Happy Friday the 13th! And a full moon to boot. Scary. But hopefully this post will start your day off right, get your stomach growling, your mouth drooling, and kick your weekend off!
Shiki Menya is one of Calgary’s newest ramen shops, although not a stranger to the city. The owners who brought us Shikiji have opened the Japanese noodle eatery, serving up only 150 ramen bowls a day. Then they close up shop (~3pm or so), leaving unlucky ramen-goers waiting for the next day’s batch. I saw how the lines were when I visited Black Pig Bistro for lunch so on our last day in Calgary for the May long weekend, Joe and I were right at those glorious doors at 11:15am. We weren’t the only ones! Alongside four other parties, we anxiously waited for Shiki Menya’s doors to open.
Seating thirty-or-so, the interior is modern, trendy, and very refreshing with lots of natural light streaming through floor to ceiling windows. Love it! It’s no hole-in-the-wall place that’s for sure, but the food would suggest otherwise.
Unlike their sister restaurant, Shiki Menya offers a variety of broths and toppings. I am so SO thankful that they think a soft tamago (soft-boiled egg) is a ramen essential. Because it is in my world. No egg = not ramen! They offer your classic bowls: tonkotsu, miso, chili goma, and veggie; and a new school bowls for the first three classics: tonkotsu black, kara miso garlic, and goma mazemen. It’s surprising that they don’t have a shio or shoyu bowl but with the selection of 7 different bowls and a limited supply each day, it’s understandable.
Before we got to the good stuff, the gyoza came out first. At a dollar a piece, it’s a pretty good deal. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, with a spicy chili oil sauce for dipping. Yuuuuuummy.
Our big bowls came out in no time and served super hot! Nothing like a hot bowl of ramen for lunch.
I ordered the kara miso garlic, knowing that a broth with added garlic chili oil is right up my alley. The broth is simmered for at least 16 hours, giving it a rich depth of flavor. The chili oil? Wooooo, garlic-ky! Definitely different from all the other ramen bowls I’ve ever had. All other components were outstanding as well: a fatty cut of char siu (I despise lean char siu, like what the heck…), perfectly cooked egg (yolk needs to be barely set!), and fresh hand cut noodles! Chewy with a bit of a bite but perfect.
The miso bowls come with a thicker noodle, as with the mazeman, whereas all other bowls come with a thinner noodle. I don’t even know how much thinner you can get. If you look closely, you’ll see tiny specks inside the noodle. That’s kombu, a type of seaweed, popular in the Hokkaido region of Japan, giving it an additional layer of umami flavor. It’s amazing how much love Shiki Menya puts into their noodles and broths!
Joe got the classic miso and added garlic “ra-yu” chili oil to it to make it spicy. Essentially, he made it almost into my new school bowl but without corn. His broth wasn’t as garlic-ky as mine though even with the addition of the chili oil. Same base though and same noodles. Portions aren’t enormous, I nearly finished a bowl myself. For the price ($12-14), some might say it’s the portion isn’t enough but honestly, the labor it takes to make the broth and noodles are worth every penny.
Awesome space and fantastic ramen! I couldn’t ask for more. Maybe I would if I had been to Japan but that’s for another time. Somebody needs to bring this over to Edmonton ASAP. We’re missing a really good ramen joint here up north! Service was excellent with plenty of staff around. The space filled up within minutes of opening at 11am, so I suggest that if you want to be guaranteed a bowl of 150 that day, come early. Bowls come out quick, we were in and out within the hour. And I love the decor and attention to little details, like the textured edges of their chopsticks to pick up slippery noodles to the bigger, wider bowls for those with thicker noodles. Great touch. If you’re in the Bridgeland area, check out Shiki Menya! I most definitely will be back on my next trip into Calgary.Shiki Menya
826 1st NE (Calgary)