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Apr 28, 2008 12:43 PM

Ramen in Seattle

I go back and forth eating Raman at Kaname and Samurai Noodle on a regular basis. Just wondering if there's anything notable or new in the Seattle Ramen world worth checking out. Thanks.

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  1. i think i prefer Fu Lin over Kaname fwiw

    3 Replies
    1. re: barleywino

      The newest Seattle ramen development I've heard of is Boom Noodle in capitol hill, but if you look around I think you will find that estimations of its ramen are fairly negative on balance, and surely not up to the level of Samurai Noodle. Never been there myself.

      1. re: barleywino

        Thanks barley. Haven't heard of Fu Lin but will definitely check it out. I think I'll pass on Boom Noodle tho. Not a big fan of their sushi restaurant either.

        1. re: landguy

          Fu Lin is about 50' east of the new Chinatown gate so it's in the same general area. But not as good as Samurai Noodle. They do have decent gyoza and you can ask to add hardboiled egg to your ramen. BTW their spicy salt chicken wings are usually v good.

      2. Tsukushinbo, Fridays only, lunchtime only. Prepare for a long wait.

        1. I must admit that I like Boom Noodle. I've heard that it is more 'authentic' than others?

          3 Replies
          1. re: samsmom2000

            I think it's the other way around - Boom Noodle is not particularly authentic, nor are they trying to be, I don't think. I did not care for their food or the dining experience, but clearly a lot of people do.

            1. re: akq

              One day, a couple of months ago, I was supposed to meet a friend for an inaugural lunch at Boom. I arrived first and scoped out the scene as best I could from outside the door. By the time my friend got there, I suggested we go elsewhere. The problem was, I've spent a certain small amount of time in Japan and he's spent a good bit more, and at a glance the place offered precisely the opposite of the atmosphere in which one wants to eat ramen. A squeaky clean, chic restaurant with a hostess station, a fusiony menu, and a nearly 100 percent Caucasian clientele (sorry, white people, but I'm one too)--it just didn't whet my appetite for that particular food. The funk and human scale and economy of Samurai put me much more in the mood, though the quality of the food does seem to be slipping.

            2. re: samsmom2000

              I went there two nights ago. I am sure that the other posters who claim to have seen only white people aren't lying, but my experience was very different. My mother and I were some of the only white people there. I dig the ambience, personally. It isn't as though a dingy interior and trashy plastic decor somehow makes something more authentic. I have heard complaints about the drinks and food, but I thought it was all delightful. The yuzu cooler was particularly tasty, as was the mushroom soba. The only miss for me was the mochi sampler at the end. A lot of it was tasty, but I just don't think blueberry and cardamon go together. I would definately give the place a try.

            3. I was also surprised to like Boom Noodle. Not a fan of Blue C at all. But, their Boom Ramen was definitely not a strength. The broth was super oily and the surface quickly coagulated into a fatty skin.

              I really really liked the Salmon Udon though. The salmon chazuke - a small plate - was extremely tasty. Its a mound of rice in a pool of green tea/dashi broth, topped with salmon and eggplant. Maybe they're extra good at cooking salmon dishes!

              1 Reply
              1. re: burritobelle

                I liked the chewiness of the ramen (in the cold ramen salad) at Boom. But did not like the rice there at all-- tasted like minute rice. Most of the other food i tried there also tasted pre-prepared or even frozen and then reheated. Even the seared salmon sashimi was cold, obviously pre-sliced and pre-seared--like airplane food.

              2. Am I the only one that feels Samurai Noodle is going down the hill? They used to serve very good ramen, but for the last few months the quality of their dishes isn't nearly as high as when they opened the restaurant 2 years ago. My wife and I just went there yesterday. Both our bowls had a few "stiff loaves" of noodles. The attitude of the servers wasn't helpful either. I asked one of them to close the door because it was getting cold. He told us they needed to keep it open because it was "really hot in the kitchen."

                Didn't mean to rant, but I don't think we're going back to Samurai ever again.

                9 Replies
                1. re: daihard

                  Yes I've noticed this as well, the noodles are coming in soggy more often now even tho I request extra firm. I'm still a fan all the same tho. They are much more crowded now, there always seems to be a line out the door no matter what time or day I go. I'm sure this has affected the time and care they take in preparing their chow. I'm actually starting to like the raman at Kaname more these days, just wish they weren't so skimpy with the pork.

                  1. re: landguy

                    Thanks, landguy. I will give Kaname a try. Need to find another place where I can enjoy ramen in case Samurai gets even worse...

                    1. re: landguy

                      I love the tonkotsu broth at Samurai, but also find the noodles to often be soggy and I've not been impressed with their chasu. I make chasu at home in my slow cooker and get a couple orders of just the tonkotsu broth to go and pick up some fresh ramen noodles and menma inside Uwajimaya and cook up the ramen at home.

                      1. re: gmm

                        I totally agree with you about the quality of the noodles.
                        There is no restaurant around here that serves good quality ramen noodles, and there hasn't been since Ezogiku closed.

                        1. re: gmm

                          I will surely appreciate it if you will post your home recipe. Probably best in the "Recipe" room, but maybe it will fit here...

                          1. re: mrnelso

                            Hey there mrnelso-

                            The base I use for the chasu is:
                            1 cup soy sauce
                            1 cup mirin
                            1/2 cup shaoxing rice wine
                            1/4 cup sugar
                            2-3 cups water
                            3 green onions
                            1 thumb-sized pice of ginger sliced

                            As far as the cooking instructions, I really just combined techniques from from several recipes I looked at online. I typically use a pork butt and cut it lengthwise into smaller pieces and tie each piece with twine to keep it together while cooking. You can double or triple the sauce recipe to make sure the pork is almost covered in the slow cooker. It takes about 8-10 hours in my crockpot on low. Some recipes call for pork tenderloin, but I prefer my chasu a bit more fatty. If using pork butt it makes quite a bit, I usually end up with with 5 or 6 little loaves of chasu, but I just vacuum seal the extra and throw them in the freezer. Hope it works for you!

                      2. re: daihard

                        This could just be growing pains as they attempt to open a second location.

                        1. re: vanillagorilla

                          I was wondering about that. When are they going to open?

                          1. re: daihard

                            I talked to one of the guys behind the counter a couple weeks ago--they're having lots of problems with the building's owner because it needs seismic upgrades or something. It was supposed to open in March. They desperately need the space (3x bigger!) because apparently their current location is too small to handle the demand. FWIW, I've never had a bad meal there, although I've never gone when the line is out the door.