Friday, September 09, 2016

Episode #191: Sho Bu Ramen

Coquitlam, $$ (Moderately Priced)

One thing I don't like about school is that it makes everyone too busy to join me on my sushi adventures. I seem to be the only one with my priorities straight—sushi first, education second. As soon as my two-week summer break started, I seized the opportunity and messaged several of my friends to have sushi with me. Somehow, after the scheduling process was complete, I ended up having to have sushi for every single meal two days in a row. Oh, the horror! Joining me for the first leg of my sushi endurance test were my sister and my two homies, Angus and Tamsen.

Sho Bu Ramen is a small Korean-operated restaurant with about 20 seats and is located in a desolate and slightly decrepit-looking mall known as Henderson Place. On the left side of the entrance, こころのラーメン is Japanese for "ramen from the heart." On the right side of the entrance was a bowl of noodles labelled with the kanji for "life." It sure seemed like eating the ramen would provide us with everlasting health and longevity, so into the restaurant we went.

(menu - click to enlarge)

Dynamite Roll - B-

Since I had pretty much just woken up, I decided to start my day off nice and easy with a simple Dynamite Roll. Made with just one prawn, the balance of ingredients was off as the taste of lettuce began to dominate the roll. The prawn tempura also ended up being quite greasy.

Red Mountain Roll - B+

Very helpful was the fact that none of the ingredients for the special rolls were listed on the menu, so I just went for the last and most expensive roll because that is totally a smart way to order. I was handsomely rewarded with one of my biggest nightmares: cream cheese in my sushi. Nonetheless, the Red Mountain Roll, a California Roll with cream cheese inside and spicy salmon top, was a nice blend of flavours. The spicy salmon had a bold kick, and the buttery flavour of the salmon complemented the creaminess of the cream cheese, which was conservatively used. 

Shobu Combo

The $11.50 Shobu Combo is perhaps the best deal at Sho Bu Ramen and comes with one full-sized ramen, a mini donburi, and a small salad. The combo was sufficiently large that both Angus and my sister were full after sharing one together. However, since Tamsen ordered an entire combo for himself (and helped me finish some of my sushi), I wasn't going to let myself be out-eaten by someone who was slimmer than me. With my pride at stake, I followed suit and ordered an entire combo for myself too.

 Salmon Sashimi Donburi - C+

The mini Salmon Sashimi Donburi included in the combo was not exactly a highlight. Although the seaweed provided some much-needed flavour to the donburi, the rice was dry and the salmon did not taste very fresh. 

Salad - B+

On the other side of the spectrum, the Salad was quite acidic and vinegary and almost came with too much flavour. That being said, there was ample moisture within the salad, and if you like a little zing, you may find this enjoyable.

Cha Shu Ramen - A-

Fortunately, the Cha Shu Ramen was a delight, featuring well-balanced broth that absorbed the flavour of the tender chashu. The ramen noodles also exhibited a characteristic egg-like flavour and were very filling. I had a significant amount of trouble finishing this bowl of ramen, but I fought with every ounce of my strength and managed to conquer it. I felt like I had just made it to the top of Mt. Everest. Meanwhile, my mates had to watch me slowly slurp noodles for a good 20 minutes after they were all done.

During our visit, we received friendly service, although the service was rather sparse as the staff frequently stayed behind the counter. With its decent ramen offerings, this place has started to become popular among those who live or work nearby. After spending just $15/person on lunch, I was already so full I could barely walk. However, much to my chagrin, Tamsen strolled right into the food court just a few moments later and casually proceeded to get a bubble tea and an egg waffle for dessert. Sigh... I had no choice but to ultimately admit defeat.

Sho Bu Japanese Noodle Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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