Michigan Noodle Restaurant 麥之根雲吞麵世家

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Whenever I visit Hong Kong, I make sure to go have congee and noodles for breakfast at least 3 times a week– there’s a little shop near my uncle’s apartment in Tsuen Wan, and my mom and I (sometimes joined by other relatives) would trek over there to feast before heading out on our day. Here, that’s a little difficult, since most places that do serve congee are too far away for me to get to on a regular basis.

In fact, I haven’t had congee in the morning since my visit over two years ago. So when my dad suggested he drive me down to Richmond for breakfast while we waited for my mom to finish up her badminton game, I jumped at the chance to have a Chinese breakfast.

IMG_1129We actually got to Michigan Noodle House on Alexandra Road a few minutes before opening. Funny thing was, if it weren’t for a huge traffic jam on the 91, we would have arrived far too early, and would have chosen some other place to eat. So you could say that it was destiny…

We were the first ones in the restaurant, so we had our pick of the tables. We chose a booth furthest from the kitchen so we (really, I) could watch the goings-on of the waiters and chefs. After checking to see if the congee I wanted was on the menu, we flagged them down to get our order in.

Pork Stomach CongeeMy absolute #1 favourite is the Pork Stomach Congee ($6). My other favourite is the century egg and lean pork congee, but when pork stomach is present on the menu, I always get it. This one was full of thick, chewy pieces of stomach that tasted clean and fresh– stomach, and other innards, are notoriously hard to clean out, but they did a great job here. The thin slivers of ginger and rings of green onion helped to add some crunch and flavour in the congee (think porridge, but with rice instead of oatmeal), which was lightly salted. I felt that the congee was a little too mushy, as the rice was too broken-down. Maybe it’s just me, but I like my congee a little grainier. I would also have liked them to add some black pepper in, but the white pepper at the table did the job.

Chinese DonutIt is my opinion that congee should never be served alone, and any Chinese restaurant (that serves congee) worth their salt should also have fantastic Chinese Donuts ($2). I really liked the one they had here, as it was fried up fresh (I saw them in the kitchen), so it was nice and hot when it arrived. It was also very light, crispy and chewy, and not overly greasy. Cut down to a good size, these were perfect for dipping into my congee, and I wanted to order another one just to munch on, but that would have been a little too indulgent.

Shrimp and Pork Dumpling Noodle SoupMy dad likes his noodles, so he ordered the Shrimp and Pork Dumpling Noodle Soup ($5.25), which looked pretty small in size, but ended up being quite the hefty bowl. The long, thin wonton noodles were the right texture, being slightly chewy, though they were a bit long. I understand that it’s tradition to leave the noodles uncut (they signify good luck), but that just makes it a lot more difficult to eat, and as you remember, my chopstick skills are not great, and don’t involve cutting chewy noodles (I left that for my dad to do). The four large dumplings had a thin, wrinkly skin, and hid some really well-made filling. The shrimp and pork were both appropriately bouncy and chewy, and the wood ear mushrooms provided that crunch needed to round out the dumpling. The soup was quite flavourful, but I didn’t detect too much MSG in it, which is always a plus.

MenuI felt that our meal here was pretty standard, but definitely did the job in satisfying my 2-year-long craving. Prices are rather reasonable– one can get very full for less than $10– and the noodles were of especially good quality. I do wish that the congee was less goopy, but that is the way that some restaurants make it, so I can’t complain too much. There are many other restaurants like this in Richmond (and Vancouver), but if I were in the area and had a hankering for noodles and congee, Michigan Noodle would be on my list of restaurants to choose from.

Michigan Noodle Restaurant
8580 Alexandra Rd
Richmond, BC

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Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂

On rainy days, I tend to feel an intense craving for soup, especially noodles in soup. Luckily enough for me, Vancouver has a variety of different options to satisfy this craving, including Taiwanese beef noodles, pho, and, of course, ramen. Of those options, ramen is my favourite. I love the chewy noodles, slices of fatty pork, crunchy bamboo shoots, and the rich, salty broth. Perfect for a wet Vancouver day.

On one of those wet Vancouver days, I indeed had a craving for ramen, but didn’t want to revisit Kintaro or Santouka. So SB and I took the bus down to Motomachi Shokudo, which a friend had recommended to me a while ago. Once inside, it reminded me more of Santouka than Kintaro (which is a positive thing for me). It was very clean and modern, with the requisite cramped tables, but I was happy to be tucked in away from the rain.

