Tag Archives: restaurant

Meet The Manufacturer: #3151: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen – United States

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Got a message from a fellow named Mark recently about a couple new varieties to try. Shortly after, I got a package containing them. Thanks! This is the first of two. Here’s a little about shoyu ramen from Wikibedia –

Shōyu (醤油, “soy sauce”) ramen is the oldest of the four, it has a clear brown broth, based on a chicken and vegetable (or sometimes fish or beef) stock with plenty of soy sauce added resulting in a soup that is tangy, salty, and savory yet still fairly light on the palate. Shōyu ramen usually has curly noodles rather than straight ones, but this is not always the case. It is often adorned with marinated bamboo shoots or menma, green onions, ninjin (carrot), kamaboko (fish cakes), nori (seaweed), boiled eggs, bean sprouts or black pepper; occasionally the soup will also contain chili oil or Chinese spices, and some shops serve sliced beef instead of the usual chāshū.

These packs contain two servings. Let’s check it out!

Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen – United States

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains chicken and pork. To prepare, add wet sachet to 10oz boiling water. Set aside. Boil noodles in a pot for 2 minutes. Drain. Add to soup. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

A pouch of fresh noodles.

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

A wet sachet.

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Smells of soy sauce.

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Finished (click to enlarge). Added soft egg, spring onion, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, chashu pork, and black sesame seeds. Noodle has a very nice chew and quality – definitely a cut above. Broth has a nice rich shoyu taste with a good level of oiliness – rich and fatty which is on point. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 861462000140.

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Hakubaku Ramen Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor, 3 Pack, 9.7 ounce (2 servings), Japanese Restaurant-Style Fresh Noodle Soup

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA – United States

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA - United States

nterview With Hakubaku USA * Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (1 of 2) * Product Samples From Hakubaku (2 of 2) * Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor RamenHakubaku Baby UdonHakubaku Mochi BarleyHakubaku Baby SomenHakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen

As it often happens, I got an email from a company asking me if I would like to try their products. I’d never heard of Hakubaku – which was great – new is good! I tried their ramen, but have found out about their other products, one of which I’ve started enjoying almost daily at this point. I decided to invite Hakubaku to participate in Meet The Manufacturer, they accepted, and here we are. Let’s start with an interview with Mike Tsuda, VP Operations, Hakubaku USA to find out more about this interesting company.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA – United States

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Hakubaku? Who started it and why?

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA is a subsidiary of Hakubaku Japan. Hakubaku Japan was founded in 1941 by Jyutaro Nagasawa. Since the foundation and through 70 years of company history, we have been deeply involved with grains and grain-process products, and strive to passionately create an impressive value of grain product including taste, convenience, fun, unexpected quality, and richness.

TRR> Why the name Hakubaku – what does it mean?

HAKUBAKU> Our company name [Hakubaku] means white barley in Japanese. The name comes from the product called [Hakubaku mai] white rice shaped barley by removing the black crease running down the center of each barley grain. It has been our company founders passion since 1953 to promote nutritious barley rice and make it in a more enjoyable form.

TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?

HAKUBAKU> We have noodle factories in Japan and Australia and make all varieties of Japanese style noodles, such as Ramen, Udon, Soba (Buckwheat noodles), Somen and Hiyamugi in both fresh and dried style.

TRR> Tell us about where your company is located.

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA is located in Costa Mesa CA. Our noodle factories are in Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures of Japan and in Victoria Australia, where we have access to fine ingredients and water.

TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?

HAKUBAKU> We are very particular about ingredients, taste, and safety. All the fine and rich ingredients are carefully chosen and well balanced in traditional recipes dating back to 1941. Specifically our noodle for our ramen kits are soft and fresh, never fried – produced without preservatives. Our restaurant-fresh ramen product contains noodles that we produce in Japan. Unlike most fried-and-dried instant ramen, our noodles are soft and made with the best Japanese wheat for that chewy texture you expect from a ramen noodle

TRR> Your noodles appear as fresh noodles but don’t need refrigeration – how is this possible?

HAKUBAKU> It’s really our trade secret – It is Hakubaku’s manufacturing technology and knowledge/experiences make it possible and really sets us apart. Our noodles in our ramen sets are made without preservatives and MSG, yet are still soft and fresh.

TRR> How do you decide on what varieties to produce?

HAKUBAKU> There is a team of people thinking of ramen all the time – develop these ideas through product development meetings and fine tuning our product through lots of testing at our product development kitchen.

TRR> How many noodle products do you produce every year?

HAKUBAKU> A lot if you total in all varieties and all our different factories! We produce noodles as listed above and produce limited production runs based on demand or season in Japan. For now, our restaurant-fresh ramen sets are so new – we will have to wait and see if we can do the same in the USA!

