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Benke Ramen - Vancouver - First Visit


Benke actually does not serve Shio (Salt) Ramen, only Shoyu, Miso, and Tonkotsu flavours.

Shoyu is the ramen most Japanese eat although Miso is also quite popular. Tonkotsu (which I think the reviewer ate by the description) is the heaviest of the three and is very much an 'acquired' taste (which I myself have not acquired).

I would personally never recommend Tonkotsu ramen to any person who has not tried it before. If your going to go to Benke I would encourage you to try either the Shoyu or the Miso ramen. If your not sure or if your new to ramen go with Shoyu.

Also, know that, traditionally, belly pork, which Benke serves, is very fatty. It's considered the best pork for ramen but again, it may not appeal to some. Benke, in the early days, used to also serve 'shoulder' pork but they discontinued it for lack of demand (so they told me) which was unfortunate because, like the reviewer, I preferred it. I do like the belly pork also so it's all good.

In general I consider Benke to be the best ramen in Vancouver (or at least in the downtown/Robson area). In fact, because it has quite a refined flavor (the subtle taste of lime/orange as you hit the bottom of the bowl is pure genius) it rivals many of it's Tokyo counterparts.

I was, I must admit, never a big fan of Kintaro which, in my opinion, tastes quite 'greasy', even in their Shoyu varieties. Prior to Benke I always went for ramen to Ezogiku which I much preferred to Kintaro and I would still recommend it (though my wife would not agree). The kimchi ramen in Gyoza King is also quite good.

Anyway, for all those who have the opportunity, do yourselves a favor and go try the ramen at Benke, it really is awesome stuff.