Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂, Vancouver (Downtown)


Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂 is one of the many Japanese Ramen restaurants congregating in West End / Vancouver Downtown area; mainly on the Denman Street. With so many to choose from, yet these little joints still always manage to be FULL. We initially wanted to go to another ramen place, somewhere, tried-and-true where we knew we would get a hot hearty broth. The line up there was out the door (can you guess where?) and with the temperature plummeted to freezing, frankly I didn’t want ramen that bad.  

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There has to be some another! Something new (not that new now since they’ve been in operations for some time) we haven’t tried. Motomachi Shokudo, located a few stores down was actually not that busy.

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It must be a common décor genre for ramen places to resemble the actual environment in Japan. Ramen joints in Nippon are all small and crammed. Motomachi is no exception. Although cutely decorated in wood bar tables, common long table, and rustic industrial painted concrete walls, the wooden stools were uncomfortable and not enough coat hangers to stash belongings.


Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂 on Urbanspoon


Cuisine: Japanese, Ramen
Price/Entrée: $10 – $15
Out of 5… (1: Don’t bother —> 5: Excellent)
Food: 4
Service: 3.5
Ambiance: 2.5
Overall: 3


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The sticker price for a bowl was somewhat pricey – average $11.95 for a bowl. Perhaps this has to do with ramen noodles imported from Nippon Trends in San Jose instead of made in-house or simply located in the West End.


Shio Ramen $8.95
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Light flavourful broth. It is not as salty and loaded with MSG as some other places. Thin ramen noodles cooked al dente. Comes with chashu and corn.


Spicy Miso Ramen with Organic Chicken $11.95
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Despite the tasty spicy broth, this ramen bowl does not come with the usual chashu pork slices and ajitama soft boiled egg. You may order them as an addition. Chicken bits are somewhat dry but well seasoned. The chilli oil drizzled shredded onions, corn, and lotus roots were a nice for it added texture to the noodle bowl. The noodles used here are slightly thicker compared to the shio ramen; the reason for this? I have no idea. Cooked al dente. The Onsen egg was delicious with the gel-like yolk.

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Bamboo-Charcoal Dark Miso Ramen

Somewhat newer to the whole “ramen” scene in Canada, is the play of use charcoal. The “cleansing” agent (traditional to Kyoto dishes) said to absorb toxins from the body; adds a smoky grey tint to the miso flavoured broth. This bowl is richer and slightly saltier when compared to the shio.

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At first glance you may wonder why Motomachi lacks a selection of Tonkostu broths as so many would jump to conclude.

This is the healthier alternative when Chef Daiji Matsubara decided to opt his concoction in a chicken-broth based for a lighter, less oily soup, and lower fat content. However, this is not the only reason. Motomachi is actually a sister restaurant to the Kintaro. Therefore, if you’re looking for the Tokyo style tonkotsu pork based soup is shio (salt), shoyo (soy sauce) , or miso; whichever that may tickle your fancy, please hop over to Kintaro!


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740 Denman Street, Vancouver


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