747 Thurlow St, Vancouver
I am a proud Canadian, given how well Team Canada did during the Olympic. I went to downtown several time to support our athletes on the big screens. Since during these time, R and I wanted to grab something quick to eat, so we don't miss too much action, thus for one of these days we chose to eat at Benkei Ramen's new location on Thurlow.
While we were in line, a couple behind us was discussing how good their Chashu Onigiri is. After hearing that, we also ordered one to share. For $2.50, you get 2 of them, so it's relatively cheap. I gotta say, this couple knows what they are talking about, because it was very delicious. Each grain of rice was infused with the juice from the pork, thus it was very flavorful. The only thing they could add to make it better would be grilling it a bit, so it will have that nice crunchy exterior.
I got the Akaoni Ramen ($7.80) which has a spicy miso base. The soup was very rich, it was a pork bone broth with a light miso taste and a hint of garlic flavor. The soup was only mildly spicy, which was perfect, if it were any spicier, it would be hard to drink it. There were also tons of pan fried green onion, bamboo shoot and minced pork. Their noodle was also just right, it was soft but still retained that chewy texture. Overall, this is one good bowl of ramen that I highly recommend.
I have no idea what happen to R's Shiro Ramen ($7.80), but it came with 1/3 less soup than mine. Although it looked extremely creamy, but it was actually light with minimal cream flavor. R's ramen consisted of chicken, spinach (ordered an extra serving for $.50 more), corn, garlic and herb, but I couldn't really detect too much garlic flavor. The chicken was very tender and soft, I loved it. Overall this ramen was good as well, but I still preferred my Akaoni Ramen.
Overall, Benkei Ramen certainly did not disappoint, their food was good and filling. Their service was fast and friendly. Since they are so efficient at what they do, the turnover rate is really fast. Therefore we only waited 10 min. during lunch time on a Saturday. If you ever want a good bowl of ramen, and does not want to walk all the way to the west end of Robson, then definitely give this location a try.