My love for noodles and ramen dates back to my teenage days when I was still living in Nepal. Back then (and even now), the “junk food of choice” for most teenagers was an instant noodle called Wai Wai. It could be eaten raw or as a soup by adding hot water. Ramen bowls always and still reminds me of those instant noodles.
I came to know about Ramen Kazama through a friend of mine who seems to have info about every ramen place in Twin Cities. A and I got two items from the decently sized menu both being ramen bowls. As usual we went for one that we are familiar with (to be on the safe side) and one that is completely new two us: Tonkatsu and Karamiso.
Our safe dish was Tonkotsu. Tonkotsu came with a bone marrow broth, pork, boiled egg, nori sheet and mushrooms. Bone marrow broth reminds me of a Nepalese soup whose base is made by boiling bone marrow for a long time. The exact Newari name of the soup is “Tooti
” which translates to leg in English!
Going back to cuisine in spotlight, Tonkotsu was pretty mild and easy. The broth was still flavorful and delicious. Noodles were cooked to perfection, al dente I would say. The egg was hard boiled with just the right amount of gooeyness to the yolk. (How do people do that?). I loved the overall combination of noodles with bamboo shoot and mushroom. I would definitely recommend this. This is a good starter item for someone who has never tried ramen bowls before.
Karamiso on the other hand was spicy! It was bright red and and could be intimidating at first. But the taste wasn’t terrifying as it looked. It was very doable. Of course this is not for people who can’t eat hot Cheetos. Unlike Tonkotsu, Karsamiso came with miso soup base and no toppings other than chopped green onions. The meat itself was ground beef unlike bite sized pork pieces in Tonkotsu.
One thing I have to point out is I found the broth just a tad bit oily for my taste. Now this is coming from a person who has not tried Karamiso before. Other than that I really enjoyed my ramen. However A doesn’t echo the same feeling. He very much enjoyed his Tonkotsu and finished everything from his bowl. I generally like spicy food so picking Karamiso was almost a no brainer for me.
The items we ordered were at the two ends of the palate spectrum. One was fairly mild and one pretty spicy. I think a new soup could be made by missing these two soup. It wouldn’t be authentic but hey everyone likes creativity! I think the instant noodle I used to eat could have fit into this category.
Space at Ramen Kazama was very casual and the system was one of our favorite systems. You walk in to the counter and order at the counter. They give you a number . You find you seat or ask the person holding a clipboard to find you a table. Once you are seated, you just relax and wait of your food to arrive. We both found the service to be a little slow. Our food took some time arrive. People who were seated after us got their food before we did. They were party of six and we were party of two. Not sure what happened there. Likewise I am not sure if the server was supposed to bring our silverware or we were supposed to get it ourselves because we never got our water or silverware even after the food arrived but the server brought silverwares to the table next to us. Not a big deal but it sure was confusing. You see it is a bit of a torture when someone puts a good smelling good in front of you and you can’t eat because you don’t have anything to eat it with!
I would definitely recommend this place for anyone wanting to eat ramen. I myself want to go back and try some other dish from their menu besides ramen bowl. Maybe try something from their appetizer list. That Karrage looked really appetizing. I feel like that might happen very soon. Have you been to Ramen Kazama?