Hachiro Ramen Bar combines elements of Japanese tradition and cuisine in a modern relaxed setting. Owned by a brother and sister duo – Brooke and Stephen – they hope to showcase the food of their culture and their experiences growing up in Japan and on the North Shore to Vancouver locals.
I had an opportunity to try out their dishes and experience that hospitality during their soft opening.
Yaki onigiri is one of my favourite items to get when I’m in Japan, so I was excited to see this on the menu. However, this item fell a bit flat for me. I believe that they deep fried this so the outside was crunchy, but stuck to my teeth when I was eating it. The filling was comprised mostly of pork fat, and was quite sparse. The pickled shimeji and plum, however, was delicious and helped to offset the fattiness of the filling.
This was an outstanding dish. The use of chicken thigh meant that each piece was juicy and full of flavour. The honey they drizzled on top was a great accompaniment to the crispy chicken and I adored the yuzu mayonnaise.
This was a a good dish to break up all the heavy appetizers that we started with, but it was a pretty standard dish. I didn’t taste or see any pickled radish and this felt like a regular seaweed salad that can be found at almost every Japanese restaurant.
Most of the time when I eat lobster I eat it with a Chinese preparation. This was a different way of eating lobster for me, and I loved it! I loved that they already took the lobster meat out so it was so easy to eat. The tail was perfectly cooked and the miso butter didn’t overwhelm the delicate taste of the lobster. I wanted to pour the remaining sauce into the rice – it was that good!
Trudy went with the Shoyu ramen and I regret not going with that one as well. She let me try hers and it was unlike any Shoyu ramen that I’ve tried. There was deep smokey flavour that had me going back for more. The star of this bowl is the chashu pork. It was melt in your mouth tender and charring added a lovely grilled and smokey flavour.
I went with the Miso ramen, and it was good, but it was missing a richness that I usually associate with miso based ramens. The noodles are thin (which is my personal favourite), and cooked hard. Like the Shoyu ramen, the chashu was outstanding.
Our meal ended on a sweet note with the Matcha Layer Cake. The sponge was light and all the components of the dish worked very well together. It wasn’t too sweet and I loved the texture of the cake.
Overall I was very impressed with the the dishes. It is completely unexpected for me to find this level of culinary expertise in North Vancouver. The stand outs for me was the Miso Lobster Tail and their Shoyu Ramen.
It’s nice to find such an excellent Ramen restaurant outside of the Downtown Vancouver core. Hachiro Ramen has secured itself firmly in my top three favourite ramen restaurants.