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Teknotic Jan 1, 2011 11:56 PM

Where is the best place to eat ramen and udon in Seattle?

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  1. ericlutzker RE: Teknotic Jan 6, 2011 10:14 AM

    aloha ramen on greenwood and 81st or so has excellent hawaiian style ramen, highly recommended. at least as good as the much touted hamura's saimin on kauai that i've been to several times (and is also excellent, just for comparison.) nb aloha is only open for dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ericlutzker
      ritabwh RE: ericlutzker May 11, 2014 07:29 PM

      i went to aloha ramen for the first time a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised. the shoyu ramen was the clear, lighter broth instead of the thick fatty broths that are so popular now. the second visit was also just as satisfactory. my only complaint is the noodles are too soft for my taste. i read somewhere to ask for the noodles to be cooked al dente, did so, and they were still soft. the noodles are not a deal breaker for me but the broth would be if that were the case, and aloha delivered for me.

    2. g
      GreenYoshi RE: Teknotic Jan 6, 2011 12:14 PM

      Every says Samurai for ramen, which is bo doubt very good and might be the right call.
      But I just found Yoe's noodles near Crossroads, which I think does it even better. Might be worth checking out.

      3 Replies
      1. re: GreenYoshi
        HungWeiLo RE: GreenYoshi Jan 6, 2011 10:45 PM

        How is Yoe's? I walked in a few weeks ago and walked out because I didn't want to wait. It looked suspiciously like those Hong Kong cafe-type places that just uses instant ramen (albeit more expensive brands) and adds a bunch of colorful meats and veggies. Was anyone actually making noodles in the back?

        1. re: HungWeiLo
          GreenYoshi RE: HungWeiLo Jan 7, 2011 08:49 AM

          Don't know if they're house-made or not, but they were good.

        2. re: GreenYoshi
          Teknotic RE: GreenYoshi Jan 7, 2011 10:22 AM

          You know, actually I have been to Yoe's. It is run by Chinese people, so it's not exactly Japanese ramen. It is pretty good, but if you look at their specials board, they'll sometime have some hidden Chinese gems. I got some duck kidney skewers that were just like the meat on a stick I found in China. Not the greatest ramen ever, but still pretty decent.

        3. d
          Dalilahshair RE: Teknotic Jan 6, 2011 11:16 PM

          Tsukushinbo in ID has the best ramen ... only on Friday's at lunch. But better get there by 10:45 as they sell out EVERY Friday.

          Fu Lin's tonkotsu ramen is a close second.

          Samurai Ramen has gone south.

          515 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

          Fu Lin
          512 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

          5 Replies
          1. re: Dalilahshair
            pusherman RE: Dalilahshair Jan 11, 2011 12:20 PM

            Agree Fu Lin -- this place is kind of under the radar, but has not only decent ramen, but also very good Taiwanese beef noodle soup.

            I'm historically a fan of Samurai, but will agree, has become uneven...I hope they get it cleared up, as they will soon be opening a CapHill branch.

            I have had good ramen at Kaname, an izakaya-ish place on Jackson in the ID.

            I've been less impressed by the ramen at Boom & Kushibar, though Boom has improved a bunch since they first opened and have moved from blech to passable.

            Fu Lin
            512 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

            1. re: pusherman
              eat.rest.repeat RE: pusherman Jan 11, 2011 08:31 PM

              I too have noticed that Boom Noodle has been getting better and better. My first experience there was so bad I did not plan to ever eat there again but because a friend had purchased a Groupon deal and took me I had a chance to taste a marked improvement. I've been back again and it seemed to have again been improved.

              Boom Noodle
              1121 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

              1. re: pusherman
                ritabwh RE: pusherman Nov 23, 2013 09:01 PM

                i liked the miso ramen at boom in bellevue. i did not care for the boom in seattle.

