Clucking In with Masutama Ramen

Marutama Ramen
270 Robson St,
Vancouver, BC V6B 0E7

Phone: (604) 687-0487
Hours: 11:30am–10pm

Like McDonald’s, ramen shops are popping up nearly everywhere, no matter how big the town is. I saw more had sprung up in the downtown core of Vancouver when I was here last. Yes, I admit this blog has become a noodle haven lately, and I go where my stomach tells me to visit. A change will happen soon, I promise!

On the path to Rogers Arena, there were at three places I could hit. Masutama Ramen opened a year and a half ago and is making waves. They offer a chicken-based broth over the usual pork. The taste takes getting used to and when roasted onions are added on top, the blend made sipping the broth a joy. On its own, it’s very rich and really needed toning down.

The noodles were savoury enough and portioned on the low side, which made me realize I should have ordered a double to fill me up. Yes, I have to live up to “Too Hungry” somehow, and on a cold winter evening, it was needed! I’d rather not pay the inflated prices for food or liquid products within the concert venue.

Doubling up on the succulent cha-shu was on the nose. Its smoky flavour was only enhanced by the broth. The egg was well prepared and was perhaps soaked in soy beforehand to give it the brown outer skin. Unlike traditional seaweed, this operation uses sea lettuce, which made for a different ramen eating experience.

Their dumplings are not quite on par with The Gyoza Bar. They were crispy enough to satisfy, and again, I needed two orders than one to sate the craving within me. Patrons usually do not linger in a ramen bar for long. They want a nice hot meal and be out as soon as possible. During lunch-time, I imagine this place has a high turnover. On the later parts of the days, it’s possible to linger around and wait for friends to show up. I was meeting Ira Hunter of Absolute Underground Magazine, and by the time he arrived, I had finished.

My advice: when dining with friends, make sure you all show up at the same time. These bowls are served quick. By the time others show up, you may be done and be craving for more.

3½ Blokes out of 5

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Making a Beat to Miku Vancouver

nullMiku Vancouver
200 Granville St #70
Hours: 11:30am – 10pm
Phone: (604) 568-3900

Around the Vancouver Convention Center are plenty of eateries. They range from the cheap with Subway to expensive with Miku. This Japanese restaurant is certainly worth the price, and when I was in town for Fan Expo Vancouver, I can finally answer the question of where to go if money is no object. Normally I don’t fall into this trap of hitting those operations in this area. But with Star Wars in my head and a pang of hunger the size of the moon … those lights staring across the street from me from where I stayed had drawn me in like a mosquito to a flame.

Miku has an excellent location to watch the sunset fall and to nibble on the best sushi in Vancouver! The servers are very friendly and were easy to talk to. I asked where they get most of their fish. Unlike Fudo back home, they don’t import as far and wide. They do source from Japan, but the uni I had was British Columbia than from California. I was told by a patron next to me that some of the best are near Santa Monica. We agreed that this place is one of the very best.

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Ramen Teh, A Movie Review

After seeing the movie Ramen Teh during the 2019 Victoria Film Festival, I left the theatre with a craving for bak kut teh (Meat Bone Tea). This film suggests the broth in this dish and ramen are similar, though, with the former, more herbs are used. It soothes the soul, and as this film suggests perhaps also help mend fences.

With this movie, it not only offers a lesson in the origins of this noodle dish but also explores the foodie scene in Singapore. The story looks at how Masato (Takumi Saito) seeks to reconnect with a part of the family he’s almost forgotten. When his Japanese father Kazuo (Tsuyoshi Ihara) passes away, he cannot quite continue to run the family ramen shop soon. There are bitter memories, mostly in how distant otōsan has become over the years. No reason is given right away, but it’s quickly revealed he’s never recovered from the loss of his beautiful wife, Mei Lian (Beatrice Chien). Since that departure, he’s become emotionally distant and a complete workaholic.

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All Chorizo or Churro All The Time?

Chorizo & Co.

807 Fort St
Victoria, BC
Hours: Tues – Sat 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Phone: (250) 384-6066

The buzz around town about the “closure” of Chorizo & Co. last year (in May) was that they were not likely to continue. When I have churro cravings and the Gordon Head diner has not been in operation for more than a year now, just where can I go? There’s La Taquisa and Chorizo in the crazy downtown core. The former makes them nice and hot (but lacks variation) for a nice price of $5, and the latter–when I learned they are back open (since mid-October 2018)–I knew its time. All it takes is the craving for a particular dish to have me walking through this revamped operation.

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Ramen Teh to Play at the Victoria Film Festival

Playing at the
Victoria Film Festival
Victoria, British Columbia

Feb 1 to 10th

Tue | Feb 5 | 9:00 PM | SilverCity #3
Thur | Feb 7 | 6:15 PM | SilverCity #3

Back in 2011, I saw Chef of the South Polar (review link) at the Victoria Film Festival (VFF), and I learned a good noodle consists of a lot more than the love put into kneading the dough and creating the strands. Kansui is one part sodium bicarbonate and many other parts other trace minerals. To put them together in perfect harmony is part of many an Asian culture.

This year marks this event’s 25th anniversary (Taking place from Feb 1 to 10) and Ramen Shop (Ramen Teh) will continue to teach me something new in terms of how to celebrate life and food. Life lessons are often part of the theme in these movies, and I’m looking forward to what this year’s crop of films will offer.

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Chuck’s Burger Bar Arrives in Downtown Victoria!

Chuck’s Burger Bar
538 Yates St
Hours: 11am to 10pm daily
Phone: (250) 590-9866

ES: Chuck’s Burger Bar has come to town! Yes, this Sidney, BC operation is popular enough to have them decide to open up shop in downtown Victoria, on lower Fort Street. Don is the Burger King and when he told me about it, I knew we had to go there as soon as possible. For the basics, burger and fries for dinner, you can’t get any better than this! Or so I thought…

DK: There is an unwritten rule that any restauranteur would happily write down and staple to your forehead should you break it: never review a restaurant within its first two months of operation.

It’s a good rule. It takes a while for a team to build chemistry and deliver consistently. Can I tell you whether Chuck’s Victoria location is any good? Not yet (our visit occurred on their first full day of operation for fuck sakes). I will, however, speak to this newcomer’s potential.

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