Eatery - Benkei Ramen (Vancouver)

Benkei Ramen on Urbanspoon

1741 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C9 (Neighborhood: West End)
Pricing - $ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Japanese

On my trip earlier this year to Vancouver, my friends and I were pretty much gorging wherever we went. One particular night, we were out on Robson St. and it was chilly. Needing warmth via environment and in our bellies, we waited around until Benkei Ramen opened. We were the first in the door once their hours started and were pleased to see their quaint decor. I enjoyed the simplistic but still stylized look and hey, who doesn't love stepping inside a warm ramen house to the smells of deliciousness?


They have different combinations available in addition to single entrees. Perhaps it was the need for warmth that made me go for a combo (more food than I would normally eat) but whatever the case, i was glad to have done so. My order was of their Shio Ramen (bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, green onion, and chashu) combo set with Shrimp Gyoza. Their pork based soup infused with a mixture of sea salt and kelp was pleasant enough though lacking a bit of the richness I hope for in my ramen. I was grateful, though, that they also lacked the oversaltiness that some places have in their broth. My chashu was nice and tender with plenty of fattiness on the side to sate the carnivore in me. Now, I've never had shrimp gyoza before and perhaps there is a reason for that. It doesn't seem all too common and ultimately, I would have preferred the traditional pork version. This one was pan-fried just right but the insides a tad bland.

One of my friends got the Spicy Akaoni (green onion, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, special toasted garlic oil, roasted sesame) which normally comes with pan fried minced pork but not this time as she doesn't eat pork. Its broth was a spicy-miso base that I tasted; to my delight, it was not overwhelmingly spicy and had a nice flavor zip to it. Again, however, the broth was not very rich.


My other friend got a combo set as well of their Curry Ramen (grilled chicken, spinach, corn, and carrots) with Beef Curry Rice because he sure as heck was craving curry! The curry flavors were fantastic but again, the broth was more on the watery side than the thick, rich side. The rice was cooked to the right amount of stickiness to pair with the sweet beef curry (more Japanese style after all). Overall, an enjoyable meal that satisfied our ramen-craving stomachs. Give them a shot if you need a solid environment to warm up in.

Photography by Minerva Thai.