All the ramen I ate in 2010. Total number:
That’s a bowl of ramen roughly every 7 days!
Hi. My name is Chloe and I’m a ramenholic.
It all started when I was 4. Homemade ramen was a common 3PM snack at home. My mom’s delicious, from-scratch, bastardized Chinese version had curly ramen noodles, shredded chicken, and hard-boiled eggs. I ate it with a toast slathered with butter or a roll, dunking pieces of the bread into the hot broth. Fast forward to today. I have constant vivid visions of bowls with steaming, glistening broth and chewy, yellow noodles. The mere memory of the smell of the savory soup is enough to drive me nuts. Enough that I’ve missed appointments, driven like a maniac, taken detours, circled the city like a madman, worked my day around kitchen times… just to get to a ramen place. Luckily, there are great places in the city that can feed my ramen addiction. Foursquare mayorships? Check. Of three places? Check. Check. Check.
Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup, derived from the Chinese, that consists of egg noodles and broth. There are different types of broth and many kinds of toppings. The four kinds of ramen categorized into flavor bases are: tonkotsu (made with pork bones), shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), and miso (fermented soybean paste). Each has a distinctive taste. All are delicious. Common toppings include roast pork, seafood, chicken, pickled ginger, pickled mustard leaves, seaweed, bamboo shoots, boiled eggs, and mushrooms. It is a comforting dish and a complete meal, good in any weather.
While there are many restaurants to get ramen all over the city, the best true Japanese ramen in Atlanta can be found in four places. Topping the list at number one is none other than: Yakitori Jinbei. The tonkotsu ramen here is nothing short of excellent. The ultimate comfort and happy food – you know, food that makes you happy when you eat it. The broth, made with pork bones simmered for hours is milky, creamy, and rich. It has that silkiness feel in your mouth. The taste is so bold and rich. So balanced. Thin slices of fork-tender roast pork top the soup. Yellow ramen noodles that are chewy are plentiful. You haven’t tasted ramen this good in this city.
Hi, my name is Chloe and I’m the foursquare mayor of Haru. Haru Ichiban is the only place in the city that serves all four kinds of ramen. Their tonkotsu ramen comes a close second to Jinbei. This is where Atlanta sushi chefs go to eat ramen. The broth is as bold and and as rich. You can taste the creaminess in the soup. It comes in a humongous bowl and topped with the traditional pickled ginger. It also has lots of seaweed and pickled mustard leaves. It’s hearty. The noodles are eggy and chewy. The roast pork slices are thicker. Come early in the day when the broth is fresh as it tends to get on the salty side towards the end of the night.
The most memorable ramen I’ve had this year came as a surprise. It’s from none other than Taka. I’ve been to Taka numerous times but never had the ramen. I tasted it when he first started serving lunch a few weeks ago. It was the most delicious, mind-blowing soy sauce-based broth I have ever tasted. Let me tell you, the wow factor was beyond belief. And it’s been constantly haunting me. Chewy noodles that are thickish, sourced from Japan, are allowed to swim in Taka’s magnificent broth. It has the perfect saltiness. Light but bold in flavor. It has hard-boiled eggs and huge pieces of pork belly. This, my friends, is a five-star shoyu ramen.
Hi, my name is Chloe… you get the picture now, right? Second to Taka, Blue Fin Sushi in Duluth puts out the best chashu shoyu ramen. I grew up eating food from the chefs here who used to work at now defunct SakanaYa. Did you know, I’ve also seen Taka here? The clientele here is mostly Japanese and Korean, thanks to the golf course around back. The soy sauce-based broth has deep, rich flavors. Soy sauce is used to enhance and season, and does not overpower the true taste of the broth. The noodles here are thin yet chewy. Each bowl comes topped with 5 glorious slices of tender roast pork. Filling, yes. Good, absolutely.
Four amazing ramen places. Four chances to get your fill. What are you waiting for?
Oh, by the way, you have to see the movie. I’m not a drama/chick-flick kind of girl (explosions, guns, blood, and violence are more my thing) but my lovely friend Jen got me into it. Ramen in a movie — what’s not to love?
2421 Cobb Pkwy SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
3646 Satellite Blvd
Duluth, GA 30096
Taka Sushi Cafe
375 Pharr Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
Blue Fin Sushi
2863 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Duluth, GA 30097