1609 Store St
Hours: Weds to Sat 11:30am – 10pm
Phone: (250) 590-9821
DK: We were primed from the minute we sat down. This was not just any ramen joint. Not just any noodles. No, this ramen was the result of worldwide wanderlusting and the serendipitous discovery of handmade noodles in a small island city. I haven’t a clue what sort of noodles other ramen joints in town use, but the story we heard at tableside certainly made Ghost Ramen sound unique.
The noodle recipe comes from former engineer, accountant and filmmaker turned restaurateur Greg Masuda. He operates a shop in Courtenay and noodles are shipped from there to Victoria. After trying ramen all over the world, Ghost Ramen co-owner Jason Chan says Greg’s noodles are some of the best he’s ever had. So, like I said, Ed and I were primed to feel like we were about to eat something special.
ES: Finding the bowl of perfect ramen (in any flavour) is tough. A lot has to do with how the noodle is made. Some people like it thick, but traditionally it’s made thin so that when people are ordering, it’s cooked fast and served fresh with a delicious broth to make it all taste great together.
When considering the reputation this operation has made for itself, it was one I knew Don and I had to try. Without the right kansui to balance the flavours in the broth, everything else will fall apart. I wouldn’t say the noodles are the best in the world, but it certainly ranks up there for going down smoothly. I’m glad we have a place that can delivering it fresh rather than frozen for this diner to use.
DK: I can’t speak to how the broth compares to other options in town, but I really enjoy how the pickled ginger played off the other flavours in the OG Miso Ramen. Maybe not $17 good, but worth trying once. We also shared an order of Tofu Frites and I tried the Char Siu Bao. The frites, though some were a tad over fried, remained fairly addictive. The bao was good, though not particularly memorable (Lee’s House makes better buns).
ES: I think Ghost Ramen needs a few more visits to render a proper verdict. They certainly have the right vibe going for a modern style ramen bar rather than a traditional Japanese type. Not every reader will recall I’ve been to Japan and had the authentic experience on the street and at one of those tiny houses.
Their smoky chashu melts in your mouth and I can’t just have one or two. It must be three. My guess is that to fill people’s stomach, that’s why baos are part of the menu too. I didn’t get one, but will certainly have to get a few to go the next time I’m in Chinatown, where this operation is located.
4 Blokes out of 5