              2. re: Dalilahshair
                Psiweaver RE: Dalilahshair Jan 13, 2011 11:53 AM

                Samurai ramen is absolutely terrible. I've found the best ramen lies about 2 hours north of Seattle in Vancouver at Kintaro (there are a few other places nearby that are nearly as good as well) other than that I haven't found any Ramen in the PNW thats even close to acceptable quality. Though i haven't been to Tsukushinbo in the ID on fridays but will have to give it a try.

                515 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

                1. re: Psiweaver
                  ritabwh RE: Psiweaver Nov 23, 2013 09:02 PM

                  i was pleasantly surprised by samurai on capitol hill. 7 years prior, i ate at samurai in the ID and i did not care for it at all.

              3. e
                equinoise RE: Teknotic Sep 23, 2013 12:59 PM

                I thought I'd bump this post up due to recent activity in the ramen arena over the past 2 years. Now open are Kukai in Bellevue and 4649 in Wallingford, which has ramen for lunch service. Here is a recent round-up article on available ramen.


                I had read someone that 1 or 2 additional Japan-based chains are planning to open in the area soon.

                Re: udon, the U:Don joint in the U-District serves house-made noodles and seems to be favorably reviewied.

                2 Replies
                1. re: equinoise
                  PAO RE: equinoise Sep 24, 2013 02:36 PM

                  I will say that the clams in shiso butter I had at 4649 are the best clams I have ever had in my life.

                  1. re: equinoise
                    OCAnn RE: equinoise Nov 8, 2013 10:57 AM

                    Visiting from OC and had the tonkotsu shoyu ramen on a super windy day last week (enough to cause power outages in the area), so it was a great day for ramen. We also had the takoyaki (delish), chicken wings (a bit on the sweet side), geso karaage (delish), and onigiri (solid).

                    Will have to revisit to try yuzu shio ramen which sounds utterly interesting.

                  2. p
                    PAO RE: Teknotic Sep 24, 2013 02:32 PM

                    I have been told by someone I regard as a Japanese food expert (she teaches Japanese cooking, has a Japanese food blog, etc) that the ramen at 4649 (aka Yoroshiku) in Wallingford is absolutely the best in this area, no contest. Full portions only available at lunch. Half portions available at dinner, but they sell out fast. I haven't yet had the opportunity to try it. Best udon is :U:Don on the Ave--they make their own fresh noodles in house--big fat chewy ones. Many different variations of udon available--hot, cold, in soup, in sauce, in curry,with egg, with fried tofu, with grated daikon, etc., with lots of sides available. For the best tempura udon with noodles that are not homemade, Tsukushinbo.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: PAO
                      shaolinLFE RE: PAO Sep 24, 2013 04:22 PM

                      i will backup 100% all the recommendations Pao has made. I went last friday to 4649 and I only wanted more after a half portion. They also serve a miso ramen during lunch as well.

                      1. re: shaolinLFE
                        equinoise RE: shaolinLFE Sep 25, 2013 05:18 PM

                        I went to 4649 today at lunch and got the Sapporo miso ramen with extra cha su, soft-boiled egg and mushrooms. Excellent broth, good noodles. I am hardly an expert in ramen, and I couldn't say whether the noodles were housmade, but I greatly enjoyed this. The price was basically comparable to Samurai Noodle (although the styles available there are different). Also, my co-worker, who used to live in Japan, had the spicy miso and thought it was the best he has found in SEA. I would definitely return.

                        1. re: equinoise
                          DiggyK RE: equinoise Sep 30, 2013 01:08 PM

                          I also tried out 4649 last Friday after all the laudatory comments. I have to agree! Even though I'm usually more of a tonkotsu ramen person, the spicy miso ramen was excellent. I loved how the (optional) soft-boiled egg was perfectly cooked. Only slight issue is I prefer my noodles a bit firmer; next time I'll see if they can adjust that for me.

                          I'd rate this above both Kukai and Samurai Ramen right now.

