Sunday, January 08, 2017

Episode #211: Ramen Izakaya Okawari

Richmond, $$$ (Higher Priced)

I suppose we all have our off days from time to time. This time, Tamsen and I were on our way to visit Ramen Izakaya Okawari, and we agreed to meet at Richmond Centre. I got to Richmond Centre 15 minutes early due to a few lucky transfers. Tamsen, on the other hand, somehow ended up at the airport all because he was trying to make a post on Instagram. He tried again and then ended up getting off one Skytrain station too early. By the time he walked over to Richmond Centre from Lansdowne Mall, we realized that he also forgot his hoodie at home, so he was basically freezing. I had no choice but to fire the facepalm cannon at full throttle.

Due to the name of the restaurant, I previously thought they only served ramen, but I learned from Tamsen that they also served sushi. An assortment of manga posters, manga books, and toy cars lined the dining space. The place was somewhat busy for lunch, but not so much that we had to wait for a table.

The menu had by far the most typos out of any menu I have ever seen. It didn't take me that long to find a must-try.

Oh damn, that looks delicious...

At no other sushi restaurant in Greater Vancouver can you find the exclusive crap meat being served. As a bonus, the roll also came with Tamsen's favourite topping: chopped scallop.

Snow Mountain Roll - B+

The scallop on top of the roll had a nice sweet flavour enhanced by a moderately light application of mayonnaise. Tempura bits added some crunch to the roll, and the ingredients worked together nicely. However, at $12.95, the roll is very expensive for what it is. Besides the tempura bits, the roll really does not taste that different from a regular chopped scallop roll, which is much, much cheaper.

Miso Soup - B

Next, we had the $9.95 Lunch Set with 6 pieces of oshizushi, which started off with a bowl of Miso Soup. The Miso Soup was standard fare with green onion and wakame (seaweed). It was slightly salty, but there was a good amount of miso paste as well.

Saba Battera Sushi - C+
Aburi Tuna Oshizushi - C
Aburi Salmon Oshizushi - B-

The oshizushi was quite affordable, but also quite disappointing. The Saba Battera came with chewy saba, and there wasn't enough saba to balance the flavour of the rice. With the Aburi Tuna Oshizushi, all I could taste was rice. The salmon in the Aburi Salmon Oshizushi came in thin slices too, but at least there was a hint of seared flavour with this one.

Salad - B-

The Salad came with mixed greens and was dressed with a light amount of tangy, fruity ponzu. There was very little dressing, so the salad ended up quite dry. I was almost tempted to dip the Salad in my bowl of ramen to see if that would help.

Takoyaki - B+

The Takoyaki was the highlight of our meal. Although a little floury, it had sufficient flavour and leaned towards the sweeter side. There was a juicy, chewy piece of tako in each piece, and the mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce were well-balanced.

Okawari Ramen - B

Going for the most Asian-sounding ramen on the menu, we went for the Okawari Ramen, which came with grilled chicken, bean sprouts, and green onion in a whole chicken-based ginseng herbal broth. A plump Chinese date served as the centerpiece for the ramen. The noodles were on the thinner side and did not really have that distinctive egg-like ramen flavour. The grilled chicken was on the tender side, and the broth was light. The ginseng flavour is not overwhelming, but also quite hard to notice.

The service was quite friendly and efficient. As with many of Richmond's other sushi restaurants, we found the food very expensive for the quality. We spent close to $50 on an average meal that left neither of us full. Fortunately, we always have a backup plan in cases like this. Yes, it was once again time to stuff ourselves by ordering the largest sizes of bubble tea we could find in the area.

(Thanks, Tamsen, for your contributions to this post.)

Ramen Izakaya Okawari Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Curiously Carmen said...

Haha! I went to a noodle place on Fraser and the free wifi said free wife instead. LOL!

Raymond Zeng said...

Sounds like every man's dream LOL

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