We arrived at 11:50, and wouldn’t you know it, there were three people waiting for the doors to open…which doesn’t happen until the clock strikes 12. The chopsticks came with a little belt around them, presumably to hold the pair together. I was delighted to figure out that the holder transforms into a chopstick rest. Ahh…Japanese ingenuity!
I ordered their Extra BBQ Pork Ramen (Shoyu flavoured broth), which includes their usual pork shoulder butt plus some BBQ Ribs. I’m so glad I tried this, because the shoulder butt was really fatty, but the ribs were amazingly tender.
Totally salvaged the bowl of noodles for me. There was the usual half egg, loads of bean sprouts, green onions and four large pieces of nori, my favourite! Although the bowl didn’t seem humungous (as in a large pho size), it was still too much for me to finish. Strange, since my friend pointed out that I had no problem polishing off a similarly sized bowl from Benkei just last week.
Can I blame it on the gigantic gyozas then? Not really, since although they were large, there were only four of them instead of the usual six. And we had gyozas there too! One thing I did notice is that they fry their gyozas together, so that when served, all four are stuck together which isn’t a big deal, but I prefer it when they aren’t.
My friend had the Bamboo Charcoal Dark Miso Ramen…which was black…not grey, but actually black. Well, if it's got charcoal in it...and again, with the requisite sides, but other than the colour of the broth (and it’s dietary and anti-aging benefits), nothing spectacular. In fact, the broth was just salty. My broth was too salty too.
I know it’s a taste issue, but I am not a mild-flavour type of girl, so I was surprised that I found things salty here. In fact, I actually felt sorry for the server who came around to fill our water glasses at least three times.
At Benkei, I’ve seen a girl order a mug of hot water when they first sit down, take a sip of the broth when it arrives, and pour the whole mug into the noodle bowl. Now I know why, anything to dilute the saltiness.
Would you believe I haven’t yet been to Kintaro? It's owned by the same people, but supposedly a totally different experience. That’s next on my list…next time someone comes downtown and is willing to drive my sorry butt down there.