japanese staff present.
The noodles weren't all that great either and the soup was a bit bland compared to some of the more famous Ramen noodle places (ie in Downtown and Rmd). I didn't like the wooden stumps as seats as I like to lean back sometimes.
Been there three times, not because I really like this place, but because it is the only place around here to have ramen at lunchtime. Wouldn't make a special trip to come here though. there are better ramen places around.
This is a Japanese run establishment which is a good thing. I haven't been here for a few months but coming back after a small hiatus, I have to say that it has lost Its place as one of the better locations for ramen. We tried the hiyashi ramen set. Mine was with the goma version which was tasty, but there was one ingredient that I could have done without. It was the shrimp on the top, which tasted like fuel, it's the only way I could describe it. It wasn't bad, just tasted bad. The rest of the dish was good. The other thing that bothered me was the gyoza.
Where's the gyoza??? It was soooo tiny. Half the size it used to be.
Like the other person who posted about consistency...... This is true. It's just not the same. This is one thing I warn to new places. Once you set the bar high. You have to keep it that way. If you don't people will notice and they will find another place. Menya, go back to basics and don't cut corners, especially on quality and consistency!!
Written on my iphone
I've walked by this place several times and I have always been tempted to go in and give it a try. One time, someone was coming out and said it was amazing. I've also seen very good reviews on this site. I wasn't impressed with my first visit here.
I had the first item on the ramen menu (the pork) and was pretty disappointed when I only found like two peices of meet in my bowl. Also, the broth was salty and pretty oily. The place was busy and I got a seat right away, but I don't think I would return since I left with a salty aftertaste.
I'd been wanting to try this place for sometime and today was walking by with my boyfriend so we decided to go in. It was past most people's lunch time so it wasn't busy and only a few tables were occupied. We were quickly greeted at the door, seated and given tea. Once we had made our decision, a server came over to take our order. I ordered the Tonkotsu Miso Ramen set (comes with gyoza and rice ball) and my boyfriend got the Nagasaki Chanpon set. The rice ball was ok, nothing exciting and not particularly flavourful. I used it to try out the different sauces at the table. Then we each got our ramen. The tonkotsu miso ramen was good, but I found it to be overly salty after awhile. The noodles had a nice texture though. My boyfriend's was better - less salty. I liked the gyoza. The restaurant is small but it is clean. The logs which are used as stools aren't particularly comfy after a long period of time. Overall though, it seems like a good place for a quick lunch and I would return although I would probably order something else.
This isn't a place to linger... it's quick in, slurp your noodles, and quick out.
I admit, I'm not too understanding about whether ramen is authentic or not. What I go for is taste. I like comfort food, and after trying Menya, I think I will include it into my list.
Went to Menya on Saturday night, 7pmish or so - packed. Needed to wait for tables - people all around slurping their noodles. Fairly good sign, I think.
Had the Nagahama Tonkatsu... yes, as per previous reviews, it's a bit on the small side for $6.75. For that price, I can get a large pho - but that's like comparing apples and oranges. For an additional $3.40, you get a triangular rice ball and 4 gyoza.
Ramen wasn't that interesting - but the SOUP was pretty good. Big huge pot in the back of the restaurant boiling... and when the ramen arrived at the table, it's still hot, even after repeated slurping the noodles up.
I don't go to ramen places often, and at $7.00 a bowl, it's not a place I'd go often. But if i have a ramen craving and I do not wish to be in downtown, well, I'd definitely consider this place.
Very poor value for your money. The broth was very salty and oily and heavy;
the rice triangle was dry and they were skimpy on the noodle. Sitting on logs with no backs did not bother me but I would not return for the food. Disappointed as I read in 2 places that this was the place to go for ramen. I am not new to ramen restaurants but this restaurant rated at the very bottom with me.
Saw an article featuring this restaurant in the Vancouver Sun, so i thought we'd try it.
The columnist compared it to other highly popular ramen restaurants in the busy downtown area (ie. Kintaro).
Food: Ordered the Shoyu Ramen "dinner special" and Nagahama Ramen. And made it a ramen set for $3.40 more (included gyoza and rice ball). First, ramen was just OK. Compared to Kintaro, this was very mediocre. The bowl of noodles were much smaller and there wasn't as much of all substance. The noodles were a thin ramen, it was fresh which was good. But for $7.00 a bowl, I expected more in quantity. And, I realized after that the Shoyu was missing the hard boiled egg topping....
The rice ball in the set was extremely dry and bland...
Service: Very courteous....greeted us in Japanese when we came in. At the end, we payed by credit card, and they have the wireless keypad swipper handed to us at the table, which is convenient. However, the lady was peering over me and watching intently as I entered the tip value. Made me feel pretty uncomfortable...
Value: Compared to Kintaro, much smaller bowls of mediocre ramen for the same price. I guess we pay for not having to wait in line and OK food. Though I feel highly cheated for not receiving everything in my order.
Ambiance: pretty small restaurant, tables very very close together (typical of ramen restaurants?!). No backs to the stools (they were just logs). Kitchen seemed very clean though.