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I was extra hungry, so we started off with a BBQ Pork Rice Bowl ($3.30) to share. It contained a small amount of white rice, julienned carrots, lotus root, BBQ pork, and Japanese mayo. I enjoyed the pork, which was in small, moist pieces, but I wish that there had been a smaller amount of carrots. I love carrots, but there was simply too much. The dish tasted mostly of mayo, and I also wished that we’d been given some kind of spoon, as all the ingredients were incredibly difficult to pick up with the chopsticks. Other than that, for the price, I wasn’t expecting much, so I was satisfied with what we received.

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SB ordered even more BBQ pork in the form of Extra BBQ Pork Ramen ($12). He chose to have it with shoyu broth, with the other available options being shio and miso. Each broth was also a different price. He enjoyed the broth, which was rich, but not overpoweringly so. The shoyu flavour was mild and not too salty, but still had that quintessential taste of soy sauce. The pork included shoulder and sparerib, which were both flavourful but on the leaner side. SB commented that the other toppings, including the green onions, bean sprouts, and nori, all tasted sufficiently fresh, while the soft-boiled organic egg was creamy, with the yolk still being a bit runny. Overall, he was quite satisfied with his bowl of noodles.

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Meanwhile, I opted for the Miso Ramen ($10). I loved the attention to detail in the plating, with the cute little flower included on the serving tray. It was a nice touch. In any case, the broth was rich with a lot of depth, and tasted somewhat smoky, with the miso flavour being intense but enjoyably so. I would have preferred more corn, however. Most times when I eat ramen, I spend a lot of time trying to scoop up every last kernel of corn, but this time, I felt that there wasn’t as much corn included as I get at Kintaro or Benkei. In addition to the pork, there were loads of bean sprouts and green onions included to provide that extra textural crunch, which I love. There were also some bamboo shoots, which tasted exactly the way I expected them to, being somewhat rubbery and crunchy at the same time. The noodles, meanwhile, had good bite, but weren’t overdone. Like SB, I quite enjoyed my bowl of noodles, as the ingredients all worked together, and the pork wasn’t too fatty, which is always the problem I have at Kintaro.

To conclude, we had a decent time at Motomachi Shokudo, although the prices are a bit higher than what you’d find at other ramen places in town. The broths and pork are both on the less fatty side, which I personally prefer. Despite this, I would probably prefer to eat at Santouka. I felt quite bloated later that night and for the majority of the next day, which isn’t something I have to deal with when I eat at Santouka. Still, though, I would recommend Motomachi if you’re in the mood for ramen on Robson Street, but not keen to wait in line like you usually have to at the more popular places, including Kintaro and Santouka. Although we didn’t try it this time, apparently the charcoal ramen is their specialty–I guess I’ll have it the next time I visit!

Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂
740 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC

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Peaceful Restaurant

Whenever someone gives me a restaurant recommendation, I add it to an ever-growing list I keep on my phone. However, because of my school schedule, work schedule, and various other commitments, I don’t have enough time to eat out as often as I’d like. For the past year or so, the list has been growing and growing, and I’ve made very little progress in crossing restaurants off it. One of the restaurants that I’ve meant to visit for a long time is Peaceful, one of many noodle joints on Broadway and Cambie. I finally got to try some of their famous noodles on a recent trip with SB.

This is a small, crowded, narrow, bustling restaurant. We arrived quite early for dinnertime (sometime around 5:30), and so were seated immediately, but by the time we left, the place was completely full and many diners were waiting for a table. Although the seating bordered on being uncomfortable, it just spoke to how the popular the place is.

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I took a while perusing the menu, and ended up ordering the Sizzled Hot Chili Noodles ($7.95). You can order the noodles to be hand-pulled or knife-shaved, and I opted for the former. The noodles were drizzled with hot chili garlic oil, and served with bok choy. When this first arrived, I was taken aback by the copious amount of chili seeds, but it was surprisingly not too spicy. It tasted more sour to me than anything else, which I’d expected, considering my previous experiences with Mandarin cuisine. The noodles were decently chewy and had good bite. I found that there was a tad too much oil for my tastes, but other than that, the dish worked and was quite enjoyable.

