Motomachi Shokudo is a ramen house specializing in ramen noodle soup with different kinds of broth. Other dishes include kimchi, mini sushi and smaller appys.
We enjoyed our experience here. The ramen tasted quite authentic, the gyoza, although huge, was quite tasty, and the atmosphere was very Kyotoesque. I would definitely recommend this place. I have had good ramen around town and bad. This place serves it up simple, but good. I would appreciate it if they were open later, though. They serve only beer for alcohol, hot sake would be nice, too.
Tried Motomachi Shokudo for the first time. A bit pricey but the gyozas and noodles were tasty. Gyozas were big and juicy and the noodles had a lot of substance to them. The soup broth was good and made with organic chicken stock. I think I prefer Kintaro though but I would go back again. Really small place but the waitresses were friendly and there were a lot of Japanese clients that ate there so that's always a good sign.
This is the real deal. Finally, finally there is a place worth going in Vancouver that approaches some of the better ramen shops in Tokyo. The chef used to work at Kintaro a couple of doors down, and since he left the ramen there just hasn't been the same. Motomachi is now the place to go.
Motomachi's broth is chicken-based rather than the traditional pork-based broth, so it's lighter and apparently healthier. I usually can't drink all the leftover broth because it's so heavy, but this broth was very light and tasty. I had the charcoal bamboo ramen, which was awesome. It has a miso base and uses charcoal powder (!) for an added smoky kick.
I agree with a previous poster that the stools are kind of uncomfortable, but other than that the atmosphere is great. And you'll definitely pay more for a smaller portion than at other ramen shops. I personally prefer quality over quantity. If that's your preference, this is where to go for ramen in Vancouver.
Best ramen in Vancouver
I eat A LOT of ramen, probably more than I should. There's something about the savoury, slightly fatty tasting soup that makes me want to frequent these small shops a few times a month.
Motomachi is not merely a sister of Kintaro next door, but an improvement of it. By using quality ingredients with proven methods, they have managed to create unique flavours (try the charcoal ramen) unrivaled in Vancouver...so far that is, there is a new place opening up around the corner (I forgot the name).
Downsides to this establishment, very hard and uninviting chairs (step ladders actually) that force you in almost a squatting position and I'm not digging the share table in the middle either. I wouldn't list price as a con (2-3$ more), simply because the better ingredients make up for it.
I am going to do this review short and sweet. In Japanese Style. Pffaa, at least let me try.
How many Japanese ramen joints in Vancouver downtown area alone? Your guess is as good as mine but "plenty' is the close answer. We have good old Kintaro, almighty Santouka, and recently opened on International Village Taishoken. But sadly none of what I mentioned reminds me of my three-year contract work days in Tokyo. I guess it's because the taste and quality of some joints are great but their interior and service are just... no. Except this one.
Enter Motomachi Shokudo. Located by Denman and Robson Street, you will find this small -- even to Japanese Ramen joint standard yet very Japanese-ly decorated space that serves mostly Japanese ramen (Their gyoza is da bome!! haha but that's not the point of this review.). Everything about this restaurant presents the authentic atmosphere of young yet sophisticated Japanese culture I encountered back in that city. To me this is very good, I mean real good. Sometimes when you visit a Japanese restaurant, all you have for your money is some Americanized-Japanese flavour and pathetic pseudo-Japanese menu title.
For the ramen, I have two words for you: Spicy Miso. With all the add-ons you'd like, it's going to be a dollar or two more expensive than you pay at your Tuesday Japanese ramen joint. The noodle is great enough in the rich & density department, and the soup is deep (:D) yet not as "oily" as other joints serving which you so used to now just OK with. Just the way you'd have in any good Ramen joints in Tokyo.
This is my most favourite Japanese ramen restaurant in Vancouver, and dare I day it is the best.
After searching online for a good Ramen place to try for the first time, my husband and I came across Motomachi. They use organic ingredients where possible in all their products and though on the pricier side of a Ramen meal, you really do get your moneys worth.