Would I return? Not likely, would prefer to wait in line at other ramen restaurants which offer better food for the same price.
Went to this clean well runned establishment for a bowl of noodle soup and found the noodles and pork bone broth to be excellent.
Service was friendly and professional. Line-ups are becoming the normat lunch but the turn-over-rate is quick. Well worth the short wait as my belly was content for the entire afternoon at work.
Will be back with friends.
I havent tried anything else except Ramen Salad or the Summer Special. I keep coming back there every week to eat them. And their burdock fry is incredible. Love them so much. I wish they change the seats tho. I always tell myself to try their other hot noodle but then I always end up order my cold ramen because I just can't say no :P
This was my first experience with fresh ramen. The restaurant was very busy with a steady stream of customers. The place was brightly lit and the tables were very close to each other, and some seats were "tree stumps" lol. I had the ramen set, the ramen was nothing special but the gyoza's were very tasty. The menu is quite limited but the restaurant has a kind of fast food feel to it. The food was fine and the service was very attentive and friendly.
Overall a decent experience, may possibly return someday
Dropped in with the boyfriend on a weekday afternoon for the first time to give this restaurant a try. I was surprised to see the restaurant filled. Good sign.
I ordered the nagasaki champon and the boyfriend had the miso ramen set that came with a rice ball and gyoza. I got a really big bowl of noodles and it smelled so goooood! I had a hard time finishing it, but I eventually did. There was a lot of vegetables and some seafood in noodles. The miso soup ramen was deeelish!
I know I will be coming back - probably during their off peak hours.
I'm writing this review in response to some of the other reviews posted here. It seems though there is a misunderstanding going on with regards to Menya. Specifically with regards to their Nagahama ramen.
I've been to Benkei ramen and Motomachi Shokudo, and although I was excited at the prospect of eating authentic Japanese ramen (which it was), I was a little deflated from the realization that there was no Kyushu tonkotsu ramen.
For those of you who don't know, Kyushu tonkotsu ramen is the variety of ramen that they have on the island of Kyushu. Although there is some variation in the types of ramen among different areas and prefectures of Kyushu, you can collectively call them Kyushu tonkotsu as they are all quit different from ramen from the rest of Japan.
At Menya, this variation of Kyushu tonkotsu ramen is called: Nagahama ramen. Nagahama is an area of Fukuoka city where this ramen started.
Kyushu tonkotsu ramen is special for 2 reasons:
1. The noodles are extremely thin. They are also much more straight and white than the curvy, yellow, mid-thickness (not as thick as udon) noodles that you find in Tokyo and Hokkaido ramen.
I love this kind of noodle! much more so than the yellow, curvy noodles.
2. The broth is exclusively made from pork bones. There is no shio, shoyu or miso flavoring going on here. And even if there is, its a small amount. Ramen cooks pride themselves on their 'secret recipie' brew of pork broth. The whole process is quite labor intensive. Its a contradictory soup: thick in that it is rather rich and fatty, opaque-looking like a miso broth. On the other hand, it is thin in that it is essentially a soup that doesn't really 'coat' the noodle completely.
As anyone who has walked by a ramen shop in Kyushu can attest, its a smelly proposition! One whiff of cooking smells coming out of the exhaust fan of a ramen kitchen is enough to make you gag. What does it smell like? ASS! Yes, it smells like ass, and the reason why is because they're boiling the pork bones down to make the broth. But don't let that turn you off, the results are quite delicious.
For those of you who are used to the ramen they serve at Benkei or Motomachi will find the toppings included in the Nagahama ramen to be a little bare. This is what its supposed to be like. A few slices of chashu (grilled fatty pork), some bright red sliced ginger, and sesame seeds to taste. Sometimes a boiled egg is included too.
Now, going back to the noodles, they have this thing called "kae-dama". This is a second helping of noodles. Yes, just noodles. The idea is to get a top-up on noodles should tell people that Kyushu tonkotsu ramen noodles are good, and worth getting seconds for.
Admittedly, it is a very sparse offering. Simple broth, simple noodles, not a lot of toppings. The deliciousness is in the simplicity of the presentation and the taste of uncluttered, well prepared bowl of noodles. This is how they eat it in Fukuoka and this is how I like it.
So don't trash the ramen if its not what you're used to and especially if you don't know what you're talking about.
Apparently, the owner's wife is from Fukuoka, and hence the inclusion of Nagahama style ramen.
To my knowledge, this is the only place in town that serves Kyushu tonkotsu and I love them for it. It's quite a 'niche' type of food to be serving, but I'm just glad that they do!
For novices, I would say the Nagahama style ramen is an acquired taste, but you should go give it a try.
I haven't tried the other ramen, so I cannot comment on those.
Been there twice now; both times were very good and the food was very tasty. I had the Miso Ramen once and the regular soy sauce-based one (forgot the name). My friend had the "Jam pon", which is similar to the Korean dish but not as spicy. I also tried their gyozas and they were great as well. They weren't as oily or greasy like some other places. Menya is an authentic, Japanese-owned place with good service and a nice interior. The prices are good and cheap, too. I will most likely return and plan on trying the Tonkatsu next time around.