Koika

Came here for a weekday lunch with some friends. Unfortunately, our lunch break took much longer than planned… partially because Translink sucks.

They have a variety of ramen to choose from, including wok (smoky) ramen made with chicken broth, miso ramen made with pork broth, and a couple tonkotsu broth ramen as well. I decided to go with the King’s ramen, which according to the menu was a popular choice.

I also decided to get gyoza on the side.

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Grilled pork gyoza ($5.95)

These were advertised as homemade. I’m not exactly sure what that means…

The first thing I noticed was the skin on the gyoza. It looked quite pale and there was like this thin translucent membrane joining the gyoza together as you can tell from the picture… It looked kind of strange, and it also made separating the gyoza quite difficult.

The skin of the gyoza also wasn’t that brown and didn’t have much of a crunch to it. As for the inside — it wasn’t bad, there was quite a bit of park inside, but the gyoza weren’t as juicy nor as flavourful as at other places.

I decided to get the mild version of the King’s ramen. The other options were spicy or non-spicy. The ramen was made with chicken broth as part of the wok ramen (smoky ramen) collection and came with carrot, cabbage, mushroom, green onion, spring onion, bean sprouts, shredded pork, seaweed, and soft boiled egg.

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King’s ramen ($11.50)

The presentation of the ramen seemed subpar. A lot of things drowned in the ramen, including the egg which you can barely see in the picture, and many of the vegetables such as the seaweed and spring onion seemed to be sprinkled on top of the ramen simply as an afterthought.

Despite the colour which I found unappealing, the broth actually tasted pretty good. It was rich, well seasoned, and there was a smoky flavour that added a certain depth to the ramen. It wasn’t very spicy at all but I didn’t want it to be spicy anyway. I tried some of my friend’s spicy broth (Queen’s ramen) and it reminded me of really spicy tomato and didn’t taste like much else.

The pork was pretty soft and had some fatty parts as well which I always like, but I was surprised to see that they chose to have shredded pork instead of slices. It certainly would have been easier to eat slices rather than fish around in the broth for the shredded pork.

Although I didn’t get a picture of them, there was actually a lot of ramen noodles inside the dish. They used thick ramen noodles and unfortunately, they were overcooked. They were soft and they didn’t have much of a kink shape to them. Overall, I didn’t like the noodles. Also, as usual, I didn’t like the bean sprouts as I felt they got in the way.

Overall, this was not a bad bowl of ramen, especially at this price point in Vancouver, but several individual things just weren’t done that well, and my ramen bowl just didn’t seem cohesive.

Food: 2.8/5
Value: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5
Would return: unsure

Ramen Koika Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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