                          1. re: DiggyK
                            equinoise RE: DiggyK Oct 29, 2013 02:54 PM

                            I tried Kukai this weekend. Both the menu as a whole and ramen styles are very different from 4649, which specializes in shio and miso flavored ramen. Kukai also has a larger number of small plate/izakaya items, which included the gyoza and fried chicken wings I tried, both very good. The agedashi tofu was excellent. I had the shoyu ramen which was quite light in consistency; this came with bamboo shoot, scallions, one slice cha su and nori, to which I added egg and mushrooms. The pork was less tender than Samurai or 4649 IIRC(perhaps owing to reported char-grilling?)

                            As far as presentation, noodles and overall appeal, I would say it clearly exceeded Samurai. It is difficult to compare with others such as 4649 or highly regarded Ippudo in NYC because of divergent style samples.

                            The place was very crowded and service was slow as a result, but otherwise was competent. They were "out" of the yuzu-flavored broth and also larger format beers which seemed odd, but others have commented on previously: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/876667

                            Price was very comparable with 4649, and I would defintitely return to Kukai over 4649 if geographic location was equidistant or at dinner due to 4649's limited menu.

                            1. re: equinoise
                              tykapfh RE: equinoise Oct 29, 2013 03:50 PM

                              We went this weekend too. I thought it was solid. Borderline worth driving from W Sea in the future. Actually, I take that back... the eggs are wroth driving for. They were incredible. I had the tonkatsu and the wife had the shoyu. Mine was pretty tasty and very filling. The shoyu was lighter and decent. We both thought the noodles were great. The char sui was odd as it's cut thin and appears to be grilled or something before hitting the bowl. Not really tender. We also had the gyoza and takoyaki. Both were fine. Not much tako in the takoyaki... like very little. Did I mention the eggs!?

                              1. re: tykapfh
                                HungWeiLo RE: tykapfh Nov 4, 2013 01:52 PM

                                I saw this rail-thin young woman order an extra 3 of those soft-boiled eggs with her bowl of noodles, then scarfed them down one by one.

                                Ah...to be young and have a Stomach of Steel (tm) again...

                              2. re: equinoise
                                ritabwh RE: equinoise Oct 31, 2013 02:32 PM

                                i prefer 4649 over kukai. i see no reason to return to tanaka san for their ramen.
                                the miso ramen at 4649 was one of the better miso ramens i have had here. kukai's shoyu ramen has an odd sweetness that i did not care for. tanaka san's shoyu ramen reminded me of Biwa's broth. way too strong meaty and porky.
                                all noodles were good at all three locations. you get a choice of straight, curly and wheat(?) noodles at tanaka san.
                                inspite of everything, the capitol hill samurai noodle's shoyu ramen is one of my currrent favorites.

                      2. r
                        ramenjay RE: Teknotic Sep 26, 2013 09:58 PM

                        The two ramen places I've heard of opening soon are Jinya Ramen Bar in Crossroads (http://www.jinya-ramenbar.com/) and Shibumi Ramenya on Capitol Hill (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shibum...).

                        Samurai is my go-to only because that's my personal favorite. I recently tried the ramen at New Zen Japanese Restaurant in Renton, which I thought the broth was flavorful and the noodles the right texture. The ramen at Tanakasan was worth the try, but I heard they're better at their rice bowels. Kukai and 4649 are worth a try as well. Series Eats also had a list of Ramen places (http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/09/6-...).

                        1. r
                          ramenjay RE: Teknotic Nov 23, 2013 06:44 PM

                          Looks like another ramen place has just opened up: Ramen Man Noodle House (http://www.yelp.com/biz/ramen-man-noo...). Has anyone eaten there yet?

                          1. ritabwh RE: Teknotic Nov 23, 2013 08:58 PM

                            i went to Setsuna a few nights ago. saw an ad for them in Ibuki magazine, and figured they must be pretty confident to advertise in a japanese freebie magazine.
                            i was not disappointed in the ramen. i had the Black which is rich shoyu with garlic butter dressing. personally for me, the broth was a bit too rich for my yokohama taste but nevertheless it was very good.
                            next time i will have my usual benchmark which is the plain old shoyu.
                            the Red which is spicy shio with some miso was also very good. you could actually taste the broth base beneath the spicy chile seasoning.
                            the noodles are straight. there are sprouts, and menma. the egg is extra charge but the it was beautifully seasoned and not all dark like the "seasoned" eggs at other establishments.
                            the pork was thick chunks rather than thte thinly sliced pork.
                            i am eager to try the other flavors soon.
                            the small plates/appetizers we ordered were acceptable.

