The loss of one longrunning ramen spot in Vancouver has led to an opportunity for another to open.
Local ramen fans have been mourning the loss of Menya Japanese Noodle, which closed at 401 West Broadway (at Yukon Street) on May 31. Menya's owner and chef Shuichi Hara decided to retire after running the casual spot, with some of the most affordable prices in the city for ramen, for the past 10 years. The shop was one of the forerunners of the local ramen scene, along with the likes of Ezogiku Noodle Café and Kintaro.
The good news is Vancouver-based Zakkushi Group will open a new ramen shop in its place.
Zakkushi Group opened its first Ramen Raijin in Toronto in 2012.
This year, they opened their second ramen location at 5278 Kingsway in Burnaby (in the Metrotown area) on December 1.
Now, another Vancouver location, named Manya Raizo, is set to open up at Menya's former location by the end of July.
According to Zakkushi Group manager Eri Hosokawa, the 1,000-square-foot space (near the Broadway–City Hall Canada Line station) will seat up to 32 diners. The menu will focus on light chicken-based broth with Nagoya-style chicken.
The Burnaby location's menu features bowls ($11.50 to $14.25) such as gyokai tonkotsu shoyu, spicy tonkotsu, Hokkaido miso, Tokyo shoyu, shio tonkotsu, tsukemen, and vegetarian.
A special offer at the Burnaby location, launched on May 19, has been a limited number of lobster ramen ($28.80) per day. Initially only five bowls were available each day but that number has since been increased to 10.
Meanwhile, the Zakkushi Group also opened up Yoshida Shoten at 8265 Oak Street in December. This konbini (convenience store) houses J Crepe, which serves Japanese crepes, and Ramen Raijin Express, which offers a limited version of their ramen menu.
Among the crepes on offer, which run the range from sweet to savoury, are selections such as matcha, crème brûlée, chicken teriyaki mayo, and—believe it or not—ramen.