Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

I will admit I'm the type of person who loves fall weather. I know a lot of people hate this type of climate, but for some reason I just love the cold and mood of fall. I guess one reason is because I get to finally wear all of my jackets! (Yes, I am a jacket addict when it comes to fashion!) and also because fall gives me an excuse to go eat as much noodle soup and hotpot as I want! Since my friends and I were not doing anything one Tuesday, we decided to go to Santouka for lunch after our quick shopping trip to Pacific Centre. If you guys haven't been to Santouka before, it's a small Japanese restaurant on Robson street that's pretty well-known for their ramen. On our way there, one of my friends started telling us about how good their pork jowl ramen is and that we have to try it out for ourselves. He even described it in a way that made me salivate even though I was still full from breakfast three hours before! 

Based from what my friends have been telling me about this place, there's usually a long line up that goes past the front entrance of their store especially during weekends, holidays and/or peak eating hours. The size of the place doesn't help much with the waiting part either because they can only fit a certain amount of people at a time. Luckily when we got there that day, they had just opened up shop a few minutes before so we didn't really have to wait long for a table. The three of us ended up deciding on their Toroniku Ramen (the one my friend was telling us about), which is their signature item on the menu that comes with a bowl of noodles, a plate of their famous pork jowl and toppings on the side. What I like about this dish is that they give you the option of choosing your own soup base and whether or not you would like to add on any other additional toppings with your order. I will admit I wasn't sure at first if I wanted to get their pork jowl ramen since I was still feeling the fullness from my breakfast, but after my friend convinced me that it was really something worth trying, I eventually gave in and ordered one for myself. 

When our orders finally arrived, I will admit I was pretty excited to try out the pork jowl especially after listening to my friend's very detailed description of how it tastes like. After taking the first bite into the cheeks.. I would have to say that my friend was spot on right with his descriptions! I was blown away by how soft and tender the pork was! You could clearly see from my facial expression that there was something magical happening inside my mouth! I literally felt like I was on meat heaven! It was just so light and melt in your mouth good that I even took my time chewing and eating it just so I could savor every bite of the pork cheeks!! The creaminess and seasoning of the broth as well as the right consistency of the noodles also helped better enhance the pork jowl and the overall flavor of the dish. If only you guys could see how happy I was right after! I was practically still smiling all throughout our walk back to the skytrain! Even with the long line ups, Santouka (for me) is one place worth waiting in line for. If you guys haven't been there yet, I highly recommend trying out their pork jowl ramen yourself and maybe you'll understand why this place is always full of people.

Toroniku Ramen (Kara Miso soup base)

Pork Jowl
Toroniku Ramen (Shio soup base)

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火 on Urbanspoon

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