Sherman's Food Adventures: Sho Bu Japanese Noodle

Sho Bu Japanese Noodle

My son really wanted to go for ramen as his birthday dinner.  Loved that he didn't pick something exorbitant, but at the same time, ramen isn't an experience that lasts very long.  Also, we go for ramen all the time and it was more of an "everyday" meal.  So he chose Japanese for dinner instead.  However, to keep him happy, we ended up grabbing some ramen for his birthday lunch.  Lucky kid, 2 birthday meals in one day!  We ended up going somewhere obscure in Sho Bu in Henderson Centre.

Sure, there are more obvious and "better" ramen spots to choose from, but we weren't going into Downtown nor did we want to visit the usual places.  So we got a couple of appies to start including the Gyoza.  These could've been seared a bit more aggressively, but they were fine nonetheless.  Dumpling skin was fairly thin and delicate.  Although the sauce could've been bottled (not sure, could be house-made too), it didn't matter because it was very good with nice tanginess.

We also got the Chicken Karaage and it was excellent.  Not sure if they used any rice flour as part of the batter, but it had an appealing hard crunch and was not greasy.  Underneath, the chicken skin was rendered properly so no flabby portions.  The boneless leg meat was juicy and tender.  It had been marinated enough that we didn't need any dip.  But it was served with kewpie mayo with togarashi on top.

I decided to get the baseline ramen choice in the Chashu Ramen featuring tonkotsu base, chashu, green onions, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and 1/2 egg.  I found the broth to be on the lighter side, yet not devoid of flavour.  I would've preferred more depth, but this was completely serviceable.  As for the noodles, they were al dente, but on the softer side.  The chashu was fatty, yet not buttery, it was more meaty in texture.  Egg was on point with a custardy centre and being flavourful.

My son went for the Cha Ku Ramen that featured both chashu and kakuni (hence "cha ku").  This was essentially the same as my bowl of ramen except with the addition of the stewed pork belly and wood ear mushrooms.  Therefore, the broth was also tonkotsu and the chashu was the same texture.  As for the kukuni, it was fatty and tender with penetrated saltiness.  Of course the wood ear added some crunch.

My daughter ended up with the Kimchi Ramen in "1" spice level (on a scale of 0-5 with 5 being the hottest).  It featured a miso base with hot oil added for the heat.  It essentially had the same items as my bowl except with the addition of kimchi.  Even though this was only at a 1, this was still spicy enough to create an impact.  The miso was definitely there, but due to the lighter base, it was not super rich.

Viv went big with the Spicy Beef Ramen off the house special ramen section.  This was at least a half size bigger than our bowls.  It sported beef, cabbage, carrots, onions, woodear, bak choy, sprouts, spinach and swirled egg.  This, by default, was a spice level "3" and it was definitely spicy.  With all of the ingredients, it ate very hearty and could feed some big appetites.  There was a lot of veg and if you like that, this is for you.

As part of my ramen, I got it as a combo with a Pork Belly Bowl for an extra $5.95.  This had a strong dark soy flavour, but it was appealing and full of depth.  The pork belly was on the drier side, but when combined with the softer rice, it worked.  The pops of sweetness from the corn as well as the pickles added layers of flavour to each bite.  So as you can see, this ramen spot has Korean influences and for those bowls, they were good.  I would have to say there are better ramen spots around for sure, but his was more than serviceable at a reasonable price.  Loved the people there, they are so nice!

The Good:
- Fairly good value
- Decent eats
- Nice people

The Bad:

- Soup base is a bit light



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