5278 Kingsway, Burnaby BC V5H 2E9
Living in Vancouver, there is certainly no shortage of ramen. It seems like there’s a new shop popping up every week.
I’ve been eating ramen for a while now (since 1993 from instant noodle packages, since 2010 in ramen shops) and started with the likes of Santouka, Kingyo, and Marutama located in the West End (Robson/Denman corridor) downtown. I personally consider these the OGs of ramen in Vancouver. So it’s no surprise that with their rising popularity, expansion followed.
Marutama opened its second location on Kingsway (Burnaby) in the fall of 2019. Since then I’ve already eaten there a dozen times. With my latest visit, I knew I had to post a review.
So what makes this joint so unique and special? First, and most importantly, it’s their broth. It’s a creamy chicken base called toripai tan (not the typical pork of most ramen) that’s freshly-made every morning without MSG, and boiled for hours until the collagen is extracted. It is rich and velvety, and packs a ton of flavour. How gangster is that?
The broth is served with house-made noodles, sea lettuce, and pork or veggies. I ordered the Original and opted for a spicy broth. My partner ordered the Cha-Shu, also spicy – aka original but triple the pork . The lovely server was prompt and friendly, repeated back our choices and asked about allergies. Every time I’ve come to Marutama, they are on top of their service game – it’s been consistently great.
When the bowls arrived, I added a generous amount of fried onion chips, sesame seeds, and Togarashi that was provided on the table. I slurped up the soup and felt instantly warm on the inside. If North Americans have chicken noodle soup, Chinese people have congee, and Jewish people have matzo ball soup, then I propose that Japanese people should make this ramen their go-to for ailments.
We finished our meal and received our bill quickly (side bar: they only accept debt or credit, no cash). On the way out, we were enthusiastically sent off by all the staff with their Japanese farewell. I couldn’t help but grin, my belly full, and strutted to my car like the gangster I knew I was.
- Original Ramen, Spicy $9.50
- Cha-Shu Ramen, Spicy $13
Beats: Nuthin’ But a G Thang – Dr Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg