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Porter Exchange Japanese Recommendations?

Strip T's chef/owner, Tim, told us that Sapporo Ramen is his fav Boston place for ramen, so we've really enjoyed a few ramen meals there the last few weeks. Our fav is the Curry pork ramen with extra pork and extra tofu and corn (though i must remark that charging $1 for 5 kernels of corn is a pretty steep deal, esp. when another $1 gets you a LOT of tofu.) Anyway, there have been past threads about the Super 88 food court in allston and the HMart food court in Burlington, but I didn't find a recent Porter Exchange thread, so thought I'd start one.

I'll just mention that the Adzuki Creams at Cafe Japonaise have been a passion of mine for years, but it seems that they have changed their recipe for the puff, for the worse, and the units are maybe 25% smaller than they used to be. So i've weaned myself off them boo hoo.

Anyone have comments on the fried chicken and fried pork dishes at Sapporo? And how about fav dishes at the other stalls in the Exchange? Thx much.

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  1. Mami: Curry with egg and cheese, wafu chicken cutlet. I don't recommend the gyu don. Overall the service and atmosphere isn't what it was when everyone was Japanese... but the food is still tasty.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Luther

      I'll second Mami, but I go for their hamburg steaks.

      1. re: Luther

        third on Mami curry, but my waistline forgoes all the meat for veggies or plain, and is sad about it. I also like their donburi just fine.

      2. Sapporo is delicious, though I have a hard time eating big hot bowls of rich soup when it's hot out... thanks for the tip on the extras!

        I like Cafe Mami too, but I think I actually prefer Ittyo (the one all the way in the back). They have really good oyakodon, unadon, chicken teriyaki (sounds boring, but it's so tasty I have a hard time ordering anything else now), and a rice bowl with both fresh and fried tofu in it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: maillard

          maillard, i know just what you mean about the heat; it is easier when you're REALLY hungry!
          thx for the ittyo recs.

        2. Mami has a tasty chicken and pork cutlet, but I have not had the ones at Sapporo. Not so much another stall but I also really like the curry donut at Cafe Japonaise for a savory treat. And strangely, I like the kimchi pajon at Chocho's and it was loaded with veggies and not oily. Yum. Although I would not recommend anything else there.

          1. cafe mami - gyu don, katsu, tatsuta, curry rice, hamburg sets
            sapporo ramen - cha han, house ramen
            tampopo - croquettes, kara age
            ittyo - donburi, cold noodles
            japonaise bakery - red bean donut, twist donut, cake donuts, ichigo cream, shoku pan, mochi

            2 Replies
            1. re: galangatron

              galang, plse tell me about the croquettes and the cold noodles! And have you noticed the change in the adzuki cream at J bakery? thx.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                This is an old thread but I guess I haven't had an adzuki cream in awhile. Just had one this evening and was really disappointed. It was exactly as you said, 25% smaller and not even half as good as it used to be. I was going to start a thread asking if the place had changed hands but decided to do a search first and discovered here that they had gone downhill last year. Too bad - the old version was truly delicious.

            2. Love tampopo don at Tampopo, fried pork cutlet with rice, broccoli, carrot, and mildly spicy sauce.

              1. I really like the croquettes (korokke) at Tampopo. The rice, soup, and salad are nothing special, but the croquettes are great. I highly, highly rec the cream ones. They're like a block of deep fried bechamel (maybe some crab mixed in too). The curry and hijiki ones are great too. They make them all by hand at the restaurant.

                2 Replies
                1. re: chocojosh

                  i'll def get these, so thx much! i love creamy crunchy croquettes!

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Mami for ginger fried chicken w/Sriracha mayo, or their teriyaki hamburger w/sunny-side egg... Thanks for the reminder on the P.E.! Haven't been there "in a minute", and look forward to one of Cafe Mami's green tea frappes, too... I, like, totally forgot about that joint!

                2. Well, what a surprise>> went for Sapporo takeout ramen on this pouring rain day, at 6:30, and was told "no more take-out!" Seems they were running low and needed to keep inventory for their sit down customers. Just a warning! (And there I was thinking, "It's a rainy day; maybe everyone stays at home...")

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    I was there in the afternoon and they were closed (went to Ittyo instead and learned that they now do delivery). Do they usually close between lunch and dinner?

                  2. To update this thread, Mami has absolutely gone to shit in terms of food quality. Ah well, they had a good run.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Luther

                      noooooooo! I vaguely remember the owner's wife was sick, rumors of selling. Rumor's no good so anybody know a well-informed update?

                      1. re: enhF94

                        The Chinese waitress from the past couple years is still there, and none of the old chefs are there anymore. I think it's the guy who used to wash dishes, plus a couple non-Japanese guys working the stove now.

                    2. Another update: I hadn't been to Chocho's in ages, but last Sunday's lunch crowding left me with few choices. The okdol / dolsot bibimbap (not sure which name they use) was surprisingly good. I'll be going back.