Houston’s ramen scene seems to have grown in the past few years. I eat mostly at Tiger Den in Chinatown, but have tried Jinya Ramen and Mikoto’s. Other well known spots for ramen are Kata Robata, Samurai Noodle, Ninja Ramen, Ramen Jin, and Soma Sushi. While the ramen there is good, nothing has yet to match what I had in Tokyo, though I wasn’t expecting any store to truly replicate that experience.
Enter Ramen Bar Ichi. With the successful opening of Seiwa Japanese Market in Houston, they decided to open a ramen restaurant next door. Currently, they are doing their soft-opening, so they are only open from 11:00am to 3:00pm, serving lunch daily. Menu is also limited for their soft-opening.
Arriving at 12:00pm, we were able to grab a table for 6. The moment we sat down, a line began to form outside the door. We were handed menus and quickly picked out the ramen to eat!
I ordered a tonkotsu ramen with extra chashu slices and the ajitama 味玉 (half boiled egg). My friends ordered the spicy ramen, mentai mayo fried chicken, oroshi ponzu fried chicken, and mini chashu bowl.
The broth of the tonkotsu was flavorful and thick. It was very similar to the broth in Tokyo! The chashu was soft as well, and tasted very good. Everyone that has tried Ramen Bar Ichi has said it was the best. I can now also support this opinion! I cannot wait for them to fully open and see what they will add to their menu options. I will definitely be coming here in the future to satisfy my ramen cravings.
There is an option offered here that I have yet to see at the other ramen spots, and that is kaedama. As mentioned before, I first learned of kaedama when eating at Ichiran in Shibuya. This is where you can order extra if you are still hungry, and still have some soup. The only thing I wished they could add is the option of selecting the firmness of the noodles, as well as the size.
Next week, I will be trying out the new AGU Ramen around the corner. AGU Ramen comes from Hawaii and the employees from the original location in Hawaii will be coming to train staff and ensure that AGU’s ramen remains faithful to its origin.
Ramen Bar Ichi – http://www.ramenbarichi.com/
For a complete map of all locations featured in this blog, please follow this link: The Grand Appétit Map