You never know when something will become “a thing”. But of all the food trends we’ve had in recent times, few come close the ramen thing. Gone are the days of pouring hot water in styrofoam cups, filled with cardboard noodles and chemical powder sauce that exceeds your recommended sodium intake for a week.
Enter the new age of ramen: Bowls of yummyness delivered to you in casual yet hip establishments. And to my delight, Montreal has had the chance of being graced with several new and affordable ramen joints over the past couple of years.
Cozy and Delicious
My latest ramen adventure brought Citynet Magazine Editor Brian Rotsztein and I to Yokato Yokabai. Decorated in elegant taste, with lots of dark wood around us and an open kitchen, this underground space in the heart of the Plateau Mont Royal is a must-go for any ramen enthusiast.
…is a must-go for any ramen enthusiast.
Walking down the stairs to the main seating area, one immediately smells the aroma of the exquisite broth that makes all that ramen magic happen. The vapours of deliciousness are inviting, making the ramen experience a great occasion for friends getting together, or even a casual date.
A Damn Good Thing
Yokato Yakobai has several sections, one dining section around the beautiful open kitchen, and then two other separate bar sections. The place was rather full for a Tuesday evening. While we had a couple of appetizers it was the ramen that steals the show in this restaurant.
Build Your Own Ramen
The choices are simple, yet hard to make. I finally went with the Kara Miso Pork, which was beyond tender and flavourful. Once you choose your protein (vegetarian options are available), you select your level of saltiness (!), and how much green onion, seaweed and egg you want, and voila – your ingredients are mixed into their unique broth and house-made noodles.
My bowl was a beautifully composed creation, and I devoured it with great glee.
Was it worth it?
Pricing was in the low to low-medium range, depending on what you add to your base order which makes it very affordable.
My adventure ended with a lovely evening with a friend, and a very happy tummy. Rich yet light, simple and nutritious, ramen is here to stay. And that’s a damn good thing!
4185 Drolet (near Saint Denis)