Reflecting on my last ramen post, i.e., Motomachi Shokudo, I have to admit that, despite new ramen shops have appeared, one thing is also good: Opinions have been divisive as to which ones are “good” and which ones are “bad”. In fact, some people believe Kintaro is still king of the hill, while Santouka is overrated, the lower profiled Benkei hits the spot and Sanpachi seems to be middle of the road. Unless you are the one who says “everything is good” (specially if you didn’t have to pay for it), these opinions are good because it allows so room for discussion. So, just to throw yet-another-ramen-shop, I went to Q Go Ramen….
Now, unlike the other ramen shops mentioned above, Q Go Ramen isn’t located in Downtown Vancouver: it is located in the Broadway corridor near Granville Street. If we had to do some comparisons, the nearest competitions would be Benkei (near Cambie) and Menya (also near Cambie). However, that’s not the full story on how I ended up here: I went there because of an epic fail of sorts. See, I was supposed to go to Xoxolat to pick up a gift and, just before that, I was supposed to visit Mochikas, a Peruvian restaurant in the middle of nowhere. OK, in the middle of a car shop… (Check Sherman’s post for more details!). Anyway, according to their website, they are supposed to open before noon; however, when I arrived almost 1:00 p.m., it was still closed. Hmmmm…. So, after my visit to Xoxolat, the next question was “where”? Driving through Broadway, I noticed Q Go Ramen and said “might as well!”.
Despite it is not a new shop (it has been opened for couple of months already), it still maintained a bit that “new”-ish feeling. Given that day was a bit outcast, I chose to sit at the “bar” facing outside to use natural light rather than the artificial light inside. Of course, that also meant I didn’t really “absorb” the feeling of the restaurant. Is that a bad thing? Well, I only care about what is served, so, probably no! And talking about food, after the waitress left the menu and I made my order, I got…
Edamame. Wait, I actually didn’t order this; it was complimentary. Technically, I am not surprise at that fact, after all, Mijune mentioned it in her post. But, still, there is the fact it was provided “free”. As for how it was, if you have had edamame before, then you have a good idea of what to expect. If you haven’t, think a bit waxier peas with some salt on top. Anyway, it was an interesting, nice touch.
Moving to the food that I actually ordered, I went for their shio ramen – tonkotsu broth enhanced with salt flavouring served with boiled egg, marinated chashu, arage kikurage fungus, bean sprouts and green onion. For the pork, I had the option to go for lean and fat. I chose the later. In a “good” way, they only have three broths: shio, miso and shoyu, all of these with pork. Furthermore, they have a vegetarian dish version. Past that, you have some toppings and some sides, in the form of gyoza and takoyaki, plus kimchi, steamed rice and extra pork.
One thing that might not be necessarily evident in the pictures above is the size of the bowl. Alas, I should have brought something for comparison purposes. The circumference of this bowl was easily a third larger than most of the other ramen bowls. However, that could have also being an optical illusion. But, does more mean better? Anyway, the noodles felt a bit soggier than others I have had, though it could be due to the time I took to take the pictures. Darn! >_< The pork, wow, it was fattier than what I expected. Ever since that bowl I had at Kintaro, I have to wonder how much my threshold for fat has lowered… But, as for taste… I don’t know, I wished it had more of that pork flavour. I mean, you knew it was pork but it felt there was something missing. Oh, sorry about the egg, as I didn’t take a picture. I had it in a single mouthful.
I also had a side of gyoza, which had a nice crispy skin. The filling though… Was OK, once again, nothing extraordinary. At least, in all senses, it was better than Hida Takayama.
Overall, I won’t say I have necessarily high opinions of Q Go. I mean, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good or outstanding. Could it because of some external factors that result in a so-so product? For instance the time it took me to start eating? Not sure but… Too many buts. In the end, if I happen to be in the area in the need of a quick fix, may be. But not as a destination, nah. Now, can somebody tell me why of the name? As in Nine Five Ramen? :/