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Mar 6, 2006 12:23 AM

Japanese ramen noodle soup

  • e

I'm craving wonderful ramen soup like I've had in Japan - the fresh stuff, not the kind in a bag or a box. Can anyone recommend a restaurant around Portland that serves ramen?


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  1. You can get ramen noodle soup at Tony Bento's on SE 37th off of Hawthorne. It's inexpensive and pretty decent. I have never been to Japan so I cannot compare, but it is a definite step up from the packaged stuff. I think if you look into some of the Japanese restaurants in town, you'll find ramen on their menus too. Maybe some place like Sinju (503) 223-6535 or Murata (503) 227-0080 might carry it as well. Good luck!

    1. The short answer is no.

      In Portland, sure, there is ramen that is passable. Koji Okasaya, downtown on SW Broadway near Alder has decent ramen. I mean, I eat it sometimes. It's good food. But it is nothing - nothing - like what you had in Japan.

      Ramen is a holy grail to me. Whenever I go to NYC I'm sure to make at lease one meal stop at Rai Rai Ken, for authentic ramen. I just got back from Vancouver, BC, where I had real ramen on Denman just off Robson. They make their own noodles, it was absolutely heavenly.

      But in Portland, no. There's ramen that's worth eating, but compared to Japanese ramen, it's all disappointing. If anyone can prove me wrong, I'll treat you to a bowl and all of my gratitude. But I've looked hard, and they've all fallen short.

      I will say this: I have not yet tried Syun or Sin Ju in the Pearl.

      Please let me know if you find any different!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        Thanks, Josh! I'm thrilled to find another ramen enthusiast. :) Neither Sinju nor Syun have ramen on their menu, thought I'll ask the next time I'm out at Syun - they have the most authentic Japanese food I've found in the area. Syun is wonderful. One caveat however, if you're a sushi eater, is that their nigiri is still awfully large (as seems to be the trend in Portland). I asked the sushi chef about the portion size and he agreed that the pieces were quite large, but made to suit American tastes. We joked about that and agreed it would never be so in Japan. I'm hoping that if we become regulars he'll make the sushi Japanese style for us.

        I'll try your recommendations when I'm having a serious craving. Do you have any good recipes for making ramen at home?

        1. re: Josh

          The only place that I will go to eat ramen in the Portland Metro area is Yuzu in Beaverton. They do not speak much English and last time I was there we barely got in due to a high number of reservations. You may want to call first to reserve a spot. I am from CA and have been unsuccessful at finding decent ramen in the Portland area with the exception of Yuzu. Their hours are odd, 6pm-12am, and I was told it was because all the Japanese chefs like to eat there when they are off work. 4130 Southwest 117th Avenue # H, Beaverton, OR 97005; (503) 350-1801.

        2. This is more of a lead than a recommendation, but I ate at the place on NE Broadway (the old Cadillac Cafe location) that started out as Blowfish and then changed to Pufferfish and I can't remember what the heck they're called now. :^) But at the time I ate there they had various ramens on the lunch menu which I unfortunately haven't had the chance to get back and try.

          I was introduced to good yakisoba and ramen at the Port Maru chain in Orange County and wish I could find anything close to that good up here...

          1. t
            Tom Sakaishi

            Not in Portland, but if you're ever down in Eugene, check out Toshi's Ramen.

            1. I haven't tried it, but people I know have been enjoying Mirakutei, Hiroshis place on E Burnside.