Sherman's Food Adventures: Honjin Ramen

Honjin Ramen

At one point in time, many of the new ramen shops in town were opening up in and around Robson Street.  Yes, it still remains the highest concentration for those noodle shops, but things are slowly changing.  We are finding more spots located outside of Downtown and in fact, outside of Vancouver in general.  One of the newest to join the fray is Honjin Ramen located within restaurant row adjacent to Zone Bowling in Coquitlam.  One look at their menu and other than being brand new in a spot not known for ramen, their prices are bucking the trend with most bowls under $10.00.

We decided to check it out for lunch one day since it was rather rainy and definitely seemed like a good time for soupy noodles.  With only 4 main choices, we ordered them all with my son doing the classic Shio with bamboo shoots, half-egg, corn and nori.  Clean and clear, the chicken broth was pretty light naturally accented by salt.  The noodles were thin, yet al dente while the fatty chashu melted in his mouth.  As evidenced in the picture, the ajitama egg was a fail as it was almost fully cooked.   My daughter had her favourite being the Miso with all of the same ingredients including green onions (unlike my son who didn't want them).  As expected, this broth was more robust with the addition of fermented soybeans.  However, it was very "misoy" as the fermented saltiness was really apparent.  For those who like it overpowering like that, then you will love it.  

For myself, I tried the Tan Tan Men which was probably the most flavourful of the bunch due to the addition of spice.  The broth was creamy due to the fat and sesame paste.  Unlike the Szechuan version, this was more of a soup than a sauce.  Hence, the flavours were less concentrated.  As like the other bowls of ramen, the noodles were perfectly al dente.  Viv went for the one that nobody else ordered being the Shoyu Ramen.  At first, we thought this was the miso ramen due to the cloudiness of the broth.  Turned out that this was one actually as impactful as the miso.  There was of course the saltiness of the shoyu mixed in with the meatiness of the broth.  It ate a bit greasy, but on the other hand, there was depth due to that.

On the side, we had the Chicken Karaage which arrived as a modest portion.  What it lacked in size, it made everything up with execution.  Each nugget of dark meat was bursting with juiciness and adequate amount of seasoning.  On the outside, it was crispy and not greasy.  In the end, we agreed the ramen was decent for Coquitlam and was very well-priced.  Portions were on the smaller side (hence, in line with the pricing), but enough for lesser appetites.  A good option for a quick meal before a movie (like we did).

The Good:
- Inexpensive
- Decent
- Good service

The Bad:
- Smallish portions


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