If you live anywhere in Metro Vancouver, there is no need to tell you it’s been raining. A lot. And because of this, there’s also a very good chance that like me, you’ve been craving ramen. A lot, a lot.
Well, here’s how to make a bowl of ramen taste EXTRA good: cycle to the gym in the pouring rain, change, and work out. Put your soggy clothes back on, and head back out into the pouring rain. Cycle to Yuu Japanese Tapas on Sexsmith Road, lock up your bike, and head inside. Peel off your soaking wet jacket, sit your super-wet tush down, and order the aged miso ramen. If you follow these steps but it doesn’t happen to be raining, I’m very sorry, but your ramen will simply not taste as good.
Yuu Japanese Tapas is a long and narrow restaurant, with quirky hand-written boards on the walls displaying information about the history of ramen. Their menu includes dozens of ‘tapas’ options, which are endearingly listed as “Appertizer Tapas” on their website. These include deep-fried snacks, okonomyaki, takoyaki, seared scallops, salads, and grilled meats. They also have a huge variety of rice and udon dishes, iron plate teppan, and hot pot. While a lot of these would be good for a rainy day, I was there for ramen. ONLY RAMEN.
Well, only ramen until I spotted “Japanese poutine” on the specials menu, and then I was there for that too.
The ramen menu includes traditional, miso-based ramen (one with butter), “Hell Fire” ramen (which I can only imagine must be for those who love Bushuair), tonkotsu ramen, and several tomato-based soups.
My aged-miso ramen ($8.99) came out quickly, and was topped with corn, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, green onion, half a soft-boiled egg, and three slices of buttery-tender pork. The noodles were nice and firm, the broth was lovely, and as a whole, it was just what I wanted. My favourite parts were the pork and vibrantly-yolked egg; I always wish I was given three times as many eggs in my ramen. They’re so good.
As for the Japanese poutine (which cost around $5), I ended up enjoying it much more than I’d anticipated. I ordered it out of sheer curiosity (as I did at Kingspark), and Yuu’s version turned out to be pretty darn awesome.
The fries were super crispy, they used real cheese curds (a fairly generous amount of them), the sweet/savoury sauce and mayo drizzled over were excellent compliments to the cheese, and the chopped nori and bonito flakes added extra salty deliciousness.
My test for knowing if poutine is truly good is this: I ask myself “Would I want to be consuming this after several or more beers?” In the case of Yuu’s version, the answer is yes. YES, I would. Japanese poutine! Who knew!?
Vegetarian options available