I love Groupon, you can use it for good deals (at times) to check out new places or hidden gems that you would usually miss. This was just one of those cases, as there was a deal going for ramen. I chose the $30 for four people in hopes that we could try more, despite what Fatboy and my eating habits are, we do get full.
Looking at their menu online, we were glad that we came in fours as we would have to order a lot to fit the $60 quota. the restaurant looked rather spacious inside, there were wood accents everywhere with small decorations making it feel very homey, like we stepped into an actual ramen shop in Japan
Menma – bamboo shoots, Kikurage – wood ear mushroom, Kimchi, Negi, Special Pork & Egg
Special Pork Don
BBQ Pork Onigiri
We ordered a lot, and I mean a LOT of side dishes and appetizers. Everything came promptly, kimchi was most likely store bought, menma, kikurage and negi were all fresh and my favourite add-ons. The “Special Pork” turned out to just be kakuni, which is a Japanese style braised pork belly, was done nicely. Very tender and not overly salty as I’ve found in other restaurants. Cucumber salad was refreshing, dressed lightly in sesame oil. The Special Pork Don was the same kakuni, just drizzled with mayo and garnished with green onions and beni shoga. The onigiri had very little pieces here and there of the pork but it had a very nice crispy crust to it.
After a while of noming on this, the main dishes arrived:
Spicy Miso Ramen
We were excited when the ramen finally came along. All their ramens were served with two slices of chasiu, half a aji tama, menma, negi, kikurage and one piece of nori.
The Tonkotsu, once again was very oily, but the flavours weren’t rich enough to explain the oiliness of it.
In the description for the Spicy Miso, it is said to be served with their homemade chili bean sauce & hot sesame oil, you don’t see any intense colour but there is kick in this ramen. Not fire-water spicy, but a nice rounded flavour that makes you go back for another bite. The miso soup base was good, but like the tonkotsu, it lacked richness.
Maruko also had a black garlic ramen like Jinya, so without questioning, Fatboy got it to see how it compares. The egg is done better than Jinya, as it is still gooey on the inside, soup base was a bit too oily. If you looked past it, it had good flavour, but not as rich and complex as Jinya’s though. It was still good don’t get me wrong, but Jinya did it better.
Good, friendly service, decent ramen for the price (given the fact that we had a groupon). We were able to finish everything, but we had to roll out of the restaurant as none of us were able to walk or function properly after such a heavy meal. It was a shame that there were no lineups, or that it seemed like no one knew about this place. The soup base, though not bad, can use a little improvement. I would love to come back again and give them another try.