Although we’ve never blogged it, Kintaro is one of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver (actually, my favorite). There’s nothing like a fresh bowl of homemade, affordable, and authentic Japanese ramen. Judging by the long lines that pile up outside the restaurant every single fricking night, it seems many Vancouverites agree with me. They’re certainly not there for Kintaro’s decor – it’s cramp and totally blah.

On this night, the Kintaro line was just too long and my stomach was just too empty. I couldn’t wait. On the recommendation of a Kintaro waitress, I decided to check out the new ramen joint a few meters adjacent to the legendary Kintaro. Why would she recommend it? Probably because they’re both owned by the same chef Daiji Matsubara..

Motomachi Shokudo

Why hello Motomachi Shokudo. You’re posh, sexy, and speak with a French accent – but can you cook me a big bowl of super satisfying ramen like your cousin Kintaro?

Motomachi ShokudoYou’re certainly prettier than your cousin. Your warm wooden walls are more soothing than Kintaro’s lime green painted walls. Your tree stump tables are more intimate than Kintaro’s bargain bin IKEA crap. And your rectangular communal table, wrapped around a cool wheat garden, is certainly more inviting than Kintaro’s big ugly group table. I even like the classical music playing – it suits you.

Motomachi ShokudoBut how’s your ramen? Your prices are about $1-$2 more than Kintaro (~$10 for a bowl of ramen). You have a pretty face, but can you impress where it really counts?

Yes, Motomachi Shokudo serves up excellent ramen. The noodles are chewy. The broth is full of flavor, albeit not as fatty as Kintaro’s. And the toppings are fantastic: fresh vegetables and meat sporting sharp grill marks – won’t find that next door.

Motomachi Shokudo

Affordable, tasty, and authentic food.
Soothing, warm, and intimate decor.
Fast and friendly service.

No longer will Motomachi Shokudo be thought of as a ramen backup plan. I’d go here even if there wasn’t a line up next door.

Motomachi Shokudo

Don’t worry Kintaro. There’s nothing like a hot bowl of ramen on a rainy night – it’s the perfect Vancouver meal. There will be plenty of nights of ramen. I’ll have time for both you and Motomachi Shokudo, promise.

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