After the usual Christmas splurge, a January resolution, for many of us, is to curb spending. So what better time to resume my Calgary Under $10 Lunch series?
Like many Japanese dishes, such as sushi, ramen tends to be rather pricy for the cheap-eats seeker. Indeed, one celebrated Calgary ramen restaurant has daily lineups for its $18 bowls of noodle goodness, which usually quickly sell out. Good for them.
But to meet the under-$10 rules of this series, I venture to Tokyo Station, a few steps removed from busy 14th Street in southwest Calgary’s Beltline district. It’s a little street market shop that sells Japanese packaged snacks, ice cream and tapioca tea and is affiliated with Tokyo Street Market next door.
But the heart of its lineup is five styles of ramen, each for $9.99 and featuring different bases—miso, kimchi, laksa and shio—and chock full of house-made skinny noodles, beef brisket, pork belly chashu, a seasoned egg and green onion.
While a couple of the soups are sweat-inducing spicy, I opt for a milder, classic Kuro ramen, with a tonkotsu base, black garlic oil and dry seaweed. It’s a lovely, lacquered bowl full of delicate flavours, enjoyed on Tokyo Station’s shaded front patio.
I could have ordered a side dish of a sweet bun, pork dumplings, fried octopus or chicken wings—each for $5.49—but that would have put me over my self-imposed limit. And all I was looking for was a great light lunch.
1505 15 Avenue SW, Calgary
Daily 11 am-9 pm