TRR> Apart from noodles, are there other products you produce or plan to produce?

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku produces grain-related products, such as pearled barley, mixed grains, barley and grain tea, pancake flours. We carry decaffeinated barley tea- because after all , we are a grain company! And we produce 16-grain mixes that add nutritional benefit to any rice dish.

TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats, seafood or vegetables?

HAKUBAKU> We suggest adding a poached egg, green onions, some meats (Chashu of course!) or Tofu and veggies of your choosing. We have a recipe page section on our website that shows what kind of toppings you can add to your ramen. We even have recipes for creating “dry” ramen meals! There are so many uses from wet to stir-fry to just random ways you can use our ramen sets.

TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?

HAKUBAKU> Our no-MSG and preservative-free ramen pairs well with varieties of ingredients, we suggest adding lots of veggies and other ingredients you like to create your own healthy ramen. Also you can reduce the amount of salt intake by leaving some soup instead of using all of it. Some of our recipes are vegetarian based and you can always use vegetable stock as part of the broth to make it a Lacto-ovo vegetarian meal. (animal by-products like egg, but not meat)

TRR> Are you involved in your local community or participate in charities?

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA donates products to local events and communities a few times a year to help to reduce food insecurities here in the USA. As part of our mission as a grain evangelist we act locally, but think globally trying to spread the value of a healthy Japanese diet.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

HAKUBAKU> Yes, just wait until you see what is coming! We are just getting started and will be launching more items and flavors in the near future.

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

HAKUBAKU> Fresh ramen is available in Japan and the US only for now. Other dried noodles are available in North America, some countries in Europe and Asia.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?

HAKUBAKU> Personally, I love to add a few drops of oil – sesame or hand-made onion oil for Shoyu flavor and chili oil with crunchy garlic –makes my bowl special. Yum!

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Hakubaku and your products!

HAKUBAKU> Thanks for what you are doing! Hope this helps to educate your audience just a little more about what we are doing here at Hakubaku-USA! We invite everyone to be their own ramen artist. Be traditional, be creative – make it your own!

For more info, visit http://hakubaku-usa.com

Sapporo Ichiban’s New ‘Momosan’ Iron Chef Morimoto Ramen – United States

I was contacted recently by Sapporo Ichiban regarding a new range of products. In collaboration with Iron Chef Masaharu Miromoto and his Momosan Ramen restaurants, here’s the new varieties for the USA! Let’s check them out!

Sapporo Ichiban’s New ‘Momosan’ Iron Chef Morimoto Ramen – Unboxing Time

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 – Budae Jjigae – United States

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

Amazingly, we were able to get two weekends in a row with some time for us to go out together without the kiddos (thanks, Aunt Cindy!). I said ‘hey you wanna try some more ramen?’ Kit was up for it and so we checked this place out. But it turned out that although they did have ramen, this was clearly a Korean restaurant in the middle of Bellevue. I thought ordering a Japanese dish at a Korean restaurant just seemed a little off, so I went in for something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time – only had it in instant varieties thus far, so time to try the real thing. Let’s go!

COCO 2.0 – Budae Jjigae – United States

550 106th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 * Website

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

The menu.

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

My awesome wife Kit. Before we went here, we went to a car wash and vacuumed out the minivan. Yes, we roll in a minivan – we have two kids. We actually really like it a lot. But after many trips to Canada with the kids and passing back snacks to toddlers in the back seat, something had to be done about the sea of crumbs on the floor. An odd way to start our little romantic outing I’ll admit, but definitely nice to have a clean ride again!

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

I saw this one their online menu and thought to myself ‘finally.’ We’ve been out for Korean food many times, but never seen Budae Jjigae on the menu.

So as far as the ambiance of the place. It was pretty loud, despite not many being there. Blasting some rap (explicit versions) kind of made it a definite no-go for the label ‘family restaurant,’ and I think this place is probably pretty insane on a Friday night.

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

Kit ordered some beef and chicken teriyaki, which was the first to arrive at the table. Really good!

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

We were both elated to see the inclusion of cream cheese tteokbokki on the menu. We used to frequent a little restaurant in Lynnwood called Chi Mc ‘n Hot Pot which had Korean bar food – and they had this dish. This one was more of a carbonara styled version whereas the original was with crabmeat.

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

Another favorite of our was the seafood pancake – always something worth getting. At this point I noticed something. No banchan. Where’s the banchan?! What’s banchan? Well, when you go out for Korean food usually you are presented with an array of little dishes with little things little kimchi, pickled radish, marinated vegetables, etc. Usually about eight or so of them. Not here.

