Sherman's Food Adventures: Ramen Taka Notsume

Ramen Taka Notsume

There was a time when I thought that the saturation of Ramen joints in and around Robson Street had reached its threshold.  Well, most of them are alive and well, so what do I know?  Located in the spot formerly occupied by The Ramenman, Ramen Taka Notsume has thrown their hat into ramen central in Vancouver.  The first location outside of Japan, this Hokkaido chain specializes in Asahikawa-style ramen where their pork-based broth is topped with a layer of lard.

We stopped by one day to sample most of their offerings including the signature Dragon's Dewdrop or shoyu ramen (which is the synonymous with Hokkaido).   As mentioned earlier, the soup featured a layer of fat on top that kept the broth hot to the last drop and also added an aromatic silkiness to each slurp.  The meat flavour was obvious as well as equal amounts of umaminess.  We could taste the shoyu, but it was not as pronounced as the natural taste of the broth.  We also had the White Dragon or shio ramen which was equally good.  There could've been a case for this one being even better as the rich meatiness of the broth was further accented by the simplicity of sea salt.  It was extremely impactful while not being overly heavy (despite the layer of fat).

The Supreme Dragon or miso ramen exhibited the most depth and umaminess due to the red miso paste.  It wasn't salty per se, but it was richly flavourful due to the fermented nature of the miso.  The noodles in all of the aforementioned bowls were medium-thickness and perfectly al dente.  As for the large slice of chashu, it was of the lean variety which meant it required a bit of chewing.  Not our preference, but it is their style though. Rounding out the ingredients, we found soft-yolk egg, wood ear mushroom, bamboo shoots, nori and green onion.  For myself, I got the $22.00 bowl of Deluxe Truffle Ramen with truffle salt (in the broth), sliced black truffle and rare roast beef.  I found the truffle essence to be slight while the broth was pretty salty.  The roast beef was excellent being thick cut and tender with a roasted meatiness.  Honestly, the regular shio ramen was better in my opinion.

For our sides, we got the Dashimaki Tamago and Gyoza.  Made-to-order, the tamago was neatly layered and legit.  We found it a bit more done than our liking but it was still fluffy and lightly sweet.  It was visually-appealing due to the care taken in preparing it.  As for the gyoza, it featured a thin skin that retained some elasticity while being tender.  Inside, the pork filling was equal in ratio to the diced cabbage.  Hence it was light and not heavy.  We would've liked to see a more aggressive sear on the bottom though.  Thanks to Vancouver Gourmet Club, I got 50% off the gyoza (essentially $3.00 off).  Overall, we enjoyed the ramen at Taka.  Broth was impactful, natural-tasting and full-bodied without being too heavy.

The Good:
- Full-flavoured broth
- Reasonably-priced except for the truffle ramen

The Bad:
- Not a fan of the lean pork


Unknown said...

Just tried. It's horrible! Highly not recommended

Sherman Chan said...

Such a useless comment. First it is anonymous and second it isn't descriptive. I appreciate that food is subjective, but without any specifics, this is called trolling...

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