7971 Alderbridge Way #140, Richmond, BC
2801 Main St, Vancouver, BC
Hours: 11:30 am to 9:00 pm Daily
AFURI ramen + dumpling has two locations in the Lower Mainland, and I’m sure both of them serve equally delicious and fast meals. The wait wasn’t too bad at the one I went to, and it’s a popular place to grab lunch because of their signature broth. From their website, they describe it as, “a light, delicate broth built upon a reduction made from local chicken, dry fish ‘niboshi’ ‘katsuobushi.’, dry kombu seaweed, and vegetables to produce a layer of umami flavours, and hints of refreshing yuzu citrus.”
The fruitiness is more pronounced with certain dishes than others. As I visited this place during February for Fan Expo Vancouver, I opted for their Valentine’s Day special, and oh boy, I was in love. I was there for the soft shell crab baos, and one is not enough. The cucumbers were brined in some sparkly sweet soda to make the crisped crustaceans bounce. The fluffy bread was like a cloud, and when I thought it’d be like a hamburger, it’s nowhere even close. It’s a light snack and I honestly was tempted to order more on that visit. However, I was waiting for the shining star to land upon me, and that was a bowl of Australian Wagyu Ramen!
And for what this monthly special cost ($45 CAD), it was still worth every penny. The meat wasn’t as spectacular as the real deal (had that some time ago), but the noodles were supple enough, and the sweet broth still stole the show. The dish was nicely presented. There were bamboo shoots, a ramen egg, and finely sliced leeks. Instead of piling tons of toppings on top, the dish was fairly simple, and as long as the bowl was finished down to the very last drop, that’s a sign of terrific ramen.
The three-course meal ended with a matcha ice cream sandwich–or sando as it was spelled in the menu. I loved how this looked, as it was like a Cloyster (from Pokémon) peering at a beach filled with blackberry pebbles. The fruit was soft, and the sandwich was still quite frozen when it was served. It could have been defrosted some more to ensure that I wasn’t tasting it like it came from the deep freeze. At least what I tasted looked made in-house, than bought from some mass supermarket.
And as I said before, I needed more of those soft shell baos. The next day, I ordered from Uber Eats to compare if they can survive the ten-minute ride from the establishment to where I stayed. Surprisingly, they were just as crispy and tasty. The only thing missing was a touch of heat when they’re fresh out of the fryer. That’s okay, as I now know I have to make ordering from this operation a regular thing whenever I pop into Vancouver, BC for my conventions. I don’t think I can handle a trip without savouring more of these delights to sate my appetite.
4½ Blokes out of 5