Stuffy nose, lack of taste and smell, and no desire to leave the home. This is where I found myself on the weekend due to a spring cold going around. In need of some warm, sinus-opening comfort food, I stepped out into the Commercial Drive area in search of ramen.
Ramen is the new phở . I remember the days when every one of my friends would be getting phở on a rainy day. Now, there are lineups for every ramen place, rain or shine.
Ramen is a Japanese soup that consists of wheat-based noodles served in a meat or vegetarian broth, topped with sliced pork, an egg, dried seaweed, green onions, and bean sprouts. The broth is very rich and can come in different traditional as well as unconventional flavours like miso, soy, tonkatsu, and garlic.
There are so many ramen places in Vancouver that I worry I’ll never get to try them all. So it’s surprising that there are no ramen places within walking distance of my home. That is, until I found a sign outside of Broadway Station Sushi, displaying tempting bowls of ramen, like Karaage Ramen, Spicy Seafood Ramen, and Sausage Ramen!
I was a bit apprehensive about getting ramen from a restaurant that doesn’t specialize in only one dish (Broadway Station Sushi sells all types of Japanese and Korean food) but hungry, sick, and with no alternatives, I went for it.
Off the bat, the atmosphere and service were wonderful. The hostess was genial, greeting every customer that entered and exited. Despite ordering food to go, she placed a warm cup of tea in front of me as I waited. The layout of the store was cozy, clean, and decorative –a place I wouldn’t mind coming back to.
I ordered Shoyu Ramen while my friend ordered Spicy Chicken Ramen. I can’t harp too much on the presentation as we ordered the soup to go and when we arrived home it still looked like it came straight out of an anime.
My Shoyu Ramen was made with a flavourful soy sauce, giving the thick noodles a richer taste. It also came with pork belly slices, half an egg, and was topped with nori and bean sprouts. Whenever my ramen order arrives at a restaurant I scoff at the little ceramic bowl holding my soup, until I’m halfway and I realize, there is no way that I can finish this bounty. So it was the same for my ramen from Broadway Station Sushi. I scoffed at the plastic bowl portion but by the end of it I was super full (and for less than ten dollars!)
The Shoyu Ramen was tasty and filling, but it didn’t have that x-factor. I think what was stopping it from being on par with places like the Ramen Butcher or Ramen Gojiro was the broth. It felt light and almost healthy. It wasn’t the fatty, creamy broth I was accustomed to and sadly, it reminded me more of a regular noodle soup.
My friend’s Spicy Chicken Ramen came with curly, pale yellow noodles (like that of instant noodles). There was fried chicken on top, which was the best part in my opinion. It was also decorated with green onions and carrot shavings. By the time we made it home (less than a ten minute walk), the noodles had absorbed almost all of the yummy broth and felt soggy. For a soup with ‘spicy’ in its name, it could have been a lot hotter and we had to dump more hot sauce in it. Otherwise, the Spicy Chicken Ramen felt a little bland.
Broadway Station Sushi’s ramen was the only ramen I could find in the Commercial/Broadway area, and for the overall price and portion, it was good. However, I feel like it was missing something.
I will say this, Broadway Station Sushi’s ramen was the perfect meal that rainy day for me and my cold.
Karolina is a Vancouver-based writer. You can catch her thinking about her next meal and grooving to house music, often at the same time.