I usually order the Shio with Vegetables which (as a previous review mentioned) is not vegetarian, however they do clearly state at the front of their menu that all the soup broths are made with either pork, chicken or seafood. So if you are Vegetarian, you are out of luck. I would say this is the case for pretty much all Ramen stops anyway.....but I digress.
The Shio with Vegetables is an excellent, healthy and very filling dish. Chock full with vegies and the stock is beautiful and light but still flavourful. My husband usually orders the Nama Shoyu which is also great. We have also tried the extra BBQ Pork, Spicy Miso (excellent!), Shio and Next Generation Miso. I couldn't complain about any of these dishes. The Spicy Miso has a really good amount of vegetables as well as the chicken and you can order without the spice if (like me) you are not a fan of hot stuff. Portion sizes are huge, I usually bring my own ziplock container with me to take my extras home. (They do not provide takeout containers but they never frown on me for bringing one myself).
Gyoza are also excellent. The staff are friendly and always say "thank you for waiting" even though the wait isn't usually longer than 10mins from ordering.
If you like quality, authentic ramen, go to Motomachi.
Saw the reviews here & went to try it today. Went around 7:45 pm on a Friday evening and there was a slight line up. Since most people realize that the place is very small, people eat & leave. I think there must have been about 20 seats in the restaurant in total and got to ours in about 5 to 10 minutes.
I had the charcoal ramen & I thought the first bite was ok... but as i kept eating it, I started to find the taste of the soup a bit strange & less and less flavour. After the last bite, I realized then that I really didn't like it anymore. Maybe it was because the taste was so peculiar.
Come to think of it, I've never had anything like it even in Japan and I'm Japanese. I've seen Japanese people put the charcoal in their rice cookers but in soup... Hmmm... not sure it's my favourite soup in ramen....
My partner had the spicy chicken ramen. I had a little taste of the soup and the soup base was more fishy on that one, but I felt that it tasted better than mine. My partner commented that the organic chicken on the ramen tasted like the free range ones we ate in Cuba. Very very good.
The spicy chicken ramen is definitely the way to go. For those who likes something alittle more interesting, something you've never tasted before, try the charcoal ramen.
Next time I go, I'd like to try just the regular miso or shoyu ramen..
I've been here twice since it opened and each time takes me back to Japan. The trait that struck me the most was the ambiance. It's very nice -- quiet and good selection of jazz music in the background. Next is the quality of the ramen and its broth. The broth isn't overpowering like Kintaro's and isn't as oily as Benkei's. Although an onigiri would be a good side dish with the ramen, having just the bowl of ramen can be quite satisfying enough for lunch or a light dinner. The servers greet with a smile and the place doesn't stink up your clothes like a typical ramen restaurants could. The price is a little high for ramen (and hot tea), but for all the other little touches the owner puts into this place, it's still worth it.
From all the good review on here, I was hoping it to be better. The food is not much better than Kintaro or Benkei but the price is more expensive. So not worth it. They also charge for the hot tea. Maybe they have free hot tea but didn't tell me. Credit card is not excepted. For the price they charge, I would expected them to except credit card.
Best ramen in Vancouver! In terms of flavour, preparation and innovation, it is the best I've encountered thus far. The use of organic ingredients definitely gives it a positive twist on this Japanese working-class staple.
I had the Extra BBQ Pork Ramen with Miso flavour. Here, as opposed to Kintaro, the regular Pork Shoulder pieces were accompanied by fatty boneless Pork Sparerib. Portion size was surprisingly good. Every part of it was delicious. I'm sure the noodles are identical to Kintaro's, but it's the other ingredients that make the difference. No choice of the Light, Medium, Rich here, just perfect!
My girlfriend had the Bamboo Charcoal Dark Miso Ramen. It was very unique in flavour, and definitely also a fine choice.
The atmosphere is quite a bit more upscale than Kintaro, and the service was great when we were there (maybe it was because there were few customers).
I'll definitely go back! Can't wait to try the Spicy Organic Chicken Ramen next time!
I went here on Sunday for the first time with a group of 4, one of whom is a vegitarian.
