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3
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews33

Santouka Ramen

1690 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G1C7
Tel: (604) 681-8121
Neighbourhood: Central

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 33 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Almost just like Japan
By kewpiebaby of Vancouver (200 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, April 15, 2011 - 11:34pm [Dine in]

Finally got to try this little Ramen place and we were quite pleased.The soup base was delicious and the ramen portion to price ratio was not bad. We went on a Friday afternoon around 2pm, so no crazy line up or crowds, which was nice. My hubby tried their Kara Miso Ramen and I had the Shoyu Cha Su (Pork) Ramen. I loved how the toppings were generous without being too tiny. Pork was yummy and I liked the crunchy bamboo shoots (tasted something like that). My hubby thought the Kara Miso was pretty good. Overall a great ramen addition to Robson Street. Almost like Japan, but a slightly better portion size. =)

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Yummy! but avoid lunch hours
By hungryjo of Vancouver (175 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 12, 2011 - 12:19pm [Dine in]

This place is kind of small, probably fits 25-30 ppl. I've been here at least 5 times.
First of all, I know a lot of people compare all new ramen places to Kintaro. I don't think that's really fair because there are so many different kinds of noodles and soup base. From angel hair to those common thick curly ones. There are fatty soup base to light pork soup. After trying all the ramen places I could think of, Santouka and G-men is the best according to my stomach. I just went to Santouka and I'm in love again. Their shio ramen is super tasty and creamy. It didn't make me very thirsty in the end which is good sign. Yes, their bowl looks very small but the amount of noodles they serve is just right. Just enough to satisfy your craving. If can order more or less for a different price. It's abit more expensive at $9 a bowl if you want good & savory ramen, this is the place to be!
Service is ok because they're so busy. There is a line-up to eat and a line-up to pay.

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A bit different from the usual, but not amazing
By EatsFats of Vancouver (321 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 9:49pm [Dine in]

I guess we got lucky, we were seated almost immediate when we came in for lunch one day. We had always been interested to try the "Hokkaido style" ramen, as they claimed to be. And yes, we do know it's actually a global chain originating from Japan. No complaints about the service, it is on par with other ramen places in town and there's not much to write home about in particular.

The menu features most of the "usual" items, though there is a bit of a twist from the other ramen places in town. I guess that is the Hokkaido style stuff. We had the "spicy" one and the pork cheek shio ramen.
Spicy? By Japanese standards yes, but everyone else's standard, probably not so much, so don't worry, even the faintest of spicy eaters can enjoy this dish.
The pork cheeks slices were very nicely done, big thumbs up. They came on the side of the ramen bowl. The shio ramen was pretty good. Very nice broth, which, by the way, you can watch being boiled in the big pots by the kitchen window. Any ramen worth eating should come with quality broth/soup that is worth drinking. Those people who do not drink the ramen broth, they are wasting money on very good food. This is a high quality soup that takes a long time to make, if you don't drink it, do not consider yourself a foodie. (Unless you find yourself in a really crappy ramen joint).
The noodles are the same in both cases, competent, quite good, but not particularly outstanding. None of that is made in house, it comes bulk packed from Japan.

The portions appear deceptively small, but we were quite full after the meal, so I guess I should complain. The meal was solid, done very nicely, though perhaps a bit rich for my taste. The only gripe I have is the pricing. It's slightly on the high side, about the same level with Motomachi, so the problem is, I very much prefer Motomachi's offerings, much cleaner and lighter tasting and more unique than Santouka. I give it a hesitant thumbs up, worth at least a first visit.

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Overrated
By hungryfordinner of Vancouver (125 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 12:45am [Dine in]

Food: The ramen and the ikura don was pretty good, though I definitely wasn't blown away. I had the spicy ramen, though I found it to be a bit bland. The broth was rich, which I liked. I didn't like the egg though, as it was fully cooked through, unlike the other ramen restaurants where the yolk is still orange.

Service: I know this place is busy, but there's no need to be rude. We came into the restaurant and they asked "How many?" After I indicated the number of people, the waitress hollered something in Japanese. I'm used to this because I've been to Guu quite a few times and they do the same, but what I was not expecting was for her to immediately walk away afterwards without even making eye contact. How about "It will be 10 minutes." Or "Please wait." We were next in line and sat down at the table. The waitress rudely said "Stand back in line. We haven't cleaned the table," as if it was impossible for them to clean the table while we were seated.

