HOME > Chowhound > Minneapolis-St. Paul >

Major Ramen craving

Minneapolitan Jan 31, 2010 06:49 PM

For all the great noodle options that we have in the TCs, I'm not sure I've ever come across any contenders in the ramen department. This article in the NY Times reignited a powerful love of the real deal. http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/...

Any ideas? Should I just make it at home?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. k
    kevin47 RE: Minneapolitan Jan 31, 2010 07:56 PM

    Obento-Ya usually has a ramen special, and it's quite good. Moto-i has ramen as well, and respectable food. Ramen seems like something they would do well, given the flavor profiles of their other dishes.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kevin47
      SmartCookie RE: kevin47 Feb 1, 2010 06:09 AM

      Obento-Ya only has ramen on Mondays; it's roast pork.

      When Moto-i first opened, I loved their ramen; now it's become a flavorless, pasty mess.

      Fuji-Ya (St. Paul location only) has ramen but only for lunch; I have not tried it but have heard good things from others...

      When Tanpopo opened it's original location on Selby Avenue, I was so excited to see their online menu listed ramen; I dashed over there, only to see they had crossed it off of their menu with a big marker - she decided not to offer it...I was devastated!

      1. re: SmartCookie
        pistachio peas RE: SmartCookie Feb 13, 2010 09:36 AM

        Moto-i has awful ramen, I agree.

        1. re: pistachio peas
          dlgoldie RE: pistachio peas Jan 18, 2012 05:19 AM

          Not sure what has changed, but we had wonderful ramen at Moto-i last Monday. Really porky broth, lots of good pieces of delicious meat, egg poached perfectly, noodles really eggy and good but not overcooked. In fact everything was much better than when we'd gone before, about 18 months ago. Take a second look.

          2940 Lyndale Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        2. re: SmartCookie
          Buttersoy RE: SmartCookie Feb 13, 2012 12:14 PM

          Moto-i is not even ramen in my opinion. There are no broth in it at all, and hack of salty

      2. m
        Minneapolitan RE: Minneapolitan Feb 1, 2010 05:54 PM

        Thanks for the suggestions, all.

        1. tipitina RE: Minneapolitan Feb 2, 2010 12:13 PM

          The NY Times article was great. I really enjoyed the pork ginger ramen at Obento-ya last summer. I too, love ramen. I've looked at a few recipes as well due to the lack of a ramen shop in the Twin Cities. The ramen recipe in the Momofuku cookbook looks pretty good....

          7 Replies
          1. re: tipitina
            spahkee RE: tipitina Feb 2, 2010 05:28 PM

            I always thought that with the popularity of noodles & company and chipotle, a good ramen should offering different flavored soups would do well during our cold winters and the cold ramen salad in our summers. The closes city offering ramen shops is probably Chicago. When I get a craving for ramen, I get my fix from United Noodles where towards the back of the wall by the refrigerated/frozen section, there is are some fresh packages of fresh ramen from Myojo and Nishin in miso, soy sauce and salt flavors that you can bring home. Note that unlike US instant ramen, you want to boil the noodles separately, drain and then make up the soup. You can then add any additional meat, veggies and egg slices etc. For $4.99 for a 3 pack, it's a poor substitute for great ramen but it makes for a quick meal that's slightly reminiscent of ramen,

            If any one has any investors looking for a business opportunity, I think a ramen shop serving Japanese ramen with a side of gyoza would be a big hit - particularly in the downtown area as well as around the university.....

            1. re: spahkee
              Fudist RE: spahkee Feb 3, 2010 03:03 PM

              How great would it be to have Pho trucks in St Paul? Saigon? Ngon? Where are you?

              1. re: Fudist
                kevin47 RE: Fudist Feb 3, 2010 06:57 PM

                I like having my toys to play with when I'm having pho. It's not the most portable dish.

                As for ramen, I think the term has been relegated to the instant noodle dustbin in the foodcourt of American lexicon. I mean, who wants to pay $8 for something that should be 6 for a dollar? Sigh.

