Some of the best eateries in Japan can be found in unexpected places: within an apartment building, in the corner of the top floor of a department store, at an unmarked neighbourhood izakaya in an annex of a home.
Likewise, the same is true of one particular Robson Street ramen shop.
Although it's smack dab in the middle of the booming ramen zone at Robson and Denman streets, Hida Takayama Ramen is located on the second floor food court of the Robson Public Market (203–1610 Robson Street).
No MSG is used in their broth and noodles are made in-house. Hida Takayama's menu offers ramen ranging from shoyu (soy sauce) to spicy ground pork tan tan ramen. A health-oriented option is the tomato noodle natural salt ramen with salad. Original creations include their four miso ramen and white sesame ramen. Kurobuta pork buns and gyoza are also on the menu.
Yet despite the fact that there is little street visibility (there is a sign by the entrance), it still draws lineups to its counter-service location.
Luckily for ramen hunters, the shop has now opened up a second location.
Close to Burnaby in straddling the Renfrew-Collingwood and Killarney neighbourhoods, the new location at 5615 Harold Street (near Joyce Street and East 41st Avenue). Down the street from the Joyce Collingwood SkyTrain station, it had its soft opening on March 14 with a grand opening on March 17.