Benkei Ramen (Crossroads)

January 31, 2012
After a 3-course chocolate tasting at the Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France, we needed something savoury to balance out the cloying sweetness. Kish dropped us off at King Edward station, so we decided to trek north along Cambie in search of food. We didn't see anything interesting along the way and before long, we found ourselves on Broadway in front of Benkei Ramen. I've heard a lot about the Benkei chain, but have actually never tried it before.

When I go for ramen, I usually get shio ($7.50) soup base because of its lighter and milder flavour. I've heard people complain that Benkei's soup is overly salty, but I didn't find it too bad. The chashu was not very tender though, and not at all comparable to the one at Santouka. The texture was a bit dry and the meat didn't have much flavour. I was also somewhat disappointed that there was so little topping — 2 small and thin slices of chashu, a few bamboo shoots, and a handful of bean sprouts and green onions. Other ramen places would usually have wakame, seaweed and other condiments on top of that.

The taste of the ramen was solid, but not impressive enough for me to go out of my way for it. I'll eat there again if I happen to pass by Benkei when I'm hungry and craving a hot bowl of ramen.

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