                My guess is that if there were a market for it, Obento Ya would offer it on the regular menu.

                1. re: kevin47
                  Fudist RE: kevin47 Feb 7, 2010 10:24 PM

                  I get my Pho to go all the time from Ngon and Saigon and all their "Toys" including raw beef fit very well in a nice little bag. Not that big a deal. It's not like I eat it while running down University Ave.

                2. re: Fudist
                  Haricotsv2 RE: Fudist Feb 2, 2012 12:59 PM

                  Trung Nam is going to have a food truck this summer! Banh mi for sure, but maybe pho?

                  1. re: Haricotsv2
                    mull0263 RE: Haricotsv2 Feb 21, 2012 05:33 PM

                    ??? This is good news. Any other details? When they'll be hitting the streets, will they be getting permits in both cities, etc.?

                    1. re: mull0263
                      Haricotsv2 RE: mull0263 Feb 22, 2012 08:06 PM

                      No, sorry. It was just a brief conversation when I was picking up banh mi a couple of weeks ago.

            2. m
              MayrMN RE: Minneapolitan Feb 12, 2010 02:22 PM

              Just read Jeremy Iggers post on the new Sushi place next to Azia, A25. His review states they do ramen.


              4 Replies
              1. re: MayrMN
                SmartCookie RE: MayrMN Feb 22, 2010 06:10 AM

                Went to A25 last Saturday to try the ramen:

                RAMEN TOKYO STYLE (large bowl only) nori mushroom + quail eggs tofu, chicken, pulled pork, oxtail or muck duck 9
                steak, shrimp or assortment of seafood 12

                Very yummy (go oxtails!). The noodles weren't ramen, they were slightly thicker and chewier. Not complaining, just an observation.


                1. re: SmartCookie
                  Mplsfoodie RE: SmartCookie Nov 4, 2011 09:07 AM

                  I just saw this thread while commenting on United Noodle (or is it United Noodles) new Ramen. Chef Kosuke (a real Japanese dude) makes this awesome Tonkatsu-based Japanese Ramen for $7 per bowl. It's an Asian grocery store in an industrial complex tucked away across from Coastal Seafood. Hard to find, but you'll be glad when you do. The only crappy thing is the hours. The Deli is closed on Mondays; open from 11am-6pm from Tues-Sat, and 11am-5pm on Sun.

                  Coastal Seafoods
                  74 Snelling Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105

                  United Noodles Asian Supermarket
                  2015 E 24th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                  1. re: Mplsfoodie
                    The Dairy Queen RE: Mplsfoodie Nov 4, 2011 10:58 AM

                    Does he actually make the noodles?


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      Mplsfoodie RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 4, 2011 05:41 PM

                      I'm not sure... But I actually find the noodles to be the best part of the soup. It's chewy and a bit nutty! Yummy. We have to go back soon!

              2. j
                JimGrinsfelder RE: Minneapolitan Nov 4, 2011 03:19 PM

                Maybe try Masu over by Surdyks? I personally don't like their Ramen, but your mileage may vary. I thought the broth was overpowering. Maybe it's supposed to be like that, but to me, a good ramen broth is a bit more subtle. Like the broth at Tanpopo in St. Paul.

                I haven't had Ramen at Obento-ya. I think I know what I'm doing for lunch on Monday.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JimGrinsfelder
                  kevin47 RE: JimGrinsfelder Nov 4, 2011 08:11 PM

                  Fully agree on Masu's ramen. Not only overpowering, but very one-note. I like the place, but not for that.

                  Obento-ya is open for lunch?

                  1. re: kevin47
                    soupkitten RE: kevin47 Nov 5, 2011 10:33 AM

                    not completely 100% sure about obento-ya's current hours, but they used to open for lunch, then close at 2:30 for a couple hours before opening again for dinner.

                2. j
                  japanabanana RE: Minneapolitan Nov 7, 2011 05:56 PM

                  Tanpopo is now serving ramen, but only on Mondays. And they only have Shoyu ramen.

