After my first encounter with the $5 promo ramen, of course I would have to go again for a round two, especially because this is the last day of it. This time I have Jai and his girlfriend with me, that way hopefully I would be able to try the other ones as well.
We arrived later than my first visit, the lineup has almost gone to the end of the block, it seemed to have been forever before we were even near the storefront. Through the windows we spotted empty tables, or customers waiting for the bill or change. So service was still as slow, as if they don’t realize the urgency and the patience of those outside growing thin and hungry.
Jais girlfriend went ahead and ordered the same Spicy Tsukemen, I let her have it since I wanted to try something else. I didn’t take a picture since it was the same and just as good as yesterdays portion, with its rich and succulent broth, fully concentrated and latching onto each strand of noodles. Nothing else changed, the chashu was still rubbery but slightly thicker this time. The girlfriend really enjoyed the level a spiciness that was in the broth, it was present but not too much to the point you couldn’t taste anything else.
Torigara-Chicken – Shoyu; 3 slices of chicken chashu, ajitama, negi, sautéed zucchini, nori, naruto & kaiware
After intensive persuasion, Jai got the Torigara Shoyu. Chicken breast was used for the ‘chashu’, it made it extremely dry and bland, there were no indications of it being treated as a chashu. It seemed to have just been blanched with plain water. The soup was rather light, probably due to the fact it was made with chicken broth instead of the usual pork bones. It had a nice slick of oil on top making it very silky to drink, the flavours of the soy sauce was present but not overpowering. It didn’t feel like a heavy dish, more of an healthy alternative especially with the addition of zucchinis.
Tonkotsu – Shio; 2 slices of pork chashu, ajitama, negi, memma, nori & naruto
I chose the Tonkotsu Shio because simple is always best, allowing the soup and ingredients to speak for themselves. The noodles were al dente, with a good bite. The soup wasn’t as salty as I expected, but rather thick. Not to the level of the Tsukemen, but as you can tell from the picture, it wasn’t as runny or clear as the one Jai had. This was most likely the results from the collagen in the pork bone. It was silky-smooth and bursting of flavour, another favourite but I think I would still choose the Spicy Tsukemen.
Overall impressions were great, though there are a few kinks to work out, such as service and their chashu. Everything else they’ve got they’re doing it right, I’m expecting good things to come from Taishoken for the future.