                            1. f
                              Foodtwosome RE: Teknotic Nov 25, 2013 06:53 PM

                              Ramen Man on 45th in Wallingford. Hands down. The best.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Foodtwosome
                                shaolinLFE RE: Foodtwosome Dec 23, 2013 04:00 PM

                                I liked it the first time round. but the second time i'm realizing that although the broth is super rich, i get sodium overload halfway through the bowl. I've tried both the original and the shoyu. I'm afraid to try the miso if it's even saltier.

                                but... you do get a little reward if you finish the broth...

                                1. re: Foodtwosome
                                  ritabwh RE: Foodtwosome Dec 26, 2013 01:39 PM

                                  i went to Ramen Man a few weeks ago. all his broths are kotteri paitan style. his "shoyu" ramen was thick, oily and rich. it was good, but it was not what i wanted.
                                  the popularity of tonkotsu, paitan, and other kotteri broths are making ot harder and harder to find the clear shoyu broths.
                                  maybe in the dead of winter weather as we had just recently a bowl of the paitan ramen would be welcome but it is too rich for me on a daily basis.

                                  1. re: ritabwh
                                    shaolinLFE RE: ritabwh Jan 9, 2014 06:02 PM

                                    I think the Tsukushinbo shoyu ramen is your best bet. but its only friday lunches and need to line up for it.

                                    i havent been to Bloom but i believed they carried over the Showa ramen recipe.

                                    1. re: shaolinLFE
                                      ritabwh RE: shaolinLFE Jan 10, 2014 05:37 PM

                                      agreed. i have been dying to try tsukushinbo but the friday lunch hour does not work for me (yet). the old uwajimaya in bellevue had a very nice shoyu ramen. the new location's ramen is pitifully bad. i was told the cook did not move to the new uwajimaya.

                                      1. re: shaolinLFE
                                        ritabwh RE: shaolinLFE Mar 14, 2014 05:09 PM

                                        Bloom? i just found it on yelp. it looks very promising for my ramen taste. dang. it's in ballard. i hate driving to ballard. :-)

                                        by the way, i finally went to Aloha Ramen. loved the shoyu ramen! the noodles were a bit soft for my taste but the broth was spot on.

                                  2. m
                                    mingm RE: Teknotic Dec 4, 2013 02:38 PM

                                    anyone have any news regarding Santouka opening in Bellevue???

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: mingm
                                      mingm RE: mingm Dec 20, 2013 08:12 AM

                                      something to look forward to in the Spring!

                                      1. re: mingm
                                        ramenjay RE: mingm Dec 22, 2013 08:35 AM

                                        YAY!! I've had their ramen in Vancouver and it's amazing. So excited they're opening a branch around here!!

                                        1. re: ramenjay
                                          mingm RE: ramenjay Mar 14, 2014 12:57 AM

                                          Santouka is planning to open in April

                                          Jinya is opening march 17

                                          1. re: mingm
                                            HungWeiLo RE: mingm Mar 20, 2014 09:03 AM

                                            Just tried Jinya yesterday. They're still on a limited menu (ramen only pretty much, and chicken karaage). We ordered the white and black tonkotsu respectively. Both were still a bit rough, but the broth was amazing. The noodle was not chewy like it is at Kukai. The pork is a fattier cut which is more flavorful but less smoky than the ones at Kukai.

                                            This place is very promising, though it's going to be one of those dine at 4:30pm or wait 1.5 hours type places.

                                            1. re: HungWeiLo
                                              ritabwh RE: HungWeiLo May 11, 2014 07:13 PM

                                              i have to say that all the shouty irrashaimase are very tiring and nerve wracking.
                                              i don't think i will be going back. the ramen was not good enough for me to put up with all that racket.
                                              the booths are only for party of 3 or more.

