After munching on a seemingly endless selection of eats at Feast Buffet for lunch, we weren't overly hungry for dinner. Also, with the frigid temperatures outside, it looked more and more like a hot bowl of noodles was the best idea for dinner. Seeing how we had to drop by Goose's house to pick up stuff we ordered, we made a pitstop at the Bellevue location of Hakkaido Ramen Santouka. Yup, even though it was nearly 9:00pm, there was still a lineup (just like the one in Vancouver).
After a short wait, we got down to ordering and I decided to start with the Chicken Karaage. This was pretty appetizing due to the large pieces being succulent and well-brined. Although the exterior was not particularly crispy, the coating was thin and easy on the grease. For my bowl of ramen, I went for the best one on the menu (IMO) being the Toroniku Miso Ramen. Dunking the fatty pork cheek slices in the hot broth yielded melt-in-my-mouth goodness. It wasn't only about the texture as the flavour of the pork fat really came through. Of course the rich and silky miso broth didn't hurt things either. Firm and chewy, the noodles held up to the hot broth and completed the trifecta of yumminess.
Costanza decided on the Shoyu Ramen with a side of aggressively seared Gyoza. It was much of the same with a flavourful broth that was a bit less salty and rich than the miso. Noodles were on point while the fatty pork was not much of a downgrade from the pork cheek. As dark as the gyoza appeared, they were fine with a firmly crispy bottom and thin dumpling skin. Inside, the meat was tender and well-seasoned. Although not evident in the picture, the Ajitama egg was runny, yet slightly too cooked for our tastes. Overall, this location of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka didn't disappoint where it matched the quality of the one in Vancouver.
- Flavorful and silky broth
- Solid eats all around
- Not as cramped as some ramen joints
- Not cheap
- Still busy and you will need to wait