Value: There isn't anything here that Benkei Ramen can't do for a fraction of the price. Even taking in account that this restaurant is located on Robson street, the value still isn't here.

Ambiance: This isn't a place for big groups or comfortable seating. The seating was very tight and uncomfortable.

I don't understand why people would line up for something like this. There are so many better choices in downtown.

I will never set foot in this restaurant again, and neither should you!

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One of the best ramen in the city but its pricey
By thecritic of Vancouver (376 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 5:36pm [Dine in]

I have tried pretty much every ramen house in Vancouver and this was one of the best I have had. I ordered a large miso ramen. The broth was very flavourful and had the strongest pork taste I have experienced which is a good thing in my opinion. The bowl wasn't very big but it was packed with noodles, almost too much for lunch. The pork was by far the best I have ever had in ramen. I will make sure I order more next time because two pieces is simply not enough. I would like to see a couple more toppings such as corn but the bowl is certainly not lacking anything in flavour.

The room is modern and sleek with a large communal table in the front, bar area overlooking an open kitchen (separated by glass) and then a bunch of small tables in the back. They weren't serving alcohol yet, I guess they don't have a license. In fact, there were a bunch of things "coming soon" on the menu. Assuming those actually get added, the menu will be fairly eclectic compared to other ramen houses menus which generally have the same items. The price ended up being over $10 for a large bowl of ramen which I thought was a bit expensive especially since there were only two pieces of pork and most places have three. I would still return because the soup is top notch.

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I've tried them all and this one comes out tops!
By sgtoca of Kitsilano, Vancouver (103 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 8, 2010 - 1:10pm [Dine in]

Yep I've been to all the other ramen houses and today was my first successful visit to Santouka, last visit was met with a 30 minute line up but my trek for an early lunch at 11 am paid off. Even though 2 obnoxious losers sat next to me; that did not dampen my first experience at Santouka. First let me start with the room, its Japanese modern, one of the nicest communal tables I've seen, stools in front of the kitchen where the action is but there's a glass separating the kitchen so one can see but won't be affected by the steam. I was greeted with a nice glass of water followed by a nice menu with photos. I went for the Toriniku Kara Miso Ramen with pork belly + an egg and granted it was $15 for everything, it was the best $15 spent on a bowl of noodles. The broth was so flavourful then I drank every last drop, the soup had a different consistency from other ramen houses, this broth had texture which goes to show numerous ingredients went in to achieve that level of complexity. The plate of pork belly that melted in my mouth came with the fixins and the noodle was made al dente which perfectly complimented the broth. The service was prompt, friendly and authentically Japanese. I am already thinking of returning for dinner! This place has officially become my favourite ramen house in Vancouver!

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Mediocre
By Gorgelicious of Vancouver (52 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 12:09am [Dine in]

Santouka is one of three well-known ramen noodle shops in downtown Vancouver. Yes they are all within walking distance, and yes, they are all small = line ups all day, every day. Okay, not exactly all day, but majority of the time.

Warning: It is like a massive sauna inside. Or like a desert. Whichever floats your boat.

Miso Ramen/Shio Ramen - $9.95 (5/7)
Nothing special about these two, pretty mediocre. It wasn’t loaded with MSG, and as shown in the picture, you get the typical “toppings” that usually come with ramen. The portions are fairly small (you can probably cover the bowl with your palm if you stretched out your hand), however, there is an option to make it a large with just a dollar more.

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The Rich and Creamy Broth was To Die For!!
By Food-Goddess of Coquitlam (96 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 3:01pm [Dine in]

My friend highly recommended this ramen place to me, so I decided to go there for lunch. Went there slightly before lunch time to avoid the crowd. Boy, was I glad I did that, because the place was packed with the lunch crowd soon after I arrived.

I decided on their signature shio broth. It was rich and creamy, just as advertised on their website. Very flavourful, yet not overly salty. The noodles were cooked to perfection, and the pork slices were the most tender I've tasted with my ramen with the perfect meat and fat ratio.

