Ramen Butcher - Vancouver

I was kinda apprehensive about Ramen Butcher. On the one hand the website had that slick ‘modern indie’ look, along with the retro artisanal logo that just screams ‘corporate brand consultant’ anymore. BUT, they make their noodles in house and the chef is someone or other and hey, Salt and Straw is run by hipsters, and so is Silverlake Ramen, so, you know… Maybe it’ll be something special?

It’s located in the rapidly gentrifying Chinatown in Vancouver, and is just the sort of place that opens all over town, with clean lines, wood and brushed steel, a few 2 and 4 tops and several communal tables.

As to the soup.

That’s my partner’s regular tonkotsu with an extra couple slices of the lean chasu. The noodles are thin and straight and are nicely chewy. They didn’t seem to encourage the broth to cling like some I’ve had. The chasu was VERY tender and was very flavorful… ‘pork forward’, if you will… The broth, though, was pretty bland. It had a very nice texture, quite creamy without being a gut bomb, and it definitely wasn’t all salt like some I’ve had recently, but it was just… fine. It felt kinda shallow in flavor. like music on tinny speakers. No bass.

This is my bowl. (“Orange”) Essentially the same as hers, with the addition of the agitama, the miso pork off on the left, and the fatty chasu. Same broth,same noodles, so all the above applies. The egg was spot on, which is always plus for me. The pork miso mix tasted quite good, but didn’t really add much zip to the bowl itself.

On the plus side, your first kadema (did I get that right? extra helping of noodles) is free, and the prices are highly reasonable, so it’s certainly good QPR. And individually, each section of the bowl is good, but never quite great. The chasu would be helped with quick hit with a torch, or a sear on the grill or similar, and the noodles… I dunno. Texture was great but they didn’t stand out to me as others have. All in all, it seemed like less than the sum of it’s parts.

They do serve tsukemen, (a regular pork-based one and a Kani (crab) broth that looked intriguing) so I might go back and try that, but if I wanted ramen, I’d probably hit up Jinya before this place.