After nearly a decade of wowing Vancouver with its trademark bowls of creamy chicken ramen a popular restaurant with a half-dozen locations in the region has gone through a little bit of a rebrand.
Marutama Ramen, which debuted in Vancouver in 2013, changed its name to Maruhachi, with the new moniker official as of Nov. 9.
Vancouver's Marutama - rather, Maruhachi - is considered the pioneer in tori-paitan, a distinct style of chicken-based ramen broth that has a milky quality. The restaurant's roots, however, stretch back to 2001 in Kawaguchi, Japan, where founder Tetsuya Kudo launched his signature style of the traditional noodle soup at his first location.
Ultimately, the brand expanded globally, including in Vancouver, where Marutama grew to have six restaurants in the Metro region, including three in the city proper (West End, Robson Street/Central Library, and Main Street), as well as one in Burnaby (Metrotown), and the two newest ones, Richmond and Coquitlam.
The restaurant explains the business name change in brief: "Refine, refocus, restart after 10 years of business," Maruhachi's operators note on Instagram, adding, "Thank you all for continuous support." Maruhachi also notes the restaurants have the same menu, management, and staff as before.
In 2019, Marutama took the Gold in the Best Ramen category of the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards - the last time the awards featured the ramen category - thanks in no small part to their consistent delivery of nuanced umami-powered broth and house-made noodles that is a true Japanese version of chicken soup for the soul.