Harvest Community Foods – Ramen in Chinatown
What comes to mind when you think of ramen? Late night study sessions? Cheap eats when you first move out on your own? Or just a warm, comforting throwback to your childhood (like a western version of KD Mac & Cheese)?
Whatever your roots, everyone has their own idea of what ramen should be. It’s one of the things that makes it so special… it’s a simple dish that you can customize to your own specific tastes. While mainly paired with Japanese culture now, these noodles originated from China.
Harvest Community Foods is a grocery store/cafe that opened up last year on the outskirts of Chinatown and they serve up a small selection of east-meets-west ramen soups to locals in the area.
I ordered the #39 Ramen with Pork Shoulder, Candied Bacon, Egg, and Radish (don’t ask me why it’s “#39″… it’s not like they have that many ramen dishes to choose from).
The first thing that you notice is that the clientelle seems to attract more westerners. I was the only asian there during my lunch visit and, despite being only a block away from plenty of shoppers in Chinatown, I can’t imagine a bunch of elderly Chinese patrons knocking down their doors for ramen. That’s not to say that the noodles aren’t good… but they are more expensive than some people would be willing to pay for.
My ramen came out to $9.95 (Real Brew Root Beer for $2.50) which isn’t bad considering the fresh quality ingredients that go into it. The broth itself wasn’t too flavourful but they brought me some chili oil which helped to spice things up a bit.
The egg had a bright yellow-orange translucent yolk. I prefer my yolks to be a little on the runny side but I understand why they had to cook this more (since the dish only comes with 1/2 an egg, they have to be able to cut it in half and have the yolk stay intact). I think they must have marinated the egg in soy because the egg had a brownish colour on the outside and was a bit salty (which did add to the flavour of the soup).
I must say, the pork shoulder was prepared very well. It was super tender and just falling apart as I tried to pick it up… but was it worth the price? Hard to say. I’m glad I tried it and I might pop by again but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to do it.
Since Harvest caters mainly to locals… I’m sure they’ll do just fine either way. I do wish, however, that they used a different type of bacon. The candied bacon was thin and lost it’s texture in the soup. If they used a thick cut of crispy bacon or maybe a thick slab of crispy pork belly, it would have been so much better.
If you want to try them out, they’re open Mon-Fri 11am-8pm or Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
243 Union Street
Posted on September 1, 2013, in Noodle House, Restaurant Review, Sandwiches and tagged Chinatown, Food, Noodle House, Ramen, Ramen with Pork Shoulder, restaurant review, Vancouver. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.