Advice: Cash only. Limited vegetarian options.
Located in what has become the Ramen neighborhood in the West End at the far western section of Robson, Santouka is a beautiful rather small restaurant that features a communal table as the centerpiece with table seating towards the back and seating along the bar. This is their first location in Vancouver, though they have locations throughout Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and in Chicago. Ramen is the specialty here with various selections of the ramen noodles in a broth (made from Pork bones etc), my friends had a few of the hot Ramen Soup selections, I settled for the large and filling Cold Noodle Salad ($10.95) with cold thin noodles, lettuce, tomatoes, prawns in a tasty vegetarian broth. I also had a cup of their Oolong tea served hot ($1.95 or so).
Raj and Sophia both had the Shio Ramen ($8.95) a mild creamy soup and JJ had the Kara Miso Ramen ($9.45). If you are as curious as I was on how they make the broth, you can watch through the glass window in the kitchen. The noodles are a secret recipe and they are brought in from the noodle factory in Japan and then boiled fresh into the Ramen. From what my Ramen loving friends told me Santouka could well become the destination for Ramen in the city!
Review by: Richard Wolak