I had been to a few ramen places near Robson and Denman lately (Santouka, Marutama, Hida) and wanted to try somewhere new. I passed by Ramen Koika on Davie and was attracted to an ad posted of their new ramen buger. Curious about this creation, I ventured to Ramen Koika for a new ramen experience. This post reflects two occasions when I went to Ramen Koika.
Different Ramen Options
Ramen Koika makes their own noodles and has no MSG in their ramen. Their ramen options are quite extensive: chicken-broth, pork-broth, wok-fried, vegetarian broth, regular cha-shu, non-cha-shu, salad and last but not least, burger!
On my first visit, I had the Nagasaki Champon seafood ramen. It was pork-broth based and consisted of black tree fungus, bok choy, onion, cabbage, red pepper, green pepper, Thai chili, prawns, scallop, mussel, and squid. The broth was a lighter and a bit less flavourful than other places I have tried, but still hearty. The dish had three prawns and three mussels which were decent in terms of proportions. It was nice to have a non-cha-shu ramen for a change.
The Ramen Burger
The Koika ramen burger was made up of noodle buns, cabbage, 100% certified Angus beef patty, green lettuce, onion, with a special burger sauce on top. I opted for the extra cheddar cheese and made it a combo with the Tornado Potato Stick.
To say that the ramen burger was *interesting* is an understatement. When having the ramen burger, you should not be in the mindset that it should taste like a traditional burger. The noodle buns of the ramen burger are quite dense with the outsides being slightly crispy. The Angus beef patty was good while the dripping special sauce made the burger overall a bit messy. The special sauce made the burger taste sweet overall. I found the ramen burger to be tasty, and a fun menu item to try out.
The tornado potato stick was definitely fun to eat. It is a spiral-cut potato which is then skewered and deep fried. When it arrived at our table, it was hot to touch. After it cooled down a bit, it had a wonderful crispy texture. There was not much seasoning to it, but it was still pretty good.
Koika Red Ramen Challenge
If you have a huge tolerance for spicy foods, then you might be interested in the Koika Red Ramen Challenge. There are three levels of spiciness (Level 1, 2 and 3) and if you can finish your serving of Level 3 spiciness ramen within 15 minutes, you can get the ramen for free, a picture on the “Wall of Flame” and a certificate of completion! My husband who enjoys spicy food conservatively decided on a Level 1 spiciness red ramen. The cha-shu was tender and deliciously fatty while the level of spiciness was just right for him.
Overall Impression of Ramen Koika
Ramen Koika has diverse ramen options. The ramen burger and Tornado potato fries are interesting additions to their ramen menu. I am eager to try out their other menu items and will return again sometime.