review: Oishi in Novi
I was in that part of town and had a strong fiending for ramen. I've heard so much about Matsuchan and really wanted to try it out! However, it was 430 in the afternoon and they were closed, so I had to find an alternative. I remember hearing about Oishi in Novi (which I believe is related to the BiBimbap restaurant in the same complex). Off I went.
Daikokuya ("blackpig") ramen in little tokyo, LA is my gold standard for ramen. Everything about that bowl is perfection. Rich, complex broth without being too salty. The perfectly flavored pork slices that deserves the oft-used description of melt in your mouth. Chewy yet tender ramen. Absoutely amazing bowl of ramen. I highly recommend it if you're ever in that parts.
In any case Oishi is in a nice location. Lots of parking. Interior is clean and well decorated. Nice prompt service but attentive wait staff.
I was by myself so I ordered just a bowl of Shoyu ramen. Lets break down the bowl systematically:
1) broth: 7\10. Pretty good, but not great. A touch too salty for my tastes and 'thin" but still with a good flavor. I have a feeling it was enhanced by MSG. The bowl was slurped dry by the end of the meal though if that's any indication.
2) noodles: 9\10. The highlight of the bowl. Chewy with excellent texture. Perfect size and long lengths. Excellent.
3) meat:4\10. Here's where the bowl was a big letdown. Hard-boiled tasted... just as described. An average hard-boiled egg. Not the long-marinated soft egg its supposed to be. The pork slices itself were soft, but were lacking of flavor. Popping a piece in my mouth added just saltiness, but not another "dimension" as each piece of food should.
4) bamboo\veggies: 7\10. The bamboo slices were very yummy. (I'm a sucker for good bamboo). A little too many bean sprouts though. That through off the ratio of noodles\veggies. I wont' hold that against them TOO much though.
All in all, a pretty good bowl, but not GREAT. I'm not sure if I'd drive out of the way for a bowl, but if I'm in the neighborhood it'd be a good spot to stop. Matsuchan is still calling out to me though. It might me work the trek (35 min for me).