Kizuki: GARLIC TONKOTSU SHOYU RAMEN

Address: 320 E. Pine Street, Seattle, WA. 98122

Website: http://www.kizuki.com

Ramen: Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen ($12) w. Seasoned egg ($2)

Price: $14

REVIEW: Knowing that I was headed to Seattle for business, I put the call out on Twitter for a good Ramen recommendation and boy, did Social Media deliver. During lunch, a buddy and I went to Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya for the heavily recommended GARLIC TONKOTSU SHOYU RAMEN. On the menu, its listed as “Limited Quantity everyday”, luckily we made it in time. What a great bowl of ramen! The base was Tonkotsu, with added Shoyu and tons of garlic, all these flavors melded so well together, without an overpowering burn of garlic but all of the taste! The Chashu was great, the egg was solid and the noodles tasty. Overall, this was definitely a solid bowl of Ramen! If you find yourself in Capitol Hill, Seattle, stop by Kizuki for their delectable GARLIC TONKOTSU SHOYU RAMEN, it’s definitely worth a visit.

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SCORE: rating_4

Himawari: Miso Butter Corn Ramen

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.

-Matt

  • Dish: Miso Butter Corn Ramen
  • Price: $9.50
  • Extras: Seasoned Egg: $1.00
  • Rating: rating_3

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Ramen Izakaya Goku: Rich Tonkotsu Ramen

With last weekends heavy rains and cold weather, there was nothing more perfect then a nice hot bowl of ramen for dinner. Having just attended a gallery opening on 17th and Mission, we made the short walk over to this awesome Izakaya/Ramen establishment on 16th and Guerrero. This relatively new place has gained a strong following amongst San Francisco ramen fans, and is one of the few Japanese places in the mission. A relatively small place with maybe enough room for 30 people the atmosphere is great with a modern Japanese feel and exposed kitchen.

My choice for the night was their Rich Tonkotsu Ramen, Goku Spicy (their hottest offering), with sweet corn added as an extra (I see a theme forming). The nicely portioned bowl arrived with neatly arranged toppings and a wonderfully thick creamy broth. The Rich Tonkotsu Ramen consists of chāshū, boiled egg, bean, sprouts, kikurage mushrooms, house-made bamboo shoots, and green onions.

First taste of the broth was heavy, very rich, and creamy with a perfect hint of salt. It had all of the makings of a fantastic tonkotsu broth, especially the trademark, and expected, floating fat globules common with the slow simmering of the pork bones. After the first few slurps the heat from the Goku Spicy level hit and was a perfect complement to the heavy broth. Even though they say its “hella spicy” I would say its on the medium-high side of the spice level. Certainly not hot enough to prevent finishing all of the broth after the noodles and toppings had disappeared. The noodles had just the right amount of firmness, and a nice mellow flavor that didn’t overtake the broth or toppings.

Toppings were all fresh and crunchy, and the seasoned boiled egg perfectly cooked with just the right amount of runny delicious yolk. The chāshū was a bit on the fattier side then I prefer, and had a nice flavor but wasn’t the stand out of the dish by any means. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the wow moment. I think the broth really took that award here. I think the chāshū is really the only thing keeping this dish from being a full 5 out of 5 for me.

Being my second visit to Ramen Izakaya Goku, I can say they know their stuff and can serve a competent and fresh bowl of ramen that will please any true fan.

– Matt

  • Dish: Rich Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Price: $11.00
  • Extras: Sweet corn $1.00
  • Rating: rating_4

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