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Meanwhile, SB ordered the Shanghai Pork Chop Soup Noodles ($7.95). There’s nothing too complicated about this dish, which is simply crispy fried pork chop and spinach in a savoury broth. For this bowl, we had the knife-shaved noodles, and they were satisfyingly chewy. As you might expect, you could really feel the texture with each noodle, which was great. The pork chop, meanwhile, was a little crispy and a tad dry, but fine when eaten with the savoury soup. This was a great bowl of noodles, especially for the price. I would classify this as comfort food, and definitely something I’d look for on a rainy day.

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And, finally, we shared the star dish of the night, the Peaceful Beef Rolls ($7.95), which had five-spice beef, green onions, and sweet hoisin sauce rolled in a crispy flatbread. To put it mildly, I loved this. It was crispy without being too oily, and had the perfect amount of hoisin sauce. The green onions were more there to provide a textural contrast than flavour. I’ve had several versions of this dish, and I loved how this particular version seemed more like a pastry shell in a sense, being very flaky but also fluffy on the inside. The four pieces were quite substantial in size, and I felt quite full after having two pieces in addition to my bowl of noodles. Guy Fieri raved about this dish in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and it definitely lived up to the hype.

There are a great number of noodle places in this particular intersection, ranging from ramen shops to pho, but there’s a reason why Peaceful is so ridiculously popular. I would go back anytime to try more of their noodles and, of course, for the beef roll. If you’re looking to eat in a place with great ambiance, this obviously isn’t what you’re looking for, but it’s quite family-friendly and a good place to grab a quick bites with friends. The service is quite minimal, and the servers were always busy, but they were about as friendly as I expected them to be. Overall, Peaceful lived up to the hype!

Peaceful Restaurant
532 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC

Peaceful Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火

The best thing about food is that it is such a universal topic. Everyone has a favourite restaurant, and I love to be given recommendations that I can add to my list. Sometime after September, I ran into my friend Justin on the bus, and inevitably we talked about food, with Justin suggesting that I try out Santouka, since I’d never been. Well, a few days before Christmas, we ended up going for dinner there, with SB and Dolph in tow, to have a goodbye meal of sorts before Justin left town.

Regarded as one of Vancouver’s best ramen shops, Santouka sits right beside Guu Garlic on the western end of Robson Street. I’d been looking for a new favourite ramen place to replace Kintaro, where I’d noticed a declining quality of ingredients despite the huge portion sizes. Eating a bowl of ramen at Kintaro always left me feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Upon being seated at Santouka, I immediately took a lining to the ambiance, which is much more polished and modern in comparison to Kintaro. The restaurant still feels very crowded and bustling, but I personally enjoyed the atmosphere. Now, onto the food!

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Justin ordered one of the more interesting items on the menu, being the Tokusen Toroniku Ramen. This is Santouka’s signature ramen, where the toppings are served separately from the noodles and broth. Justin chose to have his ramen with the Shio broth, which is a mild and creamy broth seasoned with salt. The included toppings were pork, seaweed, a fish cake, bamboo shoots, green onions, and a Japanese pickled plum. Dolph ordered a regular Shio Ramen and received the same bowl of noodles, albeit with the toppings on top.

DSC_0016The difference between the regular ramen and the above is that the above is served with pork cheek rather than regular chashu, which is usually pork belly. Pork cheek is, obviously, a much rarer portion of pork, and considered more tender and juicy than regular chashu. Justin and Dolph both enjoyed their noodles, and they were quite satisfied. The noodles had great bite, and the pork was tender and fatty. The bamboo shoots were fragrant as usual, being more crunchy than soft. This was a solid bowl of noodles, and I could understand why people stand in line for Santouka even in the cold.

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SB ordered the Ramen Ikura Combo (~$18), which is simply a bowl of your choice of broth (he chose Miso) and a small ikura don. First, his ramen. The broth was very fatty, and had an intense, concentrated miso flavour, which I quite liked. Like the broth, the chashu was quite fatty. SB’s bowl included the same toppings as above, but without the pickled plum. The noodles weren’t extraordinary, but definitely didn’t pale in comparison to other similar ramen joints.

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But for SB, the real highlight of his meal was the ikura don. It sounds simple: a bowl of white rice, some egg, alfalfa sprouts, with salmon roe sitting on top. But sometimes, simple is the most satisfying. The ikura itself was fresh, tangy and quite fishy, with the egg slices adding a refreshing element to the bowl. SB also found the rice the perfect consistency–having been steamed well, it was neither too chewy nor too soggy. He liked the addition of the alfalfa sprouts as they were quite fresh. Overall, it was great to see that they excelled in something other than just ramen, even if it was just a small dish.