Service was prompt and polite. My order came very quickly, and my bowl was cleared off the table and I was presented with my bill soon after. Very efficient lunch service!

Will no doubt go back for the other broths.

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BEST RAMEN in Vancouver!
By JooJoo of East Vancouver (82 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, May 28, 2010 - 10:43pm [Dine in]

We checked out Santouka, the gyoza was promising, it was fried to perfection, crispy on the outside, juicy inside. The Shio ramen was delicious, I really enjoyed the tender and juicy pork jowl and the soup base was incredible! I ordered a flavored hard boiled egg and crispy on the side, it was a good choice! Yes it is more than what you'll normally pay for ramen, but this is really good and worth the money. The miso soup based ramen was good too, however I prefer the Shio soup. Theres a table where you sit on stools or by the bar counter and small tables behind the counter and they have hampers for your jackets which is hilarious! I would definitely recommend Santouka, I've tried many ramen restaurants downtown and this place has the best!

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Great new Ramen restaurant
By pookiebear of UBC (46 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 10:55pm [Dine in]

I've tried all the Ramen restaurants in Vancouver and Santouka definitely has the best soup. I ordered the spicy miso ramen and my dining companions ordered the shio ramen and the dipping ramen. The spicy miso was pretty good but the highlight was definitely the shio ramen. The shio soup base was soo tasty and it reminded me of the ramen I ate in Japan. My dining companions who ordered the shio ramen ordered the special pork with it and the pork was melt in your mouth tender. The dipping ramen was pretty good too with thicker noodles and a bigger portion of noodles than a regular ramen bowl.

The restaurant is quite new and has many more seats than all the other ramen restaurants in Vancouver. However, the tables at the back are really close together so it is hard to get in and out.

Like the previous reviewer mentioned, the soup base was great but it was kinda pricey. A regular ramen cost about $9 and the ones with the special pork was around $12 but I would definitely return.

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Best ramen in town
By lazyhusband of Burnaby (31 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 4:50pm [Dine in]

Best broth in town. You want good ramen? You need good broth and al dente noodles. Santouka has both. I have tried the Shoyu, Miso, and Kara and each bowl did not disappoint. Good amount of noodle and just enough heat on the soup. The cha-shu...a little fat to go with the lean, oh so good! Try it and thank me later.

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My Favorite Ramen Place in Town
By gubrakkk of Burnaby B.C (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 1:39pm [Dine in]

I always order either Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen or just Kara Miso Ramen. Same broth but different type of meat. Love IT. Always recommend this one to my friends.

The price of their regular ramen is just OK but the toroniku ones are slightly expensive for a bowl of ramen. O well, I don't mind paying a bit more for great food.

However, I think their gyoza price is too much and edamame is expensive.

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High-end ramen in West End area
By Kaoru of Burnaby B.C (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 18, 2010 - 10:11pm [Dine in]

First time I tried this ramen place today, got the kara ramen. Overall the service and environment was good (fair, I may say), the food was not bad except it was more like infant portion (very small), and I just got couple slices of pork that most parts were just fat! The soup was nice and rich, however, a little bit too salty to me and too oily. The noodle texture was fine, no complaint about that. It's just the ramen are very very pricey...with the same price I could had gotten a lot more better food, I feel it's not worth the value, not sure if I will go there again.

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delicious but pricey
By charmmy of Vancouver (26 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 12:38am [Dine in]

in terms of food quality, santouka is by far my favourite ramen restaurant in vancouver. The portion sizes are just perfect for my appetite but i always warn my guy friends that they won't be full eating here on an empty stomach as it is rather small. Price in the whole is also higher than any other ramen place i have ever been too.

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Excellent Shio (salt) Tonkotsu Ramen!
By irongoddesstea of Vancouver, Canada (29 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 8, 2010 - 7:38pm [Dine in]

I've tried all the ramen places and this one is now officially my vote as being the best ramen house in Vancouver.

For $9 you can get a medium (well, small to me) bowl of ramen with two slices of cha shu pork, some pickled vegetable, seaweed, in a bowl of totally drinkable delicious creamy rich pork bone/fish/vegetable broth. Mmmm!

Next time I will return and get more cha shu, I think. The shio (salt) flavour is the most popular, and I think it would taste the best. I have waited a long time for a good ramen house in Vancouver! Yay!

