Place: Hakkaido Ramen Santouka (Boston)
Address: 66 Hereford St, Boston, MA 02115
Ramen: Tokotsu Kara Miso Ramen: Robust miso paste and silky broth, with a hint of bonito dashi creates the gentle balance flavor. The spiciness gives a nice kick to the flavor. Served with added soft-boiled egg, corn & butter
It was a cold, bright day in Boston and with an hour to kill before heading to the airport, I decided to find myself some local ramen. After a quick buzz online and a few social media recommendations, I ended up visiting the extremely popular Santouka Ramen.
There was a 30-minute wait for lunch as the place is small and very packed. I finally got a table and went for their $15 Lunch Special (a bowl of ramen, with an egg, corn & butter). I went for their spiciest bowl, the Tokotsu Kara Miso Ramen, a solid blend of Tonkotsu pork broth, miso paste and bonito dashi with a kick of chili… of course. I was pleasantly surprised by the mix of flavors, I could taste it all while not being overpowered by one individual taste. The noodles were a perfect al dente, the pork decent and the corn crunchy. Personally I wanted a larger chili kick and my egg was cold on the inside but the flavors were all there and they were enjoyable.
I’d visit Santouka again but I also want to explore what else Boston has to offer in its “ramen game”, but I know there’s a solid bowl there so I’m sure I’ll be back!
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.
- Dish: Miso Butter Corn Ramen
- Price: $9.50
- Extras: Seasoned Egg: $1.00