Sometimes I think that I could survive solely on ramen. I haven’t really tested this theory: even my three weeks in Japan only consisted of one bowl a day (at most), but I just don’t think I could ever get sick of it. Especially in winter time! One of my favourite winter activities is spending time outside, getting all chilly and then ducking into a warm, cozy ramen shop and filling my belly with that lip smacking broth. Yum!
This is exactly what Andy and I did last weekend. Camera in hand, we roamed the streets and sights of Gastown and Chinatown before making our way to The Ramen Butcher. Compared to every other ramen shop I’ve visited in Vancouver, The Ramen Butcher is incredibly spacious feeling – even with its reduced capacity. It also has a slightly sophisticated feel to it: light, with high ceilings and modern decor. Pushing open the doors inside, we were instantly hit with the warm aromas of ramen.
The menu is diverse: there isn’t just your classic ramen, but also variations such as black garlic, green basil and parmesan, orange miso and coconut curry. I had read up in advance that the orange miso was meant to be fantastic, but I was almost persuaded by a couple at a neighbouring table who were raving about the green basil ramen. In the end I stuck with my gut and Asian flavours, but definitely noted their recommendation for next time. Andy, the ever adventurous ramen eater, went for the coconut curry. Naturally, we also ordered the karaage chicken with spicy mayonnaise.
The chicken karaage was substantial, juicy and hot, as well as being perfectly moist and crispy. The ramen was exceptionally delicious: so much so that I think it has taken the number one post on my ramen rankings in Vancouver. The orange miso ramen was so incredibly flavoursome and moreish, especially the ground pork. There was only half an egg (I wanted the other half!) but it definitely slowed down the rate at which I got full.
The coconut curry ramen reminded me of a laksa. To our surprise it came with prawns, and the spicy broth was incredibly warming and tasty. Its heat was a little too much for me to enjoy a bowl (luckily I didn’t have to) but Andy found it really yummy. The food on the whole was really well priced, the staff were really friendly and it was nice not having to queue in the cold. The biggest downside of The Ramen Butcher: it’s a 30 minute walk from home! Or maybe that’s a good thing…