Motomachi Shokudo

I’m always on the lookout for good ramen and Vancouver is a hot spot for ramen joints, especially in the Denman/West End area.  I was debating between Motomachi, Marutama and Santouka, with the latter closed the whole time that we were in the city (due to a fire from what I read).

We went to check out Motomachi Shokudo on a late Friday evening and the place was packed.  It probably doesn’t help how tiny this ramen’s digs are.  It can fit at most 20 people so we ended up having to wait patiently while wafts of ramen broth tantalized our taste buds.  Even crazier is the ramen shop a few paces down, Kintaro Ramen, had an even bigger lineup outside the door.  Good for them though (apparently, they are owned by the same owners).  Wish I could have tried a few more ramen shops but this was the one and only during my trip.  Super sad, I know.

We were given the table right of the entrance, which unfortunately was the coldest spot to sit at, with the constant opening and closing of the main door.  But that’s easy enough to fix – just eat more ramen. We were really hungry by then so we ordered extra noodles ($1.00 extra) for all of our ramen bowls.

Petit BBQ pork rice bowl ($3.30)
Nothing fancy but just like it sounds. A small rice bowl with BBQ pork, marinated vegetables, and Japanese mayo on top.

Butchigiri gyoza ($4.50)
Another appetizer while we waited for our ramen. You get five pieces and they tasted like every other gyoza I’ve had.

Bamboo-charcoal dark miso ramen ($10.55)
This was my bowl and I was intrigued with the bamboo-charcoal factor. Ordering extra noodles definitely was a mistake (don’t do it!). As for the broth, it was different than any other ramen I’ve had previously. Everything in the bowl was done well but nothing blew my mind. It was solid, but I was expecting more for Vancouver standards.

Nama shoyu ramen ($9.55)
My mom’s bowl which she enjoyed. I had a quick sip of the broth and it tasted light, not too salty.

Spicy miso ramen with organic chicken ($10.50)
I sampled a bit of my dad’s bowl and the broth had a nice spiciness to it.

Too bad the Japanese style cold ramen is only available from May to October.  It looked pretty appealing pour moi.  I’ll have to try it when I move here.  Hopefully.  I can’t really compare to the other ramen shops in town (other than Santouka, which is a staple) but Motomachi is a pretty solid choice.

Motomachi Shokudo
740 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 609-0310

Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂 on Urbanspoon

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