Ninja Club

I’m so grateful for the warm weather Edmonton has been having lately. With a full weekend off, Joe and I hit up Whyte Avenue this past weekend to enjoy the Old Strathcona Market and soak in some warm sun. We ended up at Ninja Club for lunch, Edmonton’s newest Japanese restaurant, offering sushi, sashimi, bento boxes and combination plates. But you all know what we were there for. Ramen! I’m all about ramen.

Ninja Club: Ramen Noodles

Ramen Noodles

Edmonton’s ramen scene kind of exploded last year and I’m all for it. It’s one of my favourite dishes to eat, top three dishes for sure. I even went on a ramen overload on my latest trip to New York (posts up will come eventually!). So I was excited for another option in the city, with the owners and servers being Japanese and offering their authentic cuisine! The shop is located across from the main Fat Frank’s location on Whyte Avenue, and in the same building as Twist Ultra Lounge on 103 St. The restaurant is small, seating maybe 30 people at most to their ten tables with red Japanese lanterns as decor. It was cozy and despite being only open for roughly a month, I felt as if Ninja Club has been here all along. Seats were quickly filled up for the Saturday lunch hour and Joe and I were glad we came a bit earlier. Their menu is divided into four pages: a ramen menu, salad and sushi rolls, sushi combo (or bento box style) menu, and drinks. We’ll have to return to try the sushi one day, other reviews make it sound promising!

Ninja Club: Miso Ramen

Miso Ramen

Joe ordered the miso ramen, a favourite broth base for both of us. Despite not having a spicy option, our server did accommodate him and gave Joe a shaker of Shichimi tōgarashi, a Japanese chili powder, and chili oil. The bowl came with “egg noodles” (although questionable if it’s actually egg noodles, as traditionally, ramen noodles do not contain egg!), beansprouts, green onion, spinach, two sheets of nori (seaweed), and a couple pieces of char siu. The noodles themselves had more of a bite to them, a firmer noodle than what I’ve come to like. Even Joe knew what I was going to say about the noodles before I could even comment! I thought the miso broth was well done, better than my shoyu broth in comparison, although lacking in depth. Both broths were also lacking in umami flavour, something almost unheard of for ramen. The char siu was the leanest piece of char siu of my life (!) and seemingly bland. From the many bowls of ramen that I’ve had, I’ve come to expect char siu to be moist, juicy, decadent and without fear of a bit of fat. All in all though, a decent bowl for Edmonton. In all honesty, any addition to our ramen culture is welcomed. Lots of respect to the chefs and owners that try to bring us ramen!

Ninja Club: Shoyu Ramen

Shoyu Ramen

My shoyu bowl had the exact same components, although a soy-based broth instead. I also opted for an egg (extra $1) and prayed to the ramen gods that it would be cooked correctly. From other photos and reviews floating on the interweb, I was expecting a hard-boiled egg. Alas, they did it somewhat correctly! Not entirely oozing, although not cooked. Fair enough. So sad that it’s not marinated though. Understandably, it’s the broth that should have the most depth of flavour as it’s of the most complex components of the dish (trust me, I’ve tried, it’s hard work!) but the attention to toppings is almost equally important. Gotta perfect that char siu and egg.

Service was mediocre (don’t expect mind blasting service), but timely enough. Bowls were coming out steadily for the rest of the diners and our wait wasn’t as long as I was expecting. Overall, I don’t have a lot of complaints about Ninja Club but the experience wasn’t anything outstanding either. Would I return? Yeah, maybe, if I’m on Whyte Avenue and had a major hankering for ramen. The kimuchi (no that’s not a misspelling like the rest of the menu, it’s the Japanese version of the Korean kimchi) and tantan ramen looked interesting. And I have yet to try any of their sashimi or sushi rolls. But I think it’s fair to say that a lot the reviews out there have been mixed for a reason. Perhaps a few more months for Ninja Club will do the trick, some tweaking to be done. I’m glad to see that they even offer sushi party trays though, a nice takeout option for university students in the area. Prices are reasonable and you really can’t beat that location. Best of luck to Ninja Club, definitely worth a try!


Ninja Club
10324 – 82 Ave
(780) 705-8008

Ninja Club on Urbanspoon


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