Not like the original
Really just lacking
The Ramenman on Bidwell was my 2nd favourite ramen joint in the city and enjoyed the support of some serious food connoisseurs in town. It was unique with its gourmet touches such as an aerated chicken soup and sous vide cha su. Despite the praise, the shop closed in Febraury 2018 and my heart sank.
However over the summer the owners converted their Juno Sushi operation on Davie street into a second location of The Ramenman. I had yet to visit this location due to some less than glowing reviews. I was hopeful that with the closure of the original spot, the staff and expertise would be consolidated into one place, creating some slurp worthy eats.
On my visit I immediately noticed the Davie shop was much busier than the shuttered Bidwell location. Optimistically, I went with an order of the regular chicken ramen (1 piece chicken and 1 piece pork cha su) and pork scallop gyoza.
When my bowl arrived, I realized my second favourite bowl of Vancouver ramen would only live on in my memories. My pork cha su arrived dullish looking instead of the vibrant ham pink, which made the original location unique. The chicken cha su was cold where it was not submerged in the soup. The pork cha su was chewy which defeats the purpose of using the sous vide technique. Both pieces of meat had a stale taste and not the sweet umami flavour that the Bidwell location had. The execution on the cha su was lackluster.
Similar to my chicken cha su, my pork scallop gyozas were lukewarm borderline cold. I purposely waited a few minutes before diving into these dumplings because I had burned my mouth eating these at the Bidwell location. Given the colouring on the gyoza, I was very surprised by the temperature of the filling.
The saving grace for the Davie location is that they have retained the delicious savoury chicken soup, which made the Ramenman’s noodle bowls so good. The broth still has that umami rich, long simmered, made by grandma satisfying chicken taste. Paired with the firm noodles and a well seasoned egg, my bowl was serviceable but not great.
The remaining Ramenman definitely had more people come in for a noodle bowl, which is understandable given the lack of ramen options in the Yaletown area. As a result, I’m not sure if there is any incentive for the staff to elevated the level of the food preparation. The gourmet touches and attention to detail, which made me fall in love with the original location of the Ramenman, just isn’t here at the Davie spot. As a result, I don’t see myself returning.
572 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2G4
Telephone: (604) 568-8805
PS: Sigh, another one of my favourite restaurants bites the dust. Here’s a picture of my
last bowl of ramen I had at the Bidwell location of The Ramenman (look at that cha su), which deserved a better fate.