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

Holy moly (click to enlarge). Wow – this looks fascinating. The ramyun noodle was just right – thick and chewy. Broth was strong but had that smack of bitter aftertaste I generally am not a big fan of. Heat level was on point – very strong and spicy. While the menu mentioned cheese, I really didn’t detect any, which was a little disappointing. But the sheer amount of different inclusions in here was just amazing and wonderful. Kimchi was great, soft tofu, salami, SPAM, – it goes on and on. No macaroni or beans however, which I has expected from the instants I’ve had. Long story short, this was quite good and definitely recommended. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.

Let’s delve into what budae jjigae is.

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

Okay (click to enlarge) so budae jjigae translates to ‘troop stew.’ After the Korean War, US Troops left behind lots of the foods that they had brought. Some including pork and beans, SPAM, sausage – basically things that would last a long time. Well, the Koreans incorporated them into this dish.

Restaurant: #3061: COCO 2.0 - Budae Jjigae - United States

A side shot of the bowl (click to enlarge). Did I eat it all? Oh God no – this was a lot of food!

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya – Shio Ramen – Bellevue Square

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

Thanks as always to Aunt Cindy for watching our rugrats and giving us an fternoon out ! It’s been awhile – last time we had an outing just us was around review #2761 – another ramen restaurant – in December! Further back we went to Hokkaido Santouka in Bellevue, WA and people there as well as at the mall mentioned this Kizuki place. So this time we thought we’d give it a try.

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya – Shio Ramen – Bellevue Square – United States

575 Bellevue Way NE Space 252, Bellevue, WA. 98004
Phone: 425-454-0885
Email: [email protected]
Monday – Saturday : 9:30am – 9:00pm
Sunday : 9:30am – 7:00pm
Thanksgiving: Closed
Christmas Eve: 11am – 6:00pm
Christmas Day: Closed

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

We noticed a lot of people outside the place as we walked by to look at some other things at the mall before going to lunch. Well, when we decided to go over there, there were a couple people still waiting inside the doorway that are pictured here – about a half hour later. Our wait time was around 45 minutes. Kind of lame – but then again what do you do. What kind of sucked too was that on the sheet you sign your name on, there’s a box you can check as to whether you want to sit at the bar or iat a table. So they call our name and say that there are two spots at the bar we could sit at – well, my wife checked the box saying we wanted to sit at a table. So we goty to wait a little longer. I mean, I get it – some people might be like ‘screw it we’ll sit at the bar,’ but we wanted a table.

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

Here’s where the magic happens (click to enlarge).

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

Here’s another view. The artwork and look of the place was very nice. I will say that I find it kind of funny how every one we’ve been to so far is more like a bar atmosphere – very subdued lighting Eat your soup in the dark, haha! But actually it’s kind of nice.

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

To start, we tried the agedashi tofu (click to enlarge). I had this at another place a long time ago and I liked it better. However, this was really nice. Tofu with just the lightest crunch to the outside and a nice dashi  sauce around it – very tasty.

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

This caught my eye when I looked at the menu online – prawn cutlet (click to enlarge). Basically these were breaded and fried and had very nice and moist prawn innards with a bit of sauce on the outisde. Definitely worth trying.

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

Finally, the chashu pork bun (click to enlarge). I was really excited about this however it seemed a bit of a letdown. The thing didn’t stay together very well for one. I felt like it was one of those things just made for Westerners. I mean it was alright but just expected something a little different even though it looks exactly as it did in the menu image. Mayonnaise tonkatsu sauce and hot mustard on there.

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

Kit got the pork chashu don (click to enlarge). with an egg. She liked it except for the seaweed which I took on for her.

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

I went for the Shio ramen (click to enlarge). I got an egg and extra fishcake as well. I liked it – the chashu was nice although wish it were just a little thicker. Lot sof vegetable on this one – a lot of cabbage which was kind of a surprise. Menma was good with a nice crunch to it. Noodles wre alright – definitely had better since I started this journey into trying restaurants around here. The broth was quite nice – not overly anything – just right.

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

Oil dancing at the top.

Restaurant: #2848: Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya - Shio Ramen - Bellevue Square

The egg was very good – as far as being marinated, it could have used a little more time. In conclusion, I was very happy with our experience. The ramen was just right and exactly what I was in the mood for, and the izakaya was for the most part very good. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Time lapse of a Kisuki Ramen being built somewhere.

Unboxing Time: Taihodien Restaurant Samples From Taiwan

Here’s a box that came from Taiwan recently. Taihodien restaurant is well known for their spicy hot pot and lo and behold, they’ve come out with a dry noodle! Let’s crack this box open and have a look inside and check things out.

Taihodien Restaurant Samples From Taiwan – Taiwan

Cool! Looking forward to giving this a try – thank you!