The restaurant is very small and was fairly busy so seating was not immediately available. First sign of service issues was on arrival we were asked to wait outside rather than in the restaurant. This would be OK in the summer, but in the cold and damp of winter...not so much. Second they wanted to split us up between the kitchen bar and the communal dining table. We declined as we wanted to stay as a group. This obviously frustrated them but allowed us to wait anyway. We finally all got seated and placed our orders, the vegitarian in our group ordered the vegitarian ramen, assuming it was truly vegitarian. What we did not know, and was not made apparent anywhere on their menu, is that all of the ramens use the same stock base, with is a chicken\pork broth. For those of us carnivors, this is not an issue but for the vegitarians in world, a big issue. As such our vegitarian companion could not eat her meal. It was pointed out to the server that this information should have been presented and asked for a takeout container so we could keep the meal. They informed us they do not have take out containers because "all the liquid spills". I would suggest that they check out the nearest chinese take where they deliver soups all the time. At that point we asked that the meal be taken off the meal as the menu was not clear and they could not accomodate us taking it with us. An arguement ensued and they finally did remove the meal from the bill.
The ramens themselves were actually pretty tasty and a good value for the money. I found the Gyoza however to be somewhat overly greasy.
If service and vegitarian options are not important (thats why I gave a 2 rating, otherwise I would have given it a 3), then this is a neat little place. Otherwise, give it a pass
I've tried pretty much all the Ramen restaurants in Vancouver. The food at Motomachi is simple and healthy, not as sophisticated presentation as other restaurants but appealing in its own way. The broth is silky in texture and less salty. The ambiance is rustic and quaint. Good place to meet with an old friend or to take a date for lunch.
I was early because I had not intended to eat here but it was very windy and I was hungry so I walked in. Because I was early the owner was there and so it is that he is Chinese and serve pasta in broth. I am happy I was early because it was soon full up but gee $12 for a soup named after Italian noodle and the roman inventors is a bit too much. Anyway the owner is from China and he should emphasize value and less expensive items too. Nice man but come on it is expensive. And they wanted $ for any extra so no man thanks
It started out as a good idea on a day I was going to finally spend with an old lady friend. She felt like Asian so I reluctatnly went along. It turned out to be an annoying waste of time and of hard earned dollars. We could have gone to a real meal. Because of that flavour mediocrity, I was so bored. People, this is street food, not some gourmet New York nouveau cousine concoction by a Michelin-rated kitchen. Why do chicks like it? What's up with THAT?!
Perhaps because it was the long weekend and we were finally able to get together I didnt care, but the service was actually non-existent for long stretches. When the cute white waitress showed up, always in a foul mood, I was not going to let it bring me down.
I've been a big fan of Kintaro's for years, but I saw postings inside advertising their little sister restaurant just a block away. The organic factor was also a big draw, as I was looking for something a little healthier than a big bowl of fatty tonkotsu ramen. Not to mention the other competitor down the road, Benkei, is way too salty for my tastes.
I have to say, it was love at first bite.
The spicy chicken ramen has a huge amount of vegetables unlike any other ramen place I've been to in the WOLRD, not just Vancouver. The leeks and lotus root were delicious additions to a great bowl of noodles and a heavenly broth that was not at all oily and MSG-free. I was impressed with the balance between vegetables, noodles, and broth, as unlike Kintaro, I almost always finish all three elements of the dish at the same time. Another important thing to me is the consistency, and Motomachi is very, very consistant. Every bowl of ramen has been just as good as the last.
On visits closer to the summer I also tried out the cold ramen, which has a surprising twist of raw egg and grated taro root, and extra noodles. The base is nice and sweet and a perfect summer flavour, but some might be put off with the slimy consistency from the egg and taro root. The texture is very reminiscent of real sukiyaki, as is the flavour, but as a delightful cool dish perfectly geared for Vancouver summers. I prefer this version to Kintaro's, but my boyfriend is more of a fan of Kintaro's style of cold ramen. Another visit included a tasting of the new-generation miso ramen, but I find the flavour is a little too meek compared to the bold offering from Kintaro. The garnishing is better, but Kintaro's strongest draw is its wonderfully flavoured miso broth and Motomachi isn't as aggressive with its broth flavour in this case.