                                            2. re: mingm
                                              creepygirl RE: mingm May 11, 2014 02:23 PM

                                              Went to Ramen Santouka for lunch today. We'd been to the Vancouver location before, but this was the first time we'd visited the Bellevue location. Menu is a bit more limited than what I remember from Vancouver (no gyoza yet, no tan-tan ramen). Husband had the Karamiso ramen and I had the shio (tonkotsu) ramen with toroniku (pork jowl).

                                              The noodles were not super-chewy but had some bite. The broth was creamy and rich. The chashu in the karamiso bowl was excellent, but paled in comparison with the toroniku, which was as amazing. It's tender and the fat kind of melts in your mouth like a good piece of sashimi.

                                              We showed up at 11:00am and there was already a line outside the restaurant that was 30-40 people deep by then. There's a sign outside instructing the proper line-up technique, so I think this must be a regular occurrence.

                                              Service was very quick at getting our orders/food and very attentive with refilling glasses, and making sure we were happy with their food.

                                              We will definitely be back, but only on days where we're ok with waiting a bit for our food.

                                              1. re: creepygirl
                                                EatFoodGetMoney RE: creepygirl May 12, 2014 12:43 PM

                                                I had Santouka last week too. Had the Karamiso, but with the toroniku. Girlfriend has the shoyu with the standard pork belly, also had a few of the pork buns.

                                                I've only had ramen a few times so my opinion is about as useless as a yelp review. I'm going to return to try it a few more times, and try other ramen shops around here before I potentially mislead anyone with comments about Santouka or ramen in general.

                                                I will say that the toroniku was quite amazing, and I'll probably never go to Santouka without ordering some, flavor and texture were amazing. It's well worth the added charge. Aside form that I'll say that I left fairly satisfied, and look forward to trying more items on their menu. I hope they offer Tsukamen soon.

                                                Seems like this place is always going to have a huge line (40+ deep at 1 pm on a Sunday). I don't wait in lines over 20 minutes (not even for Paseos or Il Corvo). So if you're like me, you'll want to go to Santouka at like 3pm on a Sunday, even then you'll still wait about 20 minutes. Though now the market will probably incorporate that information and it'll be a zoo Sunday at 3 now haha.

                                                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney
                                                  HungWeiLo RE: EatFoodGetMoney May 12, 2014 02:00 PM

                                                  The good thing about having the new places pop up is that the older places have open tables at all times of the day now (Jinya, Kukai, etc.)

                                      2. s
                                        sasha1 RE: Teknotic Dec 4, 2013 06:23 PM

                                        Does anyplace do a mabo ramen?

                                        My favorite ramen place (in LA) has a soy based clear ramen soup that they add mabo tofu to and it is delicious.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sasha1
                                          roolala RE: sasha1 Dec 5, 2013 02:23 PM

                                          aloha ramen does :)

                                        2. RandyBobandy RE: Teknotic Dec 28, 2013 02:00 PM

                                          Ramen Man is pretty decent.

                                          1. r
                                            ramenjay RE: Teknotic Mar 16, 2014 07:50 AM

                                            Just had ramen at Coco in downtown Bellevue. It was good, but there was just way too many toppings that they added (I counted 7-8).

                                            1. Gastronomicus RE: Teknotic Mar 20, 2014 02:06 AM

                                              Great thread...has anyone found tsukemen in Seattle?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Gastronomicus
                                                ramenjay RE: Gastronomicus Mar 20, 2014 06:30 AM

                                                Samurai Noodle, Jinya, and Kukai have tsukemen. I've only tried it at Samurai and Kukai and it was good at both places. Samurai has a spicy tsukemen and Kukai uses a mix of their broths.

                                              2. m
                                                mrnelso RE: Teknotic Mar 20, 2014 03:15 AM

                                                Bloom - 5410 17th NW
                                                Good, chewy ramen in engaging broths.

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