- Dish: The Hakata Ramen
- Extras: Layu Sauce, Corn, Soft-Boiled Egg
- Location: Ramen-Ya
- Address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 236, 1012 GK Amsterdam
- Price: €15.05
The last thing you expect to find in the local strip mall is decent ramen but that’s exactly what happened to me one Saturday when I had to go to Target. Lo and behold, there lies MOMIJI RAMEN and despite its location, it’s a tasty bowl of goodness.
A few months ago, this was a family run Taqueria but now it’s all black and streamlined, focussed on bowls of noodles and I for one like the change. Momiji offers four types of broth either regular or spicy: Tonkotsu, Miso, Shoyu (soy sauce), Shio (salt) and Soy Milk. Each bowl comes with Chasu, green onions, kikurge-mushroom, bean sprouts and a soft-boiled egg. Additional toppings included the usual suspects like corn, kimchee, butter or bamboo for $1 or more adventurous toppings like Kakuni, Gyoza, Tori or Karaage for $2. I went with the Spicy Miso Ramen and added corn. I opted to have the delicious Karaage as an appetizer.
Within the usual 10 minutes I was presented with a rather large bowl of goodness. All in all, great presentation, vibrant colors, loads of texture and all of it swimming in a rich, red broth. The Veggies were fresh, the egg a winner and the corn added a nice sweetness to the spiciness of the broth. My issues were minimal, the pork while tasty, didn’t seem fresh to me, in fact it felt like yesterday’s pork. The “extra spicy” wasn’t spicy at all and I had to ask for extra chili sauce, finally the noodles, while abundant weren’t outstanding in flavor. It was a decent bowl of ramen, large in size and with a good but not amazing overall flavor.
I will definitely visit MOMIJI again, the convenience of being a 10 minute drive from my house, the size of the ramen and the friendly staff make this spot worthy of a repeat visit.
One of my new favorite ramen places, Himawari is located on 2nd Ave. in downtown San Mateo. Having been here a few times before I already knew they make a great bowl of ramen. For this lunch outing last Friday I wanted something a little different since I’ve been doing a lot of the same “spicy” ramen lately. I choose to go with a classic dish from the Hokkaido/Sapporo region, Miso Butter Corn.
After a brief wait (They are always quite quick with your order) my lunch arrived and it looked great right from the start. The toppings all colorful and fresh, with the standard “chunk” of butter slowly melting and adding a rich creamy texture to the broth. Included with the order is a very generous portion of sweet crunchy corn, bamboo, green onions, chashu, and bean sprouts. For an extra I added a seasoned boiled egg to the order.
The broth was good, but a bit on the lighter side for a miso. It had great flavor with a good hint of salt, but the telltale “nutty” tones that accompany a nice heavy miso broth was missing. This isn’t bad a thing, but it was a bit disappointing. I think having the heavier miso base would have made this ramen spectacular. Once the butter was completely melted and worked into the broth it had wonderful creamy almost thick feeling that complemented the corn really well.
The other toppings were fresh and tasted great, however the chashu was a little overcooked and almost dry this time around. This hasn’t been typical of my previous visits, however combined with the lighter miso broth wasn’t as good as the other offerings I have had at Himawari. The seasoned boiled egg was a stand out though as it was perfectly boiled with a custardy yellow center and just the right amount of seasoning. Easily my favorite part of the lunch.
Overall I wouldn’t say it was a bad bowl of ramen by any means. In fact it’s still quite a bit better then a lot of places out there serving the dish. I was more so just a bit disappointed with this one due to the previous experiences being pretty much spot on. I am going to give this one a 3 out of 5 for now, and may try it again to see if either the broth or the chashu improves.