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Average Noodles and Broth
By saintvlas22 of Vancouver (downtown) (18 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 5:40pm [Dine in]

After hearing such great reviews about this little place, I decided to try it. It's certainly popular, as there was a line out the door. We waited 15 minutes for a table, though we managed to chat with others who were, like me, quite excited to try the ramen.

Ambiance: A tiny enclosure is really the best descriptor of the inside. The 2 of us were really lucky to get an actual table in the very back, right in front of the glass where you can see the kitchen, so we didn't have to sit in the big long communal one at the front. It's very noisy and loud in here, though that's part of the charm, as having the chefs shout out Japanese greetings doesn't exactly make for a quite atmosphere.

Service: A little bit slow, with our waitress obviously frazzled. Still, she was good at keeping up as best as she could.

Value: A great value, and your ramen comes with a bunch of things, so it can be very filling.

Food: I got the ramen/donburi combo since I was super hungry. The donburi was good, though I wish the rice had more sauce to season it. It came with a dish of pickled veggies and a boiled egg; I wasn't fond of the latter since it was boiled too much for my liking, with a greyish yolk. The star of the show though, disappointed. I might get flak for me, but the ramen noodles themselves tasted like a well known brand of Chinese instant noodles, not homemade. The soup was also surprisingly flavorless; it was just too subtle, and I loaded up on the Seven-Spice. I also only got 2 slices of the pork cheek, though they were tasty as heck.

Overall, I was rather underwhelmed by the hype of this place. On a cold winter night, it's a reasonably priced place to warm up and fill up, but I certainly think there are better places to do so.

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Poor Customer Service Spirit
By hishou of vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 10:40pm [Dine in]

I find ramens here are over priced for the quality and quantity they are serving. Noodles are not bad, but ramens are known for casual dining and without any adjusted improvement of quality of foods they are serving, I do not think it is worth to pay the price they are asking for. They have this Rice Bowl and Ramen Combo for about $15, and it is not only pricy but a lot carbs to take in as well. I was not happy with the idea you are controlled to spend minimum $7, and no credit cards are accepted in this restaurant.

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what did i line up so long for????
By satch of vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 8:22pm [Dine in]

I went to Santouka with 4 other friends so we can order all different kinds of ramen. Lets just say I would never come back here again. The noodle taste like raw dough. The soup was super greasy and salty but lack any flavor. I hope it was because they just opened and had some problem with equipment because if not they would not last till the end of the summer. Good luck..... avoid at all cost.

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Yummy in my Tummy
By kodawaru of surrey (14 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 7:17pm [Dine in]

I love that there are so many ramen shops to choose from in Vancouver now. Santouka is definitely giving the other shops a run for their money. We got there at around 11:40am on a Saturday and there was already a lineup, but we only had to wait around 20 min for a table. The ambiance is nice, with both counter seats and tables. Service was good and the waitresses came by frequently to refill our water glasses. We each had a different type of soup with our noodles - Shouyu, Shio and Miso. The Shio is the lightest of the three but it was creamy and full of flavour. I had a sip of the other soups and they were quite tasty too. The chashu was soft and flavourful.
Just the ramen is $8.95, which is a little more than other places, but it was worth it because the soup was so good. You can also get combo sets with rice bowls for a couple extra bucks. I'd like to go back and try some of the other items on the menu like the tsukemen.

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Successful Opening - One of the better Ramen Noodles in Vancouver
By clau_foodie of Vancouver (17 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 8, 2010 - 11:40pm [Dine in]

Granted they just opened 25% of their menu has "coming soon" splattered across the menu item.

Food:
Pretty decent, the noodle quality was decent, a bit rubbery. It tastes like good quality instant ramen noodles. The soup was flavourful although too salty for my taste buds. I had the miso, salmon combo. The portions were filling.

Atmosphere:
One of the better ramen places downtown in terms of style and atmosphere. Although it was a Monday night it was a full house and the only available seat was at their long communal tables.

Price:
Compared to their biggest competitor across the street, at $8 versus Santouka at $11, it is very pricey.

Recommendation:
In terms of their value I prefer the ramen noodle across the street but, be prepared to wait at least 30mins. The atmosphere in this restaurant is so much better and no wait!

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