Because I was so impressed with the Toroniku Shio Ramen that I had at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka back in October while I was visiting Vancouver, I decided I needed to make a second visit while I was in town again recently. This time I wanted to try the Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen ($13.45 for regular; $12.45 for small; $14.45 for large). The Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen consisted of spicy-hot miso (fermented soy bean paste) flavoured ramen and a side of the simmered pork jowl meat (Toroniku). On this visit, I found out that the ramen is actually available in different sizes – regular price less $1 for the small size and regular price plus $1 for the large size. I decided to have the small so I could save belly room for other food I was going to sample later that afternoon.
Like before, for the Toroniku Ramen, the toppings are served on the side along with the sliced toroniku. For the Kara Miso Ramen, the toppings included chili threads, some menma (bamboo shoots), some kikurage (jelly ear), and a bit of diced scallions. Again, the toroniku slices were well-marbled, flavourful and just melted in my mouth.
The Spicy Miso Ramen soup is made from a mixture of pork broth and a rich and hearty miso paste. Apparently, a different pork broth than the Shio Ramen broth is used to bring out the miso flavour. I was surprised that this Spicy Miso Ramen broth was not very spicy at all even though by appearance it looks to be quite spicy. I thought the flavours in the broth were very well-balanced although I wish that it would be a touch spicier. Again, I requested for the ramen noodles to be firmer and it was cooked perfectly to my liking. The chili threads were the perfect garnish since they gave an added burst of heat and flavour every couple of bites.
I can’t decide which I like more – the Shio Ramen broth or the spicy Kara Miso broth. I would say that I like them both equally and what I would choose on each visit would depend on my mood. The Shio broth is rich but delicate and refined while the Kara Miso has more complex flavours. I can’t wait to go back to Hokkaido Ramen Santouka again on my next trip to Vancouver as I have yet to find ramen of this quality in the Calgary area. The broth at Santouka is so delicious that I want to drink every last drop!
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
1690 Robson St