I first came to Haru Ichiban close to 10 years ago. It was such a fantastic place that I came several times a week. Japanese sushi chefs in the city came to eat here all the time. I still see one or two of them every now and then — to eat ramen. Aside from the ramen, food here was authentic, high quality, and delicious. But not lately. Last month, I put them on my “Time Out List”. Restaurants on this list are those that used to be stellar but has slacked off so I’m giving them some time to recover and hopefully my next visit will be better. Despite of this small hiccup, their ramen has been solid all these years and I must have it at least once a week.
The menu boasts of the usual fare including a combination lunch where you get to choose two items and the blink-and-they’re-gone daily specials which sell out within the hour. But the one thing they really are well known for is the ramen. A ginormous bowl of hot broth is mixed with perfectly cooked egg noodles and slices of delicious, housemade roasted pork. There are four flavors of broth to choose from, plus an assortment toppings that you can pick.
The Shio flavor, my absolute favorite, is seasoned with natural sea salt. Although it uses chicken broth, it doesn’t really taste like chicken soup. The pork slices play a major part in the overall flavor and the result is a savory, tasty soup. Believe me when I say this is comfort food at its best.
My other favorite is the Tonkotsu broth which should not be confused with tonkatsu (which is fried pork cutlet). Tonkotsu is a pork-based broth made by boiling pigs’ bones for several hours. The result is a creamy broth that is so fantastic.
The Soy flavor is chicken broth seasoned with soy sauce. Be warned, this broth is on the salty side. I stopped getting this because I got tired of diluting it with my hot tea just so it can be eatable. However, if you like your food salty, then this is perfect for you. The Miso flavor is a salt-based broth infused with soy bean paste. This isn’t your regular miso soup, instead, the broth is sweetish with a nutty undertone.
Haru Ichiban has the best Shio Ramen in town hands down. I recommend you stick with the roast pork topping for your first visit as this is how it is normally served in Japan. It will also allow you to taste the basic flavors the way they’re intended to be.
Note: I am compiling a side-by-side comparison of Japanese ramen from the three best places in town so stay tuned for that.
Lunch menu also available on Saturdays.
3646 Satellite Blvd
Duluth, GA 30096