Marutama Ramen
For those ramen fans there is a new ramen spot on the block.   Probably easiest thing to do is to skip this review and go down and try it out for yourself before the line up starts.  

Marutama Ramen is a chain ramen restaurant with locations in Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.   The interior was nice with the exception of some cheap plastic containers that looked  similar to the ones you get from jelly cups.  

The special feature about Marutama is their noodles.  Hand made in house, these bad boys stand way above the clouds when compared to the other ramen spots in the neighbourhood.  Santouka has the belt when it comes to broth flavour but Marutama's noodles run the show here.   Their soft boiled egg also gets special mention for being perfect!!!  The broth at Marutama was chicken based and tasted clean and healthy.  There is also the option to add additional noodles for $1.25 more (a bowl of ramen is around $12 here).  Addicted to these noodles I intentionally saved some broth and ordered some extra noodles however they came so much later that my broth was cold by then.  I still enjoyed them and added some salt syrup to my soup as well.

I think I still give it to Santouka as my favourite ramen but Marutama is worth the experience just to try the noodles.  If you want to be the man get the extra noodles at Marutama and sneak them into Santouka to make the best bowl of noodles in Vancouver.  

Do yourself a favour and go read Lucky Peach Issue 1, watch Tampopo and then go crush some ramen downtown.  As said earlier my choice is still Santouka but you should try these noodles to get your barometer straight.

Marutama Ramen
780 Bidwell Street
Vancouver, BC

Marutama Ramen on Urbanspoon



Oh, I love the aesthetic of this room: Reclaimed wood, honeycomb and subway tile, industrial light fixtures, custom pottery, mismatched cutlery and glassware. This 30-seat restaurant opened approximately two weeks ago, in the renovated space that was the former site of Cafeteria. Chef Andrea Carlson (formerly of C, Sooke Harbour House, Raincity Grill and Bishop's) is the Chef and owner, and Burdock represents her food philosophy. A strong force behind the locovore movement (she developed the first 100 Mile Menu for Raincity), she has created plates inspired by her close connection to food and nature.

The dishes remind me of high-end Scandanavian; nature takes centre stage thanks to precise and organically inspired plating. High-quality ingredients shine through a soft yet creative touch, nothing is over-marinated or flavoured, the quality and treatment stand for themselves. Also? I had the most beautiful cocktail I've ever seen:

Yes, marigolds are edible, and especially delicious bruised and used to scent the glass before a blend of herbs, sake and Victoria gin are added to make Burdock's Marigold Gimlet. An impressive wine and beer list round out the alcoholic offerings, along with creative herbacious juices for those who prefer. We began with Urban Digs Egg, a blend of wild cress, hazelnut and blue cheese granola and potato vinaigrette topped with a poached egg. I appreciate being in a place that honors eggs for dinner. All ingredients are organic and locally sourced, as you might have guessed, and feel wholesome even to read about: Wheat berry Risotto with mustard greens; Spring Cassoulet with smoked tofu and black trumpets. As a person who usually bolts her dinner, I loved a simple dish of bread, cheese and honey because it reminded me to slow down and acknowledge the trip from seed and farm to table. Taking the time to savour seems to be the side effect of Andrea's dishes.

Standouts for me were the seafoods: Cherry Leaf Cured Scallops that have a barely-there cherry perfume and Fresh Oysters in finger lime caviar with french breakfast radishes and chickweed.  The Fried Chicken and Pickles and Heritage Pork and Burdock Sausage with wild dandelion and potato salad deserve honorable mentions.

At 9-19 per plate, its possible to sample several things without breaking the bank. Each dish has a much higher-end feel than the price point, which is a bonus if you ask me. Vegan, Vegetarian and an all-gluten free dessert menu including macarons mean there is something for everyone of every diet stripe.

Burdock & Co
2702 Main Street