Santouka Ramen: TOKOTSU KARA MISO RAMEN

Place: Hakkaido Ramen Santouka (Boston)

Address: 66 Hereford St, Boston, MA 02115

Website: https://www.santouka-usa.com/

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

Price: $15.00

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!

Santouka2

SOURCE: rating_3

Nojo Ramen: Tomato Paitan

Address: 231 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Website: http://nojosf.com/

Ramen: Tomato Paitan. Shredded chicken tenders, blackened garlic oil, cilantro, grana padano, tomato, fried garlic, scallion, lemon + spice bomb addition

Price: $16

Newish to San Francisco, Nojo is one of many new shops that have made the long trek over from Japan. Nojo’s menu focuses not on the popular Tonkotsu based ramen, but instead on the Chicken Paitan broth variety. Made entirely from chicken parts, the broth is rich and creamy with a very deep flavor. Acting as Nojo’s flagship store in America, the location is conveniently located walking distance from Bart in the Hayes Valley. We arrived at 3:50 for a 4pm opening and there was already a line waiting to get in.

After several recommendations I chose to go with the Tomato Paitan for my main course and my wife picked the famous Chicken Paitan Soy Sauce version. (Tori Shoyu Paitan) We also picked a few sides which included the Nori Avocado, Yuzu Miso Cucumbers, Edamame, and Chicken Nanban. The izakaya dishes were amazing. Fresh, flavorful, and really unique, we enjoyed every last bite.

But we all came here for the ramen, right? Oh my. The Ramen. THE RAMEN. My Tomato Paitan was amazing. A smashing of flavors that assaulted my senses like no other. It was amazing from fist bite until list lick of the bowl. The noodles were perfect, thick and chewy, carrying all the wonderful broth with each squiggly piece. I can’t rave enough about this dish. I also had a taste of the Chicken Paitan Soy Sauce my wife chose and it was just as amazing. Standard out feature of this dish was the whole roasted chicken leg that is included in the bowl! Flavor again was out of this world. (Gio will have a more in depth write up on this one, he also ate here the same day!)

Right now, in my opinion, this is the best Ramen in San Francisco. No joke.

rating_5

dsc_3217

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop: SPICY RED CHILI RAMEN (NYC)

Address: 600 11th Ave, NYC, 10036

Website: http://www.ivanramen.com/en/slurp-shop/

Ramen: Spicy Red Chili Ramen ($14) w. additional Soft Egg (free)

Price: $14

REVIEW: Located within the Gotham West Market, the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop is diner-style ramen at it’s best, you sit at the counter, watch the cooks whip up their noodley magic and voila, a bowl of steaming goodness is yours to enjoy. I opted for the SPICY RED CHILI RAMEN which states it’s a “7.5 out of 10 on the heat scale”, sounds perfect to me. While the bowl I was presented was smaller than anticipated, the broth spice level was indeed perfect, a good heat that caused a sweat but I could still taste other flavors. What I really enjoyed about this bowl was the inclusion of Rye Noodles, that gave the ramen a unique bite and texture, I really liked it and thought that it raised the overall game of the dish. The ground pork was great but I was disappointed with the egg, one was flavorless, while the other was cold. I would definitely come back to try another dish if I was in the area but if you are looking for a spicy little number to curb your lunchtime hunger without putting you to sleep afterwards, the SPICY RED CHILI RAMEN might be for you… just don’t go for the additional egg.

ivan1

SCORE: rating_3