Monday, 16 June 2014

SHIKI Menya Ramen Calgary, AB - awesome broth, but only 150 bowls of ramen served daily! daily

I was craving ramen. A good honest to gawd rich tontkosu broth slowly simmer with lots of pork bones and bouncy mouthfeel fresh ramen noodles swimming in the rich broth.  And there isn't a lot of ramen places open on weekends in Calgary.  Luckily for me, my cousin and his girlfriend had heard of Shiki Menya, a new ramen joint that uses locally sourced ingredients (not sure where they got locally sourced bamboo shoots)... AND only served 150 bowls of ramen a day. Once they run out, that's it, see you tomorrow.  Intrigued, we headed out early to Bridgeland and 20 minutes before they were set to open... they already had a line up 40+ people deep...
Since the restaurant only seats about 30 people, we wrote our names down on the waiting list and waited for about 20-30min more for the first round of folks to finish eating and we're seated by friendly staff.  The space is open yet cozy with warm woods against a bit of stainless steel and white brick.  There's some seating where you can watch the ramen making magic happen...

 as well as tables around the open kitchen where you can peek right in!

And a close up of the cute door blackboard

There's chilled green tea - not sure if its chilled just for the summer season, but we passed this time around since we normally drink green tea hot and... we wanted RAMEN!

the APPYs
We were hungry, so we ordered the Char Siu Tacos with pinapple salsa to start.  And I wish I ordered 2 more orders so I could have a full order to myself...

Slabs of rich fatty pork belly is marinated in a sweet hoisin sauce, cooked to perfection and lightly grilled to finish...it just melts in your mouth with the perfect balance of savory, salty and sweet.  Its complemented by a tangy fresh pineapple salsa, a mild spicy aioli sauce, crunchy fried noodle bits, onions and a punch of brightness from cilantro.... delightful!

the RAMEN
The ramen came out pretty quick after the appetizer, and they were almost too pretty to eat.. almost.  My cousin went with the Chili Goma ramen served with nego, chopped pork, menma, mustard green, sesame, peanuts and cachews.

The broth was super rich and almost creamy from the peanut satay in the delicious broth full of layers of flavor.


My cousin's girlfriend had the Kara Miso Garlic negi, soft tamago, menma, char siu, corn, garlic "ra-yu" chili oil (I think that's what it was called).  This broth was medium rich and wasn't as fatty as the chili goma ramen broth.  It had a mild bit of heat from the chilis and a hint of garlic.  Was hoping for a bit more garlic flavor, but still tasty!

I had the Tonkotsu Classicnegi, soft tamago, menma, char siu, spring greens.  The flavorful broth was the lightest out of all 3 ramen we tried that morning.


The char siu was a nice piece of gently seared char siu (same glorious meat that was in the char siu tacos)


The tamago had a nice jelly soft centre - but the ramen noodles almost tasted like buckwheat soba noodles.  They were missing the springy-mouthfeel - maybe an off day, but they made for a decent noodle to slurp up the broth and other veges with.

the VERDICT
Overall, a tasty place to grab a bowl of ramen.  Probably the best ramen broth in the city, though with time to improve their ramen noodles, this place would be ramen heaven.  Just make sure to arrive early to get your hands on one of the 150 bowls of ramen!

SHIKI Menya Ramen
Address 827 1st Ave NE  Calgary, AB
Phone (403) 454-2722
Hours Open Mon-Sat 11am until 150bowls of ramen served. Closed Sundays.

Shiki Menya on Urbanspoon Map



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