Santouka Ramen: San Jose, CA, USA
One of the things I really wanted to try was ramen. There is a very large population in California, particularly the Bay Area. In addition to shopping my heart out at Daiso and getting cutsy Japanese items for $1.50 or less, I got to eat some pretty legit ramen. We went out to Santouka Ramen in the Mitsuwa Japanese grocery store near north San Jose where my other friend E met us after work on Friday night. He recommended getting a salmon bowl combo as well. That being said, I ordered the following:
- miso ramen with salmon bowl combo
- great quantity: there was a good ratio between ramen egg noodles and soup
- real ramen noodles, not the kind that are curly and fried that tends to be more like instant ramen noodles. Shocking I know but some ramen places actually do not use “real ramen”.
- meat was very tender, not tough and over-cooked
- extra additions possible: you had to purchase the additional toppings if you wanted extra but it was a generous portion. I had ordered more bamboo shoots because I wanted some extra crunch.
- true to authenticity, this ramen broth, while super rich, was also super salty. That being said, this was pretty much spot on to the ramen that I had in Tokyo, Japan.
Salmon Bowl: small bowl with steamed or cooked salmon, minced and shredded on top, and served with salmon roe.
- small enough addition for a combo and good to just get a nice break from the saltiness of the ramen
- the ratio of salmon and salmon roe to rice was perfect: there wasn’t too much roe where it was too salty, but it gave just enough balance for the less flavorful rice.
- none truthfully.
Oh man, I really think that if the broth wasn’t so salty and they had one more piece of pork, it would have been spot on for me. Admittedly, we had another friend with us that felt its neighbor, Kahoo Ramen, was by far better. Guess I’ll just have to come back to try that! All in all I give this combo ***.85 (3.85 stars). The salt really did it for me. You can find them here: