Line-ups are the norm at Ramen Danbo and we have wandered down Robson Street and felt sorry for the folks out in the rain. This is our first visit to RD on W Broadway and they have a new and better system for getting a table which might now be in place on Robson as well. At the front door is a tablet to enter your name, the number in your party and your phone number. It will tell you wait times, update you and call you when the table is ready. The only confusing thing was that the phone call letting us know our table was ready, originated in Ohio. Some clever person suggested that this was a Yelp hub as the system seemed to be a Yelp platform thing. Anyway, we hung out in Mark's and looked at jeans and t-shirts for a while until our table was ready (sooner than we expected).
Ramen Danbo - Vegan Options
This is a small and cozy little place and it's hard not to listen in on your neighbour's conversations but it's worth squeezing in for very good ramen.
We started with pan-fried vegan Yaki Gyoza. These were pretty tasty and when you sauce them up with whatever sauce is at the table including the chilli oil, this is a satisfying experience.
We also had Soy Chashu Donburi. They did a pretty good job of the chashu. Not too surprising but a bit of teriyaki-type flavour on what might have been soya chaap or seitan. Not sure why we didn't ask but it was quite good.
Mharie had the vegan Shio Ramen. The broth was quite good. We don't feel like we're missing out by not having the standard tonkatsu broth. It seems like they have taken care to make it stand up well as the option. There are several pieces of thick fried tofu that were also very good. Some may think that tofu is bland but it is very good when marinated as it is a clean palate to soak in flavour. Not surprisingly, the noodles were wonderful and you can top up your bowl (for a small price) if your noodle consumption outstrips your broth consumption!
I had the Curry Vegan Ramen which is apparently a limited-time winter special. I ordered the Rekka version and asked for it medium hot but worked up a sweat anyway. We tried the vegan soft-boiled egg. It was interesting but not something that I would go out of my way for. We're guessing soy-based. The texture was curious as the white was very soft (like silken tofu) while the yolk could have a miso paste base. Still, we loved the soup!
I can't think of a ramen joint where the service is not good and this is no exception. It was very accommodating, quick and friendly. A very good experience with some nice warming food on a rainy Vancouver day!
Food 4 1/2 out of 5
Vegan Options 3 1/2 out of 5
Comdort 4 out of 5
Service 4 1/2 out of 5
Value 4 1/2 out of 5
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