Restaurant Review: Menyatai Japanese Ramen

>> Friday, July 26, 2013

My husband was working out in Vancouver for the last little while and because of that, I had the chance to travel out there to visit him quite frequently. For a foodie, it was a paradise! All the different varieties of food were overwhelming. It’s also where we both got hooked on ramen noodles and have been eating them nonstop since. Lately it seems like there are more and more places in the Calgary that are serving this yummy noodle bowl, I guess once you start looking, places start to come out of the woodworks so to speak. So when we were walking around Kensington one day and I saw Japanese noodles displayed in front of me, I couldn’t help but go in and get myself some.
Atmosphere: The tiny dining area and interior d├ęcor is evocative of the small quarters in Japan, transporting you away from Calgary to a little eatery in Tokyo.
Price Range: Mid $10s

Food: Although they’re known for their ramen (Japanese noodle) bowls, they also serve a nice assortment of appetizers or snack items for those who aren’t looking for a full meal.  We decided to try the Deep Fried Squid, which arrived beautifully presented on a bed of shredded carrots.  There were 4 pieces of squid per order.  The squid itself were very lightly battered, making it crispy without being oily.  It ended up being a nice light snack before our ramen noodles came.
I had the Spicy Miso Ramen, which came with corn, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, half of a soft boiled egg and chili peppers. I was surprised at how perfectly cooked the egg was, still nice and gooey in the centre. It was a great addition to the noodles, especially with all that green onion on top! I didn’t find the broth itself as spicy as I would have liked, so I added quite a bit more togarashi spice to kick it up a notch, but I prefer my foods quite spicy.  The broth was lighter, so if you enjoy a thinner broth this is the place for you. The BBQ pork itself was flavourful and moist. I enjoyed that it wasn't overly fatty nor was it too lean. Next time I'm going to ask for another piece of pork in lieu of some vegetables.

The hubby got the Vegetable Ramen, which was loaded with tons of veggies. Spinach, corn, onion, bean sprouts, wakame and nori seaweed, there were also tomatoes, but he didn’t seem to think it went as well with the noodles and broth like the other ingredients did. Just a note, it’s a vegetable ramen, not vegetarian so for those that are vegan and vegetarian, remember that the broth is always pork based. So ramen noodles can never truly be vegetarian.
My Pick: Deep Fried Squid
Overall: It’s nice to see more ramen noodle options in Calgary. Menyatai is a nice great little spot located in the perfect hipster neighbourhood of Kensington. The noodle house brings a twist to the local area restaurants. Definitely stop in to see if you prefer their ramen, since everybody’s tastebuds enjoy something different, but don’t forget to sample their appetizers as well which are equally as delicious.
Menyatai Japanese Ramen
24 12 St NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 263-3666
Menyatai Japanese Ramen on Urbanspoon


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