                  1. g
                    gildeddawn RE: Minneapolitan Jan 18, 2012 06:18 PM

                    Zen Box Izakaya has ramen on their menu. I can't vouch for it, but it might be worth a try.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gildeddawn
                      SmartCookie RE: gildeddawn Jan 19, 2012 03:33 PM

                      I've had the ramen at Zen Box, and it was just OK. They only offer a kimchee version, and it should be much more spicy. The ramen at Obento-Ya or the UniDeli at United Noodles is much better.

                    2. p
                      precogpunk RE: Minneapolitan Jan 19, 2012 06:50 PM

                      I think Masu's Tonkotsu Curry ramen is the best ramen in town followed by Moto-i. I still have to try zen box. Try making your own ramen sometime (I have) and you'll respect the difficulty involved. Ive made the momofuku ramen a number of times. In a pinch, the sun brand ramen noodles are united are passable. I've also had ramen at Obento-ya (hit or miss) and united noodle's deli (average). I've yet to try zen box. I'd be interested in trying it at tampopo if they had it.

                      1. e
                        Enso RE: Minneapolitan Jan 22, 2012 02:33 PM

                        I like miso ramen best (esp. with a drizzle of sesame oil--yum!).

                        I also prefer to put lots of my favorite veg. in, stuff that most of the restaurants don't do (or tend to overcook).

                        That's why I used to buy the packages of flavoring and noodles in the refrigerated section at United Noodles, and dress it up Our Way...back when we still ate grains, anyways.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Enso
                          Latinpig RE: Enso Jan 31, 2012 11:29 AM

                          Just read about this place opening in NE Minneapolis. They will only make Ramen and Japanese curry. It is an attempt at a Japanese Noodle Shop. They will make their own noodles (I don't think Matsu does but not sure).

                          Tonkotsu Ramen and Curry House

                          1. re: Latinpig
                            zfwp RE: Latinpig Jan 31, 2012 12:55 PM

                            i just read about them on craigslist

                            "Tonkotsu Ramen and Curry House in Northeast Minneapolis is now accepting resumes for prep and line cooks.

                            We specialize in two things and two things only: Ramen and Japanese curry. No sushi. No Tempura. No Robata.
                            Our goal is to recreate the Japanese "Noodle Houses" found only in Japan and in some American cities right here in Minneapolis!
                            We will be opening on Jan. 2nd, and we are located on 26th Ave NE and Central. We will be open until 3am, 7 nights a week.
                            We are looking for:
                            Prep cooks
                            Line cooks
                            Counter staff
                            Experience in basic Japanese cuisine a plus, but not required.
                            Noodle-maker position is a full-time (40/wk) that does require some knowledge of Ramen noodle-making. Ramen noodle is not like Italian pasta.
                            If interested, please send a resume and 3 references. We are hiring this week!! "

                            1. re: zfwp
                              SmartCookie RE: zfwp Jan 31, 2012 02:34 PM

                              January 2nd???

                              1. re: zfwp
                                jbanana RE: zfwp Jan 31, 2012 03:14 PM

                                i saw that on craigslist too and promptly went scouring the area for any sign of a noodle shop. alas, i could not figure out where they were opening.

                                1. re: jbanana
                                  bob s RE: jbanana Jan 31, 2012 07:07 PM

                                  According to Heavy Table, they're going to be at Central Ave and 26th Ave NE.

                                  1. re: bob s
                                    SmartCookie RE: bob s Feb 1, 2012 01:33 PM

                                    I'm excited about the Japanese Curry; no one serves it in the Twin Cities.

                                    1. re: SmartCookie
                                      namabiiru RE: SmartCookie Feb 3, 2012 11:11 PM

                                      I've had J curry once at obento-ya. It was a daily special. In looking at their menu online its the daily special on thursdays.

                                      It was good but I think I make it better hehe:D

                                      I am excited that a shop specializing in it is gonna open. Awesome!!

                              2. re: Latinpig
                                The Dairy Queen RE: Latinpig Feb 3, 2012 12:13 AM

                                Masu's noodles are hand-pulled, but not locally. http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/...


