740 Denman Street
Total visits over the years to this west end ramen-ya is about five for me personally. I hadn’t taken the time to properly put up a post yet since foodosophy started, but recently I had the opportunity to meet with a visiting out-of-town friend and he suggested that we go there for some ramen, so I was happy to oblige one more time. With the sister flagship business of Kintaro closed for the day (though peaking into the windows there, the staff was busy prepping soup stock and I could see bundles of noodles laid out on plates on the main counter), there was no need to juggle our choice. I am well aware both have their fans and detractors, and to each his/her own. For yours truly, after double dipping in both outlets of Daiji Mastubara’s ramen empire over the years, I’ve come to prefer the newer sister for its lighter broths and flavor combinations.
Much has been said already about the more refined and visually appealing setup in this location compared to the one just down the street. In an image conscious city like Vancouver, I find it somewhat fitting that the usually dour and bare bones design of a noodle shop has been upgraded at Motomachi Shokudo. On a first time visit, the differences are really noticeable, despite it being a relatively small dining area, with a few tables (including a communal one) and a bar counter to eat at. Clientele wise, I see more females and people apparently on dates here than one would normally associate with a ramen-ya. Stretching this impression to Japan, where its almost unfathomable to see a single woman eating by herself in such a place due to societal and cultural taboos, its even all the more “odd” to see here.