The 3rd aspect of Motomachi is the comfort level. This is definitely more in line with Benkei, albeit within a much tinier space, but you don't have big boiling pots making the restaurant unbearably humid. All in all the comfort level is way higher than Kintaro and less claustrophobic in its layout. My only gripe is sitting at the tables nearest to the doors on a brisk day, because you can really feel the breeze in such a tiny little restaurant. The service is mid-level, with the waitresses passive-aggressively pushing the (admittedly tasty) boiled eggs, but they are fairly efficient managing customers and food comes within 5 minutes. They are also less in a rush to force you out of your seat, unlike at Kintaro with its seemingly eternal lineups. Although the price is higher than competing restaurants, I feel the extra dollar or two over Kintaro is justified by that perfect ratio of meat, vegetables, noodles, and broth, and the fact that the soup doesn't leave me disgustingly thirsty like the average pho joint or Benkei.
In short: Motomachi is a must-try for ramen lovers, especially the spicy chicken ramen. This is a definitive Vancouver-style ramen joint with its own personality, and a bowl that leaves you bursting full without leaving an oily, salty aftertaste in your mouth from cheap soup.
We figured we would try one of these ramen places on Denman. My wife had some charcoal (black-coloured soup) ramen. I had the spicy miso chicken.
When we wordered, the waitress tried to upsell us on the ramen by trying to add eggs or gyoza. She seemed dissapointed when we didn't add those items. It's about $10 for a bowl of ramen. I also know that ramen is extremely cheap to buy and has a lot of calories and no nutrients.
When the food came my wife didn't like her charcoal ramen so I ate it. It didn't taste good. The spicy chicken miso ramen was marginally better. It was not spicy. Both dishes were very oily tasting.
Overall I would not recommend this place. Food is expensive, service nothing special, and it doesn't taste good. If i eat junk food at least I want it to taste ok.
Oh and also they don't accept visa.
I had the charcoal ramen with a side dish of pork gyoza and enjoyed it immensely. The presentation and taste of the ramen was great. The gyozas were not overcooked nor undercooked - they were just right. The servers were polite and friendly and the food arrived at my table within a reasonable amount of time. The ambiance was pleasant and relaxing. This is a good value restaurant as the quality of the food is very high.
Food: This place is owned by the same people as Kintaro Ramen on the next block. It's basically the same food but better ingredients for a slightly higher prices (like $1.50 more). Ramen are excellent, and portions are good but not huge. They use organic eggs and I think chicken as well. Always happy, great food. I love the Shio Vegetable-only Ramen, and I think the broth is not meat-based.
Service: Good service, attentive and smiling waitresses.
Value: Good value, great food and filling for under $10.
Ambiance: Nice environment, lots of dark wood and painted concrete walls, kind of industrial meets nature/woodlands style, very Japanese modern. Small but not too crowded. Lots of friends enjoyed it as well.
Great ramen place! it's simple, but decent taste!
Though the price would be kind of high compared to Kintaro or other places, but it would be worth it. You are paying for what you get.
The egg they serve is awsome. The ingredients they use are definately of good quality.
But the chef who makes the best ramen there out of the many times i went there, is the owner himself. The "Mr. Noodle". he has the most experience with ramen and know just how to make the perfect bowl of ramen effortlessly.
Definately would go tack again.
Food was excellent. Creative options, colorful and careful presentation. Service was very good - there was only one attendent, which was suffice for a dining area the size of a storage room. Value was decent - slightly higher than your usual Japanese hole in the wall. But this is downtown, and business is harder for such small places. Understandable - and it made no real impact. Ambiance - Outstanding. Storage-sized room, open kitchen, seat fit into every possible space; one side was even a concrete wall that made it look liek we were in an alley -- unintentionally. Then why such a high rating for such crappy decor?
Simple. You feel the authenticity of a small Japanese place, making it's best effort to attract it's few customers. You can taste the care put into each item. The juxtaposition of a mess of a dining room and a beatuifully presented dish just makes it feel that much more precious and worthwhile.