With project deadlines quickly approaching and midterm season just around the corner, it’s been extremely tough for me to find the time to eat out. I was fortunate enough to have a small window of opportunity this past weekend, however, where I was craving the usual bowl of noodle and soup (notice a trend here?).
As always, I wanted to try something new.
If it wasn’t for a walk down old Robson Street, I don’t think I would’ve come across Danbo, a new ramen join on the West End (they have a location in Kitsilano already). After browsing over their menu, I was sold on the fact that they specialize in a signature tonkotsu pork broth and source all of their ingredients fresh locally, or directly from Japan. What also makes them unique compared to the other ramen joints located along this strip is that their broth is Fukuoka-style – a style unique to the South-Western part of Japan.
With my hunger growing and craving telling me to look no further, I stepped foot into this tiny little eatery and was greeted in Japanese by very friendly staff members.
Quickly browsing through the menu, Danbo offers various bowls of ramen with a number of sides to add to your soup. In addition, you can customize your bowl by requesting the firmness of your noodles, how spicy you’d like your broth, and even how thick you prefer your noodles!
Since it was my first time there, I took the menu’s recommendation by ordering the Classic Tonkotsu Ramen – “The perfect introduction to Danbo ramen for first-timers. Savour the rich flavour of our unique in-house broth made with specially treated water.”
I’ve had tonkotsu ramen in several places around town, and my fear is that it’d be too heavy with pork fat. At Danbo, they did a great job in minimizing this issue (although you can actually request extra lard with your bowl. Yes, they phrase it that way, too).
The firmness of my noodles were easy to chew, but not too soft so that they’d fall apart in your chopsticks. Lastly, the extra egg I ordered was a perfect soft-boil that had a firmly boiled egg white, but a runny yolk in the centre – just the way I like it!
All-in-all, Danbo was a huge surprise. Perhaps it was because I was really hungry and craving ramen, but I can tell this place will grow in popularity soon. I highly recommend visiting before word hits the streets about this place! Lineups are still relatively short, and the turnaround is quick!
1333 Robson Street
Open daily: 11am to 11pm
Image source: Ramen Danbo & Everyday is a Food Day