Bamboo & Charcoal @ Motomachi Shokudo

After hearing about Hokkaido Ramen Santouka for the longest time, I decided that I would finally make the trip downtown to have lunch there.  Unfortunately, my brain wasn't really thinking and I totally forgot that the Pride Parade was the exact same day.  Not only did this mean that I had to walk all the way down to Bidwell Street, but I ended up being blocked off at Thurlow and had to walk back up to Granville.  So I walked down Georgia instead, and I could get all the way down to Denman, but couldn't cross the street because of the parade.  It was kind of frustrating and disappointing. 

After all that effort and walking, we still wanted our ramen, so we opted for Motomachi Shokudo, which is by Kintaro's.  My mother hasn't been here before and I didn't feel like melting in Kintaro's or waiting in the longer line, so we opted for this one.  We ended up waiting around thirty minutes or so. 

The interior of Motomachi is definitely fancier than that of Kintaro's, but the meal overall does cost a bit more.  Like its neighbour, it's not very big.  There are only two small tables, one big common table, and a few spots at the bar.

My mother ordered the shio ramen ($8.95).  The soup was clearer and milder than the miso I had ordered.

I ordered the bamboo charcoal new generation miso ramen ($9.75).  I have tried this before, but I didn't really remember how it was like.  Bamboo charcoal, which is actually bamboo burned inside an oven at upwards of 1000'C, is known to remove impurities.  This soup was much richer and saltier than the shio ramen, but it didn't really have that strong of a miso taste.  The bamboo charcoal didn't seem to have any impact on the flavour.  

I liked the spring onions because it was very finely julienned.  The onsen-egg was absolutely delightful and perfect, with it's gel-like yolk.  I kind of regretted eating it all in the beginning.  The noodles themselves were pretty chewy yet firm, which I liked.

In comparison to Kintaro's, there is only one slice of pork chashu, albeit much bigger in size.  This one didn't have as much fat as the fatty one from Kintaro's and hence wasn't as soft.  Instead, it was a little bit tough.

I'm not a huge fan of Motomachi and it's not exactly cheap for a bowl of ramen.  It probably won't be enough for someone with a larger appetite either.  The quality of the noodles were quite good overall.

Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂
740 Denman St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 609-0310
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Another trendy, overpriced ramen shop or someplace worth visiting?

@Peter: It's really not that special -- you could probably skip out on this one. I'm still interested in Hokkaido Ramen Santouka though, I've heard too many great things about it!

Try Nan Chuu, the chef from G-men is there now!

The bamboo charcoal seems interesting but I doubt 1 piece of cha siu will satisfy me.
I like the broth from Hokkaido but it's pricier than Motomachi and portions like this place, isn't going to fill someone up if they have a large appetite.
This reminds me, I want to check out Ramen Jinya!

@Gloria: The bamboo charcoal really didn't have any special taste to it, I think. I heard the noodles itself at Hokkaido weren't that great though.
Ooh I want to try that place too! Actually there are a lot of ramen places on my wishlist

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