                            2. m
                              Matronix RE: Minneapolitan Feb 4, 2012 07:34 AM

                              Obento-Ya has a Ramen special on Monday nights but also now they have a Nomikai Draft pass every night after 8pm and Ramen is available then too.

                              1. Buttersoy RE: Minneapolitan Feb 13, 2012 07:45 AM

                                I recently tried the Tonkotsu Ramen at Zen Box Izakaya when they were having it on special, and they were good! White creamy broth and red pickled ginger on top, similar with the Ippudo style.
                                I stubbled across at their FB and they only had that for limited quantities only, so I assume they make their soup in house.

                                1. h
                                  Haricotsv2 RE: Minneapolitan Feb 21, 2012 04:48 PM

                                  I had pork ramen at United Noodle today. Broth was delicious, with coconut milk I believe, and Asian greens and bean sprouts complimented the barbecued pork. Noodles were delicious. My only issue was that it had pickled ginger as a garnish, and I really don't like pickled ginger. I'd love to hear others' opinions, as I don't consider myself an expert on ramen (except for the square packages that ar 4 for a dollar, and I gave them up a long time ago ;)

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Haricotsv2
                                    SmartCookie RE: Haricotsv2 Feb 22, 2012 08:26 AM

                                    Funny, I was there yesterday having the Tonkatsu, too!

                                    Beni-Shoga (pickled ginger, which is not the same as Gari) is traditionally served with Tonkatsu; I personally like it, as you get different flavors with each bite. To each their own...you can certainly ask them to leave it out.

                                    1. re: SmartCookie
                                      Haricotsv2 RE: SmartCookie Feb 22, 2012 08:13 PM

                                      I totally understand what you're saying, as the bites I took that had some were certainly influenced by it. I think for me it's like cilantro (which I love) for some people. I just can't develop a taste for it. It's fun to know we were both there. I wonder if we could all wear Chowhound buttons? (Suppose not!)

                                    2. re: Haricotsv2
                                      queue4ever RE: Haricotsv2 Feb 22, 2012 11:31 AM

                                      Even though it looks it, you won't find coconut milk in tonkotsu ramen broth.

                                      I'm not much of a pickled ginger fan either. Maybe that garnish is meant to liven up the ramen presentation? Everything else in the ramen is all light colored.

                                      1. re: Haricotsv2
                                        Petey McNichols RE: Haricotsv2 Feb 22, 2012 07:00 PM

                                        Ginger is usually used to cut the rich flavors or "cleanse the palate" of some Japanese cooking. Ramen garnishes usually comprise of the usual suspects of scallions, nori, pickled veg, fish cakes, egg, etc. All vary according to the region and the chef's preference. Ramen has pretty vague boundaries as far as what would be a standard other than broth and noodles. Lucky Peach issue 1 has great articles about ramen and the cult that follows. A must read if you're a ramen fan.

                                        The ramen spot mentioned above in the Northeast is actually opening in the Midtown Global Market around Mar. 30th.

                                      2. a
                                        alpa chino RE: Minneapolitan Aug 19, 2012 08:56 PM

                                        Having never eaten Ramen before in my life (the non $0.25 cent packet version), I decided to try the ginger pork house ramen at Obenta-Ya. I was a little underwhelmed. The crispy pork was great, the seawood added a different touch to it. But the noodles and broth were not that different from the Maruchan oriental flavor packet that I would make at home. I didn't notice anything special about this Ramen, other than the fact that I paid $12 ($16 after tax/tip) for it. Also, there was no ginger in it. There were some sesame seeds, which were nice.

                                        I will be trying the monday night ramen at Tanpopo soon. I have low expectations.

                                        1. Buttersoy RE: Minneapolitan Aug 22, 2012 01:17 PM

                                          Here is what Heavy Table review about ramen:

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Buttersoy
                                            precogpunk RE: Buttersoy Aug 22, 2012 01:25 PM

                                            I'm surprised they left out Moto-i; it's also worth reviewing Origami and United Noodle's deli.

                                          Show Hidden Posts