DSC_0022As for me, I opted for the Shoyu Ramen ($9.95). The broth was primarily salty, but that’s to be expected from shoyu, which is a mixture of pork broth and soy sauce. As a result, the broth tasted both deep and rich, and my chashu was a good balance of fatty and non-fatty portions. The noodles also had good bite, as did the bamboo shoots. Only the shoyu ramen is served with dried seaweed, which Santouka claims brings out the flavours in the broth. Where the dried seaweed really adds to that, I’m not sure, but it was tasty.

Overall, we were all quite impressed by our experience at Santouka. Kintaro and Santouka are often described as the top two places for ramen in Vancouver, but in my mind, Santouka is the clear winner. While the portions at Santouka are noticeably smaller, each bowl of ramen we had was simply perfect. The waitresses were friendly and efficient, and the ambiance was clearly superior to that of Kintaro as well. Although seating was crowded (as with most ramen shops), it was overall a cozy and inviting place. I’m so glad Justin recommended Santouka, as it ended up being my to-go place for ramen.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火
1690 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC

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Thai Son

The blog’s very first post on the expansive world of Pho in Vancouver sprang from my incredible craving for the noodle soup one day after school. Since Samson had the day off, we ended up heading over to Pho Thai Son at the First Avenue Plaza (where the T&T is).

After choosing our own seat by the window, we debated on what to order: like I said above, I really really wanted noodles… but then Samson and I ended up picking the same one! Well, to mix things up a bit (and so I have a bit more to review), we ended up with the Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Salad Rolls) first. These rolls, wrapped in a rice wrapper, were filled with shredded pork, whole shrimp, vermicelli and carrots, and were actually quite filling– perfect for lunch. I had never had these at a restaurant before since my mom and I make them at home, but I was glad Samson decided on this. I especially liked the peanut/hoisin sauce dip it came with, as the rolls themselves are a little bland (but quite healthy).

They also brought us over complimentary veggies for soaking in the noodle soup in the form of bean sprouts (the waitress brought them over steamed, which was a plus), as well as the add-ons of basil leaves, jalapeno peppers and a few lime wedges. There isn’t too much to be said about the bean sprouts as they were pretty standard.

Our two large bowls of Pho Dac Biet came next. These were steaming hot, and smelled heavenly to my beef soup-desiring tummy. For those who don’t know, Pho Dac Biet, usually the house special (dac biet means different/special in Chinese… and I guess in Vietnamese too?), contains a variety of cuts of beef. This certain bowl came with a large amount of rare beef (which you swish around in the broth and cook yourself), well-done flank, tripe, beef balls and pieces of tendon, and was topped off with some onions, green onions and cilantro. The soup was aromatic and had some depth, so it wasn’t just plain salty. I liked that this bowl came with all those kinds of beef, since some places will only give you the beef slices, tendon and tripe but not beef balls. As well, the noodles had a nice chew to them, so overall this was pretty pleasant to eat.

We ended up at Thai Son again the next week, because I wanted a snack before we went to T&T to do some grocery shopping. We also ordered some Cha Gio, or deep-fried spring rolls, which were filled with shredded pork and veggies. These were fried up nicely and were quite crisp, but I definitely would have preferred if they used a rice wrapper instead– these came to the table looking a lot like the spring rolls you could get upstairs for dim sum, and just don’t have the same texture.

I got the same bowl of noodles again (pho dac biet really is my favourite, and I don’t like to deviate… as well, I couldn’t very well get a rice dish since dinner was a mere 2 hours away), but Samson ordered the Bun Bo Hue Thai Son Dac Biet, or the Thai Son special spicy beef and vermicelli in soup. Unless I read the menu wrong, the name is a little misleading, as this soup included both beef and pork– there were pieces of beef brisket and tendon, a pork hoc and a few slices of Vietnamese ham. All the meats were prepared well, and the soup exhibited some beef flavour along with the mild spice. This might just achieve comfort food status, but I’ll have to order one to have myself before deciding.

Overall, Thai Son offers up a standard Vietnamese restaurant experience. The food was pretty good (in particular, the Pho Dac Biet was great) and I’ve had their rice dishes before and remember those to be fine as well. Prices can be a little high when compared to some other restaurants along the Kingsway corridor, but aren’t completely out of range. Service was a little sparse, but I honestly don’t expect much when I go to Vietnamese restaurants anyways– I don’t remember any particular restaurant that has standout service. While this isn’t in the most convenient location, I wouldn’t mind making return visits in the future (hey, I’ve already been twice in two weeks).

