It’s been a while since I’ve written about ramen, so here’s my latest homage to the noodle. I hit up Benkei on Thurlow a few weeks ago for lunch and it’s one of my faves near my work.
Here is their Shoyu ramen. Just a few slices of chashu (bbq pork), some nori, a few strands of bamboo shoots and some spinach for color, but wait, the aroma is…unexpected! After inhaling the broth (without tasting it), I recognized the smell. It was Soy Sauce Chicken, the kind you’d get at the Chinese BBQ places! So here is a traditional looking ramen with pork and bamboo and all I could think about was chicken!
The other soup we had was the Shio (which I believe you get can get “regular” or “light”). I got the light, but since I’ve never gotten the regular, I don’t know how to compare. The broth was creamier, but not heavy. The pork wasn’t fatty at all, but the edges were nice and crusty, something I really like. Loads of green onions bring out the freshness of the bowl and I love my bean sprouts too, so this was pretty much the perfect bowl for me. However, I thought it was missing a sweet flavour profile, so we got a side order of corn to toss into both bowls and that elevated the ramen just enough to make me think…corn should be standard in ramen.
The ramen is always cooked perfectly here, and the atmosphere can’t be beat. The good thing about this place is, even when you go alone, you don’t feel lonely. Especially if you sit at the communal table, you get to hear some pretty interesting conversations.