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Foods

First Bite: Ramen Jin, Houston

I heard about the rumor and news that the new ramen store will be opened in Westchase area since couple months ago. So yesterday my friends texted me to try their ramen on the second day of the opening. They got there around 6.45PM and started to wait in the line. I met them about 15 minutes later. The line was not too long, we still could line up inside the building. (It is really cold outside).
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The wait time is really looooong. I saw many people just gave up and left. The line was moving 1 feet every 10 minutes. The problem was that they could not cook fast enough to keep up with the number of the customers. They also did not have enough people that work as the waiter. The cashier had to help cleaning and delivering the food to the table. We saw a lot of empty tables (almost half of the store), while we are standing and waiting to order the food at the cashier. The wait time on the line was 2 hours and 30 minutes.
We ordered Tonkotsu ramen noodles and few appetizers.IMG_3208
T
he one that I order called Gua Bao. It came to our table not long after we sat down. It has the crispy pork in it. So where is our ramen?

30 minutes have passed already…..
We were still waiting in our table without our ramens. They might put our order in the wrong order. A lot of people that ordered after us, got their food already. My comrades started to lose their will to fight. Our vision started to get blurry.

Oh well, Finally the ramen is here… (It is better to be good, after that long suffering).

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Let me break it up into several component of the ramen:
The broth/soup: tasted like water, no flavor (literally).
Egg: Tasted like normal egg, just half-cooked
Pork Slices: Soft and tender, but too salty
Noodle: Too hard and no flavor. They should cook it longer to make it softer and let the noodle absorb the flavor from the broth.

CHERUB SCORE: 6.5

I hope that they could improve the quality of their ramen and service. At the moment Tiger Den in Chinatown is still my first choice for ramen in Houston area.

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Foods

Ramen Adventure in Tokyo: Ichiran Ramen

Now I am going to share with you all about my little adventure in Tokyo, Japan. I went there last year (2012) during spring season. The main reason of my trip was to visit the most populated city on earth, go to Mount Fuji, and enjoy the cherry blossom. One of the thing that i should not miss is to try their local food. So, i did google search and looked for the popular ramen shop over there.

After couple hours of researching, i found this place called Ichiran ramen, located on Ueno Station (7-1-1 Ueno Taito-ku Tokyo-to 110-0005). The place was not too far from the hotel where i was staying. Tokyo is really convenient city. Basically, you don’t need car to go everywhere in the city. They have really good public transportation.

Please check this map of Tokyo subway system
Tokyo Metro subway map

Subway Map [English]

Back to the topic, So i went to the station where this place is located. Was it easy to find this place? 🙂 I got lost in this station.

Fortunately, there is a nice janitor that was willing to direct me to the place. My Japanese was not that good at that moment. What i did was showing him the name of the place on my phone 😛

Finally, I found the place!!!

The place is not big. It has 27 counter-seats and 10 table seats. When I came to the restaurant, the employee greeted me in Japanese, he told me to sit in one of the cubicle there.

He explained how to order the food (in English). I had to do my order from the ticket vending machine. He also gave me the form to specify my ramen preference. I could specify the thickness of the broth, the softness of the noodle, the saltiness of the soup, etc.
You could find more instruction from this website http://www.ichiran.co.jp/english/html/oshokuji.html

I ordered the tonkotsu ramen with extra meats. After waiting for about 10 minutes, they brought the ramen bowl to my booth.
ichiran ramen

The ramen was perfect. The broth has really rich taste, the meat was tender. The noodle was cooked perfectly, you can feel the texture and the softness of the noodle. The Ramen came with their signature red sauce on the ramen. The red pepper sauce did not kill the taste of the ramen, It has a good balance.

CHERUBSCORE: 9.6
Note: This place opens 24 hours. So if you are hungry at night or lost in subway station, this is the good place to go.

 

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Foods

Sushi Zo – Los Angeles Review

 

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When I was in LA. I got a chance to try this sushi restaurant. This place only serve omakase style sushi. It means that the chef will serve the sushi randomly. I was not even know what sushi will be coming next.

Based on my sushi knowledge, this place has really good quality sushi. They are fresh and unique. Most of the sushi in here are marinated and the waiter tell us not to put extra soy sauce.

Wait…. Where is the wasabi?

My friend asked the waiter for more wasabi. The waiter told him that they can’t give us more wasabi. Looks like they are using the real wasabi instead of the fake one (horse radish) that we usually have on the Japanese restaurant.

Reason: The price of the real wasabi is soooooo expensive.

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Don’t expect to see Californian roll or crunchy rolls (Americanized version of sushi), they only serve Nigiri style sushi. Most of the people that work there are Japanese including the chefs.  So if you want to know the taste of real Japanese sushi, you can visit this place.

CHERUBSCORE: 9.0

The place is located at
9824 National Blvd  Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 842-3977

sushizo-bill
How much was the cost?
We spend for about $200/person. 🙁
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Don’t forget to order the sake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFF TOPIC

If you still hungry and need to try more sushi, try this sushi pizza from JW Marriott’s L.A. Market Restaurant

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Foods

Ramen Trip to Austin (Michi vs Tatsuya Ramen)

I really love ramen.  It was started when I was travelling to NYC, My friends brought me to a little Japanese joint called Ippudo. In my mind, ramen is just the instant noodle that i usually eat during my college time (Maruchan ramen, el cheepoo. lol). After I tried their noodles, my perception about the ramen was changed completely. Well, to make the story short,  I even have traveled to the land of the rising sun (Japan) to experience the real and authentic ramen. I will make more detail story about this later.

Tonkotsu ramen

For today’s article we are going to Austin, the capital of Texas. I have lived in Texas for almost 5 years. I have not seen a real good ramen until i went to Austin and found this place called Tatsuya.