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“If you don't eat pork, don't eat the soup here.”
Review of Ramen Santouka

Ramen Santouka
Ranked #44 of 3,728 Restaurants in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Robson Street
2 reviews
“If you don't eat pork, don't eat the soup here.”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We’ve walked by this place a few times. It's always busy inside and they have a display window with those fake-but-look-so real bowls of ramen in the window to inspire your appetite. When we walked up the other night, there was a line up that went outside the restaurant. We decided to wait because by then we really wanted to try it out. After about a 20 minute wait outside, we finally made it to the inside line up. Looking at the menu, my friend asked the waitress which of their soup broths were made without meat. She replied that all of them are made with pork, but that they could be served without pork on top. They do not have a vegetarian/non pork soup option. It didn’t look like they would make one either if we asked, from her response. Since neither of us eat pork (1 for ethical, the other for religious reasons), unfortunately, there was no choice but to leave without eating.

I don’t have qualms with the fact that there is pork only broth and I’m sure the food tastes as good as everyone else here says it does, so I have put my review in with 4 stars. I don’t want to give the restaurant a bad review – I didn’t eat here. There are plenty of other restaurants in the area, so we just went somewhere else. I just wanted to save anyone else who doesn’t eat meat/pork the time of waiting in line at this restaurant for soup.

Visited February 2014
Thank Malia75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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291 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Just Go!**”
Reviewed January 25, 2014

**If you like/love ramen. ;-)

Wow! The line was a little scary, but we got in after about 30 minutes. One bonus about the wait was that I got to watch the ramen "chef" put a bunch of bowls together. So cool.

There were five of us and we were able to try a number of different items. Shoyu, spicy, miso, and of course tonkotsu.

O.M.G. This is what tonkotsu is supposed to be like. The pork flavor was incredible. I've had some pretty good tonkotsu before, but this takes the cake. The broth was a creamy off-white and so rich that is was opaque.

I asked a friend of mine once, "What's in cannoli filling?" He said, "Good, it's full of good." Well let me tell you, the ramen at Santouka is FULL OF GOOD.

The icing on the cake is that I ordered the toroniku at my protein. Here's a clip from the website:

" Toroniku Cha-shu is simmered pork cheek (jowl) meat. Pork cheek meat is very rare and only 200-300g can be taken from each pig. It has a very rich flavour and it is tender like fatty tuna."

I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

In conclusion, plan ahead (there might be a little bit of a wait), but definitely go! Santouka is on my "must eat" list now.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Tony K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
145 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“my fave ramen”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

clean, fast always friendlygreat food and servicei always have the shoyu ramenits so good, the gyoza and salmon bowla are great toodont let the line up scare you offits worth the wait...its the best in vancouver

1 Thank deanguest
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best Ramen that I've tried in the past year”
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Well worth the 40 minutes wait in the line up - in the rain (there are line ups all the time, every day). The soup for the ramen was supreme - better than any other soup that I've ever tried. Wonderful service and decor. Great prices as well for the very, very high quality of the food. Will definitely come back every time I am in Vancouver! It's that good.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Delicious simple ramen”
Reviewed November 22, 2013

The menu is simple, with a choice of a few appetizers, four or five ramen soups and five or six bowls. We were a party of five and all what we sampled was delicious. The ramen and broth were really outstanding (although very salty). On a Friday night the place was packed with a line-up outside. The service was fast and the waitresses kind and pro. I never went to Japan but this restaurant felt like my expectations of authentic.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Untypequelconque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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