Ramen Bella was on our eats list since Kimiko spotted this quaint little ramen spot up the street from Eggbomb on our last Langley sojourn. From the name I was expecting Ramen Bella might be one of those Italian-Japanese fusion joints a la Kissa Tanto, but while it is “just” Japanese they still provide their own twists on the classics.
The Crunchy Gyoza ($5.99), the must-do pairing for any ramen in our books, was the most traditional menu item we chose. Made in-house and deep fried to a golden crisp, the pork and chive filling was oh-so-scrumptious when sopped up with lemon ginger soy sauce and vinegar dip.
Ramen Bella colour-codes some of their dishes so from reds and blacks to blue and even green! Matcha Latte over ramen anyone? Colour me intrigued and ready for a return trip…
But back to our current items, the Red Hot Ramen ($13.99) was Kimiko’s choice as she was trying to sweat out a cold at the time. Not super spicy but enough kick to have you sucking a bit of air, this miso-based broth came with two types of pork (ground and chashu), bok choy, bean sprouts, onion, corn, crispy garlic and wonton chips. An ajitama seasoned egg rounds off the bowl. Portion was a good size and equivalent to the pricing,
I went for the Bella Blue Ramen ($11.99), a healthy chicken ramen that gets its bluish hue from a spirulina-based broth. It was quite garlicky with minced garlic visible in the bites of noodles. I was surprised on first bite that the chicken came cold; it gradually increased to luke warm as it sat in the broth but I wasn’t a fan of the temperature. The egg was also warm outside, probably due to being in the broth, but still cold in the center. At least the center was nice and soft. Overall very healthy tasting and one of the lighter bowls of ramen I’ve had.
Craig’s choice of The Black Ramen ($14.99) was bathed in a shoyu tare-based chicken and pork broth with twice the amount of chashu as the Red Hot, but no ground pork. The chashu here is amazing though, with a high amount of grill flavour that worked really well in this broth. He gave his bok choy to Kimiko but it’s still loaded with spinach, corn, green onions, sushi nori and garlic flakes.
Craig loved the shoyu egg and was actually still raving about it at brunch today, even when confronted with the endless buffet options at Newlands nothing beat this egg!
So I guess that’s a pretty good indicator that Ramen Bella was an overall winner. And they even offer Happy End. We were pretty full and not really in the mood for that sort of thing, but be sure to ask your waitress for a Happy End if you’re not fully satiated and want to end with a bang. Five dollars and they’ll finish you off with one final course…
*Spoiler alert* – it’s ice cream.