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Apr 21, 2014 05:34 PM

Baltimore Ramen!

Baltimore has good ramen!

Just stopped by the old Joss Cafe (400 block N. Charles St.) and had a shoyu ramen and a cup of bubble tea. Ramen was legit -- luscious, rich broth and properly al dente alkaline ramen noodles. Definitely the best ramen I've had in the surrounding 60 miles (including D.C.) and hit the spot nicely.

It's only open 11 AM - 7 PM right now, and is in the works of getting a proper menu and redoing the insides, but it's worth going. They also have miso and I think corn butter ramen, also Taiwanese beef noodle soup (haven't tried it, don't know how it is). Only caveat is that portion sizes are somewhat small for the price -- $10 for a small bowl, $8 for karaage (fried chicken) or other sides.

Thanks to HowChow (liked a link to this on Facebook, but can't find it anymore!! Otherwise I would have linked it) for the tip.

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  1. wow, great to hear! I saw a write up in the city paper, and got excited. I can't wait to try it!

    2 Replies
    1. re: foster

      I'm going to have to disagree on this one. I went yesterday and it was mediocre at best. Had really high hopes too. I ate a miles worth of Ramen in Japan last year and crave it frequently. It's not remotely in the same league as Toki Underground or Daikaya.

      First off it took 90 minutes for us to get two bowls of Shoyu, which is insane. We were not alone in this respect, there were constant complaints heading to the poor young man at the counter taking orders about how long it was taking, and it wasn't very busy. If it wasn't order/pay at the same time I would have certainly walked out after an hour of waiting. Second, the egg was horribly overcooked, the pork was spartan, and for some reason there was spinach in it. Finally the noodles were overcooked. I found the portion size to be fine for 10 dollars, and the broth to be rich, but everything else about it was sub-par.

      Hoping these are just growing pains as Baltimore could really use a ramen shop, but this was not a place worth remembering or going back to. Side note - good playlist of indie pop going the whole time.

      1. re: hotel

        Sorry for your poor experience. Sounds like you had poor execution. It took 10 minutes for my bowl of ramen to arrive (but there was only one couple in front of me). My noodles were cooked perfectly. The broth, as you mentioned is nicely rich. Definitely (for me) miles above Toki Underground (have not been to Daikaya) in terms of broth and noodles.

        Hopefully it's just growing pains.

    2. Came here on a couple of occasions and I think it's a nice neighborhood ramen joint and (un)fortunately the only one we have in Baltimore. While I think they miss/overlook on some details I think overall it will have me return here whenever craving hits.

      I agree with hotel - the 90 minute wait is likely to be a hiccup - that in general their noodle is bit overcooked, and the cut of the pork more on a pedestrian side. But I find their broth pretty good and staff very willing. As they are not necessarily trying to compete w/ "high-end" ramen joints of NYC or DC I think they are making a great start.

      I tried their guo tie (gyoza) and karaage and unfortunately both were subpar.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kurtis

        An off topic aside: Went to Indochine for lunch two days ago. Pretty great bun and pho. Mekong Delta has some competition I think.

        1. re: hotel

          I agree. See a new thread on this.

      2. Came here recently and had their spicy tonkotsu ramen. I think they are getting better on each of my visits, and today, the noodle was just perfectly toothy and chewy. Broth remains flavorful without overpowering, and the whole bowl of soup remain hot till the last slurp. Quality of the pork piece is significantly better and better tasting as well. I just may now prefer here over Ren's Ramen whose broth is too salty to my taste, and even over Toki even though they get the details better than our own Ten Ten here.