I'm sure if you live in Vancouver and pay even the slightest bit of attention to the social media food updates, you'll know that the ramen burger has arrived in town. I remember seeing a picture of the ramen burger a while back ago when it surfaced in the States and right then I knew I had to try that glorious handful of fried goodness. I mean what can go wrong when you combine ramen (my favourite food) with anything..? Well apparently quite a lot.
I didn't intend on writing about it but due to all the (undeserved) hype around the ramen burger, I just couldn't hold back my food blogging senses (haha).
the ramen burger
koika ramen burger
fresh homemade noodle buns, cabbage, fresh 100% certified angus beef patty, green lettuce, onion, special burger sauce on top @ 7.95
cha su burger
pork belly cha su (24 hr marinated with special shoyu sauce), green lettuce, onion, scallion, special teriyaki sauce on top @ 8.95
2/5 - The ingredients sandwiched between the "buns" were actually quite good. All the vegetables were fresh and crunchy, the beef was cooked a bit too much but alright, and the cha su was soft and very flavourful. But I visited for the RAMEN burger not the burger and all I can say was that the ramen portion of the burger was just disappointing. Maybe I'm just too much of a traditional ramen lover or maybe I just had unreasonably high expectations for this meal offering but I just did not like it. The top layer of the top bun was a bit crispy which I liked but the rest of the bun + the bottom bun was unpleasantly mushy and unappealingly bland. I expected a more crunchy/hard texture with a bit of seasoning to really enhance the presence of the "bun-ified noodle" but nope, I was met with the exact opposite. I rarely leave more than half of my food untouched but with the ramen burger, I had to put it down after a few bites.
I can understand why the ramen burger is so interesting that you'd want to order it (that was me too) but my advice to you would be to think a bit harder and ask yourself if you're willing to spend $8-9 on a "burger" you're probably not going to be satisfied with when there's plenty of food or even burgers that tastes better in the city.
There's obviously a lot more than just the ramen burger at Ramen Koika but after three visits, I really don't have anything but unmet expectations for place - from the ramen to the service... but we'll leave that conversation for another post.