Sanpoutei Ramen – Is It Worth The Hype?
I am a self proclaimed foodie, and am a lover of all things ramen. Sometimes, I honestly forget that 90% of everyone that lives in Vancouver are also foodies, and loves ramen. So when this newly opened ramen joint called Sanpoutei Ramen came about in Richmond and it was taking over Instagram by storm, I was shocked. I had no idea the line ups would be an hour long and forgot just how powerful social media can be!
Within a week of Sanpoutei opening, there were already lineups of upwards to 60 people right at 6pm when they open! I won’t tell you the whole story but I had a ridiculously horrible experience just trying to get here to eat…. I’ll write them in bullet points at the end of the post.
The interior is very spacious, and by far this is the biggest ramen restaurant in Vancouver. Meta Knight and I counted and it can seat roughly 50-60 people at once. The dishes range from $10-$15 so it’s definitely on the pricier side.
Having heard good things about the Tsukumen (~$13) , I ordered it to see how it would compare with Taishoken and Yuu Japanese Tapas. First off, I’m all about the #eggporn so this didn’t cut it. No golden lava to be seen. 🙁 Their noodles are flatter and wider, and don’t resemble the regular ramen noodles we eat at other ramen joints. Not good, not bad, just not one of my favourites.
The one thing I will say (and this I’ll give it to them for originality) is that they provide this clear broth in a kettle on your table so when you are near done your Tsukumen, you can pour the hot steaming clear broth into your rich dipping broth to make it lighter. This turns the dipping broth into a fresh hot lighter soup that you can continue to enjoy.
Meta Knight got the regular Shoyu Ramen (~$13) with two pieces of cha shu, half an egg, a bit of spinach, bamboo shoots, and one piece of seaweed. As you can tell from the pic, it’s not going to fill you up. The egg was lacking once again and the broth was nothing special. Overall, it was a good bowl of ramen, but just not worth an hour wait.
Here are some of the points that ruined my experience:
- First time I tried going, they had mechanical issue and had to close the restaurant down
- Second time I tried going, I went at 5pm (when they were supposed to open) but on the front door, they scratched it with a pen and wrote 6pm, so I had to walk around Aberdeen for an hour until 6pm
- At 6pm, I went back and there were already 60 people in line (which was a 1 hour wait)
- I realized when we were waiting they had a sign that said “Cash Only” so I purposely left Meta Knight to drive to an ATM to get cash and come back
- The next day, my coworkers told me that they went on the same night and were able to pay with debit.
- Needless to say, my entire experience was very frustrating
At the end of the day, all frustrations aside with my own personal experience, I do think Sanpoutei Ramen is a decent ramen joint in Richmond. I don’t however think it’s worth the one hour wait, or $15-17 price tag after tax and tips. There are much better ramen places in Vancouver and even in Richmond so I wouldn’t come back unless its for the Tsukumen.
Service Rating: 4/5
Food Rating: 3/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5