I don’t know how far my word goes for food/ ramen, but this place is amazing.
I literally have knots in my stomach from my excitement for going back to this place to try more, it was that good.
What about Austin’s other offerings?
- Michi Ramen? Trash. You expect me to finish an entire bowl of tasteless lard? You call this tonkotsu?
- Musashino? bleh. flabby tasteless pork, unevenly cooked noodles, and tasteless broth
- Kome? LOL
I’ve only been one time, but in my honest opinion it’s on par with the best ramen in America(Ippudo/Totto in NY, and Monta in Las Vegas).
Before arriving I was debating between the tonkotsu and miso ramen. I ended up ordering a salad, the original tonkotsu, with an extra egg, and something they call a “corn bomber” which is basically a nub of butter with corn in it.
The dishes come out amazingly fast. I would say it only took 10-15 minutes before our dishes started to come out.
-Taste / mouth feel
The salad is a great mix of shredded carrot, dikon, and red cabbage with a nice vinaigrette. Perfect for getting your tastebuds going.
For the ramen itself… hmm where do we start.
The first thing I check out is if the temperature of the dish is right. What do I mean by that? Well you know when you cook instant ramen at home.. and you eat it piping hot right off the stove and you end up burning your mouth? That’s way too hot. Ramen should be of a comfortable warmth, but not hot.
Actually the real first thing is…
Is you egg soft boiled and cold in the middle? If not, you’re at the wrong place.
There should be a distinct difference in between the temperature of the broth, the temperature of the noodles, the middle of the egg, and the butter if you have it in your ramen. In my limited experience, the noodles should be the most warm, with the broth relatively luke warm. Then the egg and the butter should be slightly cold, offering you a mix of temperatures when you eat it. Literally stick your tongue into the yolk of the egg after getting a portion of noodles/broth in your mouth… it’s quite the experience. Also notice how the coolness of the butter plays with the warmth of the broth, it’s pretty good too.
The noodles should slightly bouncy, and may require a pull upwards (raising your chopsticks above the bowl) which does a few things. It makes a perfect bite sized portion, makes the noodles of a comfortable temperature, and gets the noodles in perfect order to *slurp* up, which should be emphasized.
Am I going overboard? No, since ramen is probably the greatest thing on Earth if done right. And these guys do a great job. Think of a bowl of ramen like any other dish in the world of gastronomy… there should be interesting things, interplay between flavors and temperatures… and most important umami. You need to go “Ahh…” after you eat it.
//One thing though.
Cashier girl? Great. Asian dude? Cool. Our server? REALLY BAD. He had no idea what the fuck was going on. I ordered a kae-dama, extra noodles and he put in a whole order for a tsukumen ramen. If they want to create a legitimate ramen experience, they need to foster an environment full of “Irahsai!!” and “SUMIMASEN KAE DAMA ONEGAISHIMASU.” You have to make us ABC Asians feel uncomfortable, like we have something we need to learn about traditional culture when we go to your place.
In Texas we have a saying that goes “Well that’s all we have here…” when it comes to a lot of Asian food. But this place isn’t a compromise… it’s really fucking good.
On the way back the first thought in my head was, “When will I be hungry next? I want to try x, x, and x on their menu…” Also.. I just wanted to yell out my window at random people to tell them about this place. “HEY YOU ASIAN LADY AT THE BUS STOP. WE FINALLY HAVE ARAMEN PLACE HERE IN AUSTIN!”