Santouka Hokkaido Ramen on Robson, Vancouver

The last two weeks had been a blast for all of us in Vancouver, hasn’t it? Without a doubt, yesterday was the high point of the Olympic. We felt so proud of being Canadian and having hosted the world in this great sporting event. Hope the legacy now in place will lead the city to greater things in years to come. We now nervously wait for the accounts people to tally the tab!

Last Saturday was the final dress rehearsals of the Vancouver 2010 Closing Ceremony for Arkensen and Nanzaro. They received an email just the night prior informing that they need to do TWO dress rehearsals instead of one. So instead of 11:15AM to 7:00PM, they were informed that they need to stay right until 10:30PM. They sure worked hard for it … and in total secrecy too. We are actually proud that they kept it a total secret from us. We finally saw their performance on TV! But damn the guys at CTV who cut out a LARGE part of their performance to air commercials!!!! Both Arkensen and Nanzaro was so totally upset when they saw the replay last night. They practiced so hard to show the WORLD.

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After dropping the boys off for their final practice, Suanne and I thought we go to the section of downtown for lunch knowing that the western part of Robson is quiet. Indeed it was. There was lots of street parking around.

We went to Santouka, the new Ramen place that everyone is raving about the past few weeks. Apparently, Santouka is a popular chain restaurant in Japan which specializes on serving Hokkaido ramen. I think they also operate a chain in the US too.

Santouka is located just next door to Guu with Garlic on Robson Street. You might miss it because the shop front is hidden behind a bus shelter. Anyway, the address is 1690 Robson Street.

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We were surprised to learned that they had been opened only for the second day. We assumed that it was already a week since they opened. The restaurant was busy, not quite full but given it being opened for just the second day, we were impressed.

The dining area seats about 35-40 people. There are counter seats that overlooks the open kitchen which was separated by glass which we thought was good because it does not steam up the entire restaurant with the boiling broth.

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We were seated at the section in front where there is a low kidney shaped table which has a large wooden carving of a bear in the center. We like that section. The only draw back was that there is no where to hang our coats or place our bags.

Service was excellent as one expects from Japanese restaurant.

We were promptly served glasses of water with mini ice-cubes. For a restaurant this size, there were a lot of waitresses. There were four of them milling around ever ready to help when needed. So yeah, we get almost anything instantaneously and the glasses were always topped.

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Their menu came in a plastic binder and has pictures. They only have limited selection on that day. Basically we only can order from the first two pages. What a bummer.

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The other pages were items they will only serve on their grand opening day. Click on the images above to see a more legible version of the menu.

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I ordered item listed under the section that says “Limited Quantity: First Come First Serve”. I see a lot of ramen places does this “limited quantity” thing that makes people want to order that even though it is more expensive. The normal ramen is about $9 while the “limited quantity” ones are $13.

I got the Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen. It came served with a bowl of noodles in a spicy hot miso soup and a side plate with all the other ingredients including the pork jowl which is the star of this dish. First thing we did was to taste the soup … in a word, awesome. It is sesame flavoured and rich. I don’t know how to describe this better … it is not the smooth kind of broth but grainy (?).

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The noodles was equally good and tasty too. We could even eat this alone with the soup … (more…)

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Taste and Learn About Filipino Cuisine — For Free

Remember I told you two weeks ago in my Weekend Musings that There is Such a Thing Called Free Lunch? Well, here is the plan.

We had known Rey almost a year already. When we met, he was working in promoting the Filipino culture through raising awareness. Being a foodie too he brought us to Filipino restaurants and introduced us to Filipino cuisines.

Suanne and I always enjoyed learning about food and its associated culture. So we looked forward all the time to meet with Rey to learn from him.

Well, you can too … and believe it or not, FOR FREE!!

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Crispy Pata from Pinpin Restaurant on Fraser

There is no catch, no selling of anything — so you don’t have to worry about this arrangement. It’s a long story how Rey end up with free lunches but he has quite a bit to use up. So Rey thought he might as well share it with chowtimes’ readers. What he wants to do it to promote Filipino culture and Filipino food. For Suanne and I we thought it would be another great idea to provide value to you readers and get to know some of you more.

Here is the arrangements:

Restaurant: Goto King
Address: 5183 Joyce Street, Vancouver (google map)
Date: March 6th, 2010 (Saturday) at 12:00 noon

Yeah, that is this coming Saturday. So time is a bit tight to arrange things (all thanks to my procrastination due to the Olympics!). Location wise, it is perfect because it is just next to the Joyce Skytrain station for those of you who don’t drive.

Pancit from Little Ongpin in Richmond
Pancit from Little Ongpin in Richmond

If you are interested, … (more…)

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