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Jan 11, 2012 01:37 PM

Nombe Bull (Beef) Ramen

I tried the new Chef Nofiyuki (Nori) Sugie's ramen at Nombe for lunch today. You get a card to fill out specifying your cut of beef, and additional toppings. The base price is $10, with additional toppings $1 each.

I was hoping for some kind of beef based broth but the only choice is miso. It's a pretty concentrated miso however, stronger than your average miso broth. The addition of a spicy paste adds a nice kick and smoky flavor to the earthiness. The umami foam might have added some subtle umami, but I didn't notice it after I dug in..

I chose beef cheek, with other choices being beef tongue, ox tail, short rib. The cheek was very tender, and a pretty nice size of it as well. The wavy light yellow noodles were cooked a bit softer than I'd like but I didn't specify doneness. I also added a soy egg, which seemed like it had a soft yolk at one point but it firmed up a bit in my bowl. The only other topping was some scallions so the base bowl is pretty scant in that regard.

I'm not the biggest fan of miso based ramen so it wasn't my favorite bowl, but I appreciated the tender beef and the big miso flavor. My friend thought his short rib ramen was good, with a generous portion as well.

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  1. Faster than a speeding bullet! Thanks for filling us in on the chef's first day.

    2491 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    1. Does this mean you think that there's no meat or bone stock to which the miso is added. I believe most miso ramen soups have added miso to the protein based stock.

      5 Replies
      1. re: twocents

        Miso is often chicken broth based,but from the beef bones mentioned in Melanie's link I would guess beef bone based.

        It can be hard to taste the base broth through the miso.

        1. re: drewskiSF

          Beef bone based broth for ramen is extremely rare in Japan. After living here for many years, I have never seen it. It is usually pork bone based, but sometimes chicken based, both with dried fish added for complexity.

          1. re: Tripeler

            It is rare,but look at Melanie's link. At least in the article he says there is a beef based ramen because he couldn't get consistent fresh pork bones

          2. re: drewskiSF

            I noticed the beef bones mention in the article as well, and no, I couldn't really detect the beefiness in the broth. The color was quite dark, but I attributed that to the strong miso flavor (more paste).

            1. re: DezzerSF

              It's a beef bone broth (cooked 10-12 hours) mixed with a scoop of miso paste. Chef Nori developed this recipe in LA last year ($14-$16 per bowl, dinner pop-up). The version he makes for SF is more simple and priced at $10 (maybe because the Nombe owners wanted a lower price point for DAT), so it doesn't include kikurage, ginger garlic oil, or an egg (cost extra). And only has 1/4 the amount of umami foam, compared to the LA original.
              Other changes: 4 meat choices instead of 5, and the corned beef was replaced with beef cheeks. In LA each meat was basted with gravy or caramelized, the SF version uses boiled or pressure cooked meat. Also in LA each meat was paired with different noodles, in SF only 1 type of noodles.

        2. The DAT lunch for $17.95 includes beef ramen with all toppings, plus a mini donburi, and choice of drink. So it's a great value right now until January 31.
          The owner told me that the beef ramen (and miso veggie) will be added to dinner soon, but they'll still keep his wife's tan tan men and tonkotsu ramen.