204 SE Park Plaza Dr Suite 103, Vancouver, WA 98684
Now Portland is well known for having a variety of different shops and restaurants offering food from all over the world, in fact name a food and portland is sure to have it. Including of course the Japanese powerhouse soup of the world RAMEN!
Vancouver on the otherhand has been lacking a spot for people to really satisfy that umami noodle craving. That is until Kenji’s Ramen and Grill came onto the scene bringing this savory and spicy shoyu sensation to the people of this city.
Having taken over a large location off of Mill Plain this shop set a bit away from the city center has still come to the center of our attention. With bright colors on the walls and floating lanterns above their diners this spot brings calm yet cheerful mood as soon as you are seates, and the staff seeming friendly and ready to help make you feel at ease before you even see a menu.
Now for the food
To start with we decided to go with a good old japanese favorite appetizer. Takoyaki or Octopus Dumpling. This tasty little treat is a ball of tasty seafood goodness with the inside texture simila to a hush puppy and golden fried. Topped with Tonkatsu savory sauce and mayo this is the perfect way to tease your appetite while waiting for your meal to arrive.
And coming with 6 good sized bites for $8 this is a well priced starter that you can share with two people, but let’s be honest you’ll want to eat them all yourself.
Next we moved onto trying the Poke Bowl with Tuna, Kimchi, and assorted veggies served over rice. Now honestly this dish while not bad did not really wow us in any way. Tasty and fresh no doubt and very good for someone coming in without much of an appetite but overall if you were dining here we wouldn’t suggest filling up too much on this dish before trying what else Kenji’s had to offer, and at $14 a bowl before add ons it may be one of he pricier items on this menu.
More than making up for the average poke though is the Kimchee Fried Rice with spicy flavors and light crunchy textures cooked well througout this dish was a mountain of flavor and very welled enjoyed. With just the right amount of spice to please any hot mouthed addict without sacrificing flavor and topped with a crispy fried egg cooked to that perfect point where the yolk is not too runny or too firm but a wobbly in between. At $12 for a bowl sized portion you will definitel be able to eat your fill and have some leftovers for a midnight snack later. We highly recommmend.
Now for what you really want to know about. The Ramen itself.
For our trip we decided to try the Kenji Bowl as the namesake of this shop and we were not disappointed. With a chicken and pork broth well balanced to pick the spoonful of flavor without feeling too heavy. Drizzled with chili oil to add just the hint of spiciness to our bites. With your choice of thick, thin, or vegan friendly noodle (kale, but we went with thin today) and topped with a nicely cooked egg, tempura fried prawns which were freshly fried and still crispy when we took a bite. Pork belly which avoided being too fatty and rather was just tender and good. Fish cakes and veggies. All together this made for a very satisfying bowl. Full of flavor and well balanced textures. At $10 a bowl but with add one coating extra you should expect to pay $15-17 for a well loaded Ramen, but in our opinions it is worth the expense to enjoy this tasty warming soup in a comfortable environment.
So all in all for our foodies on a budget Kenji’s ramen will run you around $15-25 for one person depending if you get an appetizer. So it is not a super cheap eat, but with the quality of the food, ingredients and service. Not to mention that if you want to stay in Vancouver it is one of the only good ramen choice around we definitely recommend you stop on by.
We give Kenji’s Ramen and Grill Six Ramen Bowls out of Ten 🍜 🍜🍜🍜🍜🍜