Turn left into 827 1 Avenue N.E. and you’ll find Shiki Menya, a sleek, ultra-modern ramen house. One of the hot trends sweeping North America, ramen is the fast food of choice in Japan. (The Japanese even voted instant ramen the top Japanese invention of the 20th Century.)
Each day at Shiki, Koki and father Tsukasa Aihara (the creative mind behind the always-popular Shikiji) boil up enough pork “tonkotsu” broth and roll out enough ramen noodles to prepare about 150 bowls. They open at 11 a.m. and ladle broth and noodles until they run out, usually sometime mid-afternoon. The result is an early lineup for the tasty bowls, which include four kinds from “classic” ramen recipes and four called “new school” bowls.
While waiting for your chili goma ramen or your tonkotsu black ramen laden with boiled egg, slivered Welsh onion, corn, slabs of pork and black garlic oil, you can order a char siu taco filled with barbecued pork. Or a plate of grilled gyoza dumplings. And be sure to try the premium cold ocha – on its own, the grassy-green drink is a bit odd but with the ramen broth it’s a perfect non-alcoholic pairing. The menu is small but the flavours are big, as long as you arrive in time to partake in the ramen of the day.
(827 1 Ave. N.E., 403-454-2722, shikimenya.ca)