On my way to pick up a couple things at Ming Wo in Chinatown, I recognized Taishoken Ramen as one of the most talked about new ramen joints in the city. I decided to stop by there to get a quick lunch. As I sat down, Pascal text’d me. He eventually came down from his office and joined me.
I got there right before noon so there wasn’t much of a line for waiting. But 15 minutes later the lineup was really picking up. The server was friendly and she patiently explained the menu to me.
I ordered the most seemingly generic item on the menu: shoyu tonkotsu ramen.
I always thought a simple dish would tell a lot about the quality of food at a restaurant. If they can’t even cook decent fries at a pub, then most likely they would screw up other dishes in the fryer.
The broth was really thick and concentrated. Yes it was very flavourful, but it felt a little odd. Was it a bowl of noodle soup or a bowl of blanched noodles served in a sauce. The noodles however seemed to be in good quality and cooked properly with great texture. The other ingredients were rather standard which was expected. I think I have mentioned that I am more of a pho guy that prefers lighter and clearer broth for my noodle soup. Here I could appreciate the time and effect put into the broth making, as well as all the tasty and nutritious bits of collagen, but the overall texture of the broth and noodle combined was not entirely pleasant. If they had a bigger serving bowl and there were more diluted broth, I would have enjoyed it more.
I tasted a spoonful of Pascal’s broth of his kimchi tonkotsu ramen. It was the same broth base but it was definitely more diluted in order to mix in the kimchi. It was spicy and full of flavours and I enjoyed it more than my own ramen broth.
I had not been visiting a lot of ramen places for at least a couple years. But because of the recent visits to Gyoza Bar and Taishoken, and spending 20 hours on making a veal stock following a The French Laundry Cookbook recipe, I really want to open my mind to ramen and its broth making again.
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