Thai Son
230-2800 1st Avenue East
Vancouver, BC

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Ramen Jinya 陣家

Summer in Vancouver isn’t much like summer. Well, this summer, there were a couple hot weeks in mid-August, and I think some in late July, but for the most part, it was a dreary, cool summer. Although I longed for some warm weather to wear my summer dresses and skirts, I didn’t mind the cooler temperatures, especially on a certain July day when we all gathered at Ramen Jinya to lunch with Pickles before her European vacation.

I hadn’t heard of Ramen Jinya before–being pretty much oblivious to any ramen joints outside the Robson Street area. Our first choice for lunch had actually been Meat and Bread, but it happened to be closed that day. (Review for Meat and Bread upcoming, though!) Anyways, at first glance, the restaurant appeared clean and well-maintained, with a satisfyingly varied menu.

 

Pickles ordered the Miso Tonkotsu Ramen. At first, she described the taste as “intense”, which I didn’t understand at first. But she allowed me to sample a bit of her broth, and it reminded me more of Korean bean paste soup than Japanese miso–definitely a stronger taste than normal miso, which is quite mild. Pickles enjoyed her bowl of noodles, as the noodles themselves also had a satisfying bite.

Jess opted for a combo, which included a bowl of her choice of noodles, a side salad, as well as a side dish. For the noodles, she chose Shio Tonkotsu Ramen. She commented that she found this version better than other ramen places in Vancouver, being less fatty. As a specific example, she cited Kintaro Ramen, and stated that she preferred the less fatty broth at Ramen Jinya, although that’s just personal preference. In addition to the noodles, there were fried onions included, which added a slightly sweet taste to the broth.

Jess and David both ordered combos, which included the same salad. I didn’t have high expectations for this salad, considering our choice of restaurant. They both agreed that the salad was acceptable, but that the corn was a little too soggy for their tastes. The dressing was a typical one usually found at Japanese restaurants, both garlicky and oily.

 

 

For the remaining part of her combo, Jess ordered the Karaage. I thought this was a small portion with just three pieces, but she enjoyed them all the same, citing that the chicken was juicy and appeared to be freshly fried. She also thought that the chicken was well complemented by the sauce, which included was quite tangy from the grated radish.

Meanwhile, David opted for the Gyoza instead. These contained a pork filling and  appeared to be quite average, although he did say that he liked the crust, which made them crispy on the outside, while soft and juicy on the inside. Like Jess, he also enjoyed his own dipping sauce. I thought that they looked a little too burnt, but that these were a better deal than the chicken karaage above, as they were actually a decent size.

Moving onwards, Hui, Darek and David both ordered the Tonkotsu Black Ramen, so named because it contained some black garlic oil, as you can see. The oil resulted in a very intense garlic flavour, giving the broth a richer depth. The noodles had a good bite while the meat was very fatty and thick. The other ingredients were similar to those previously described, although I thought the addition of seaweed was a nice touch. This ramen also included a boiled egg, which was served cold, inviting some amount of contrast.

 

 

Lastly, Su arrived a little later than the rest of us and ended up ordering the Chicken Ramen. I was a little excited for Su’s choice considering that the usual choice of meat for ramen is pork, rather than chicken, and I was curious as to what difference this would make. Su actually had very little to say about her lunch, except that she found the broth extremely salty. Although this is a common complaint with ramen in general, I felt that the rest of our dishes (well, from what I sampled) at Ramen Jinya contained less salt and fat than other popular ramen places (namely Kintaro), so perhaps this is simply an issue with their chicken ramen. I tasted a little of her broth and I found that it carried a little less depth than the other ramens we had.

Although there are some negative reviews online, our group enjoyed this lunch at Ramen Jinya. It was nice to be able to enjoy some ramen without trekking all the way down Robson Street. I also found the dining space to be clean and modern, with an adequate number of seats, and the service was friendly and efficient. And oh, this place had the hugest spoons? ladles? I’d ever seen. There definitely are better ramen places in Vancouver, but if you’re in the area, Ramen Jinya will suffice.

