This is not your typical restaurant or fast food joint. Tenku, Fumisen, and Shoryumen are a trio of trailers on a gravel parking lot across from River Rock Casino. This is the perfect place for a snack, or a small dinner in my case.
Shoryumen sells ramen. There are 2 soup bases to choose from: miso and sea salt (both $8). Each bowl of ramen comes with half a boiled egg, seaweed, green onions, imitation crab, bean sprouts, snow peas, and some other veggies. Extra ingredients cost 50 cents each. The interesting thing was... there was only cold ramen available today! The guy behind the counter told us it was too hot to make hot ramen. I've heard of cold soba, but cold ramen was an interesting thought.
So I cautiously asked: "So... the cold ramen is still served in soup?"
"Yes, it's still in soup. It's the same thing, just that it's cold."
"... Isn't that kind of strange?"
"I suppose so. We haven't made cold ramen before, but it's actually pretty good!"
So why not? I ended up trying the cold sea salt ramen. It was not bad, and I could imagine how refreshing it would be to eat it on a hot summer's day. Although I still prefer the hot version. Somehow the coldness takes away from the flavour.
Fumisen serves temaki, which are sushi rolled into cones. There are 3 different sizes (S/M/L) and also the option of soy crepe for those who don't like the taste of seaweed. After deciding on the size, step 1 is to choose from 2 types of rice: sushi rice and salmon rice (which is just sushi rice with salmon flakes). Step 2 involves choosing a sashimi/meat filling. Step 3 offers 2 choices from a list of random toppings including avocado, mango, apple, and many others. Step 4 is a choice of sauce: mayo, chili mayo, wasabi mayo, or spicy sauce. It took me forever to decide because there were too many choices! And I was trying to imagine how the different combinations of sashimi and toppings would taste, and whether certain combinations would go well together. I finally decided on a small temaki with salmon rice, hamachi sashimi, mango and sweet egg topping, and mayo on top ($3.75). It was really good, and the flavours blended together really well. But because the flavours were so intense, I could hardly taste the salmon in the rice. Next time I'm going to try the soy crepe. I wanted to try it this time, but when my friend asked the girl what it tastes like, she said: "It doesn't taste like anything."
"There's no soy taste?"
"Is it a little bit sweet like real crepes?"
"No it's not sweet. There's no taste. It's just for people who don't like seaweed."
I appreciated her honesty, but also found it quite amusing. Since the soy crepe is $4.25 which is more expensive than the seaweed, I had expected her to be more enthusiastic about it.
And of course how could I pass up on the bakudanyaki? For those of you who have never heard of a bakudanyaki, it is essentially a giant takoyaki with a few more ingredients than just octopus. I've already tried it before when Tenku was at the parking lot on Gilbert and Elmbridge, and I really enjoyed it. But when I went back a few months ago, I found out they had moved to an indoor location near No. 5 and Cambie. I was rather disappointed since that was a bit far, and I probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy it. Then just when I decided to stop by on my way home, I found out they had moved again to a parking lot across from River Rock... So anyway now it's much more convenient for me to drop by for a snack. I love the original bakudanyaki with mayo. And the little Chinese take-out box it comes in is so cute! Once again, I forgot to take a picture because I was too excited. So here's a picture of a half-eaten bakudanyaki, with a quail egg and cabbages. I don't want to imagine the amount of cholesterol in this thing... quail egg, octopus, squid, shrimp... But it's sooooo good!
EDIT: Read about my 2nd visit with Shamu.