Ramen Jinya 陣家
270 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC

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Golden Pair Fusion Cafe 皇牌魚湯米線 (Permanently Closed)

Despite my admitted non-adventurous attitude towards restaurants, (I usually like to search out a restaurant on Urbanspoon and read some blogger reviews before I go) I easily agreed when my friend Gawa suggested we have lunch at a restaurant I’d never heard of. In fact, she didn’t even know the name…she said vaguely that it was a noodle place on Broadway and Cambie. This could possibly have been helpful, except that this intersection is crowded with restaurants (including Sam’s and my especial favourite, La Taqueria), with many of them specializing in noodles, including Benkei Ramen, Menya, and Sha Lin Noodle House. Well, much like Dolph, I’ll never say no to noodles, so Gawa, Eric, and I met up at Broadway and Cambie on a nice sunny day after finals.

Turns out she didn’t know the name because she hasn’t been here in years! Ah well. After a few minutes of searching, she led us into a small but relatively busy restaurant. This is one of those joints where you choose your own broth, type of noodle, and two toppings, through the use of the order sheet pictured. For the sake of variety, we all chose different broths and toppings and noodles. It was obvious that Gawa hadn’t visited this place in a long time. I realized this when she asked the server whether we would be receiving complementary tea, and the server seemed confused, then replied that the complementary tea component had been removed a long time ago. Oh, Gawa. In a city where prices are constantly increasing and I’m always worrying over the state of my wallet, a fixed price of $7.95 (well, plus tax and tip) seemed quite reasonable, especially since the portion size was respectable.

Gawa chose the Fish Broth with Ramen, Fish Balls, and Shrimp. Out of all of our broths, I liked hers the best–it was both sweet and savoury, and had a distinct fish taste. She thought the noodles were chewy, and had good bite, and that the shrimp were an impressive size (especially considering the price!), although I would personally have preferred more shrimp.  In addition to the above ingredients, her bowl of noodles also included a decent amount of cabbage, as well as tofu skin. Gawa enjoyed her meal, and didn’t have any complaints.

Eric had the Malay Laksa Broth with Beijing Ramen, Chicken Balls, and Brisket. He let me sample a little of the broth, and it tasted quite peppery to me, but surprisingly okay on my authenticity radar (not that I’m an expert by any means). There was nothing amiss in his bowl, except he didn’t think much of his noodles–I’m not exactly sure on the difference between Beijing ramen and just regular ramen (I even googled it but didn’t get any satisfying answers). Like Gawa, Eric’s noodles contained an adequate amount of cabbage and tofu skin, and the ingredients were well-prepared. If he had a complaint, it would be that he found it perhaps a little too spicy, but he still enjoyed his noodles. I’m sure this would be too spicy for some, but at least they provide a warning on the order sheet so you can avoid it if you need to.

For my noodles, I chose to have Chicken Broth with Udon, Enoki Mushrooms, and Cuttlefish Balls. The mushrooms were a bit difficult to eat (but that isn’t the restaurant’s fault). I found the broth a bit salty, but nothing I couldn’t bear. I regretted my choice of the chicken broth, as it was bland and tasted like something you could easily make from a Campbell’s soup can. Surprisingly, the noodles had good bite and were acceptably chewy–I usually find a lot of places overcook udon noodles, but I was pleasantly surprised here. Now…the problem with my meal. There was a massive amount of cabbage in my bowl, and only my bowl. While Gawa and Eric’s noodles contained, at most, maybe five pieces of cabbage, mine contained a huge mountain of cabbage that remained even after I ate about seven pieces. I’m pretty sure they dumped all the cabbage into my portion, and I’m not sure exactly why. Anyways, it was an unpleasant experience–not that I don’t like cabbage, but there’s only so much one person can take, right? Other than that, though, I thought the ingredients I’d requested were well-prepared, and quite tasty.

The service here was nothing remarkably bad or remarkably good. It was a stereotypical Asian restaurant with a stereotypical Asian server. She did her job, but didn’t offer to fill our water or tea except when asked, and her customer service skills existed somewhere murky between hostile and friendly. It didn’t really affect my experience here, as I hadn’t been expecting great service from the beginning.

The food here is definitely solid, minus the strangely profuse amount of cabbage I found lurking underneath that innocent pile of mushrooms…and I would probably want to return to try different combinations of toppings and broths. Turns out this little adventure paid off! Maybe after this I’ll stop reading online reviews before deciding whether or not to visit a restaurant…but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Golden Pair Fusion Cafe 皇牌魚湯米線
546 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(Permanently Closed)

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