Restaurant: #2666: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – Shio Tonkotsu – Bellevue, Washington

Restaurant: #2666: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - Shio Tonkotsu - Bellevue, Washington

I’ve been asked many, many times to go try restaurant ramen by my readers. Well, Merry Christmas! As Gurney Halleck once said in the novel Dune, “Behold, as a wild ass in the desert, go I forth to my work.”

To be honest, this is a new frontier for me. In the past, I’ve been to one actual ramen restaurant and that was down in California. I did do a post on it, but that was a long time ago and I’d not really figured it would be a regular thing. This review begins what should be a slightly regular thing; I mean I’m not going every week or anything but often-ish; more often than I had in the past, that’s for sure.

I’ll review restaurants the same way I review everything else – from the standpoint of my palate.No science, no insanity. Ratings will be based solely on the ramoen – no appetizers/etcetera unless they’re extras that are really to upgrade the ramen.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – Bellevue, Washington

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
103 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

It had been quite a while since my wife and I had the chance to venture out by ourselves without the kiddos in tow. a one year old girl and a very, very rambunctious 2 1/4 year old just didn’t seem a good combo with bowls of hot noodles in broth. So we went to this ramen joint.

The wait to be seated was short – maybe 3 or 4 minutes which was nice. It was a Sunday in the early afternoon, however it was pretty busy there.

Restaurant: #2666: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - Shio Tonkotsu - Bellevue, Washington

We ordered a couple drinks – a melon float for my wife and a Coke float for me.

Restaurant: #2666: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - Shio Tonkotsu - Bellevue, Washington

We decided to try the karaage (click to enlarge). It’s been a couple weeks and I swore it was tonkatsu but that’s not on the menu so it must be karaage. Chicken was crisp and meat was tender and tasty.

Restaurant: #2666: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - Shio Tonkotsu - Bellevue, Washington

My wife ordered the Cha-shu Gohan – rice topped with pork which was very nice. We also got a couple from the ramen toppings menu – Bara Toro Cha-shu and Aji-Tama. The Bara Toro Cha Shu is pork cheeks and braised pork belly. I will say the pork belly was good as were the cheeks, however it did seem like there was linger of over cooked fat with them and that wasn’t to my liking.

Restaurant: #2666: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - Shio Tonkotsu - Bellevue, Washington

Here’s half of the Aji-Tama in my ramen. This was just excellent – marinated just the right amount and the yolk was just perfect – not too congealed, not too drippy.

Restaurant: #2666: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - Shio Tonkotsu - Bellevue, Washington

I ended up choosing the shio tonkotsu (click to enlarge). The noodles were great – nice and chewy with a great gauge to them. The broth was thick with a balance of shio and tonkotsu. I think was I wanted to be honest was an onslaught of creamy, rich tonkotsu with no distractions, but the shio really did go well. The cha-shu was excellent – could eat that for a whole day straight. A slice of narutomaki sat atop along with sesame, menma, kikirage… I know people are going to call me names, but I’ve never come in contact with that little berry looking things before – I thought ‘hey, is that a fresh Wolfberry?’ but it doesn’t look like it. It was crunchy and I believe it had a pit. Wasn’t sure if I was supposed to eat that or not – like a bay leaf. But then again, I eat bay leaves. I really liked the ramen. It was quite good, well presented and all. I just have to say it didn’t give me that ‘oh holy crap I have to tell everyone to come here immediately.’ 4.75 out of 5.0 stars.

#2580: New Touch T’s Restaurant Tantanmen

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The second of two I found recently at Uwajimaya in Bellevue, Washington. The last one was good so I’m hoping this will as well. Here’s a littler about Tantanmen from Wikipedia –

Dandan noodles or dandanmian (simplified Chinese: 担担面; traditional Chinese: 擔擔麵) is a noodle dish originating from Chinese Sichuan cuisine. It consists of a spicy sauce containing preserved vegetables (often including zha cai (榨菜), lower enlarged mustard stems, or ya cai (芽菜), upper mustard stems), chili oil, Sichuan pepper, minced pork, and scallions served over noodles.

Sesame paste and/or peanut butter is sometimes added, and occasionally replaces the spicy sauce, usually in the Taiwanese and American Chinese style of the dish.[1] In this case, dandanmian is considered as a variation of ma jiang mian (麻醬麵), sesame sauce noodles. In American Chinese cuisine, dandanmian is often sweeter, less spicy, and less soupy than its Sichuan counterpart.

The same sauce is frequently served over poached chicken (called bonbon or bangbang chicken (棒棒鸡)), and on steamed, meat-filled dumplings in another Sichuan dish called suanla chaoshou. The corresponding Japanese dish is tantan-men, a form of ramen (formally 担担麺, as in Chinese, but often written with , or with 坦 instead of 担).

Alright – let’s check out this tantanmen!

New Touch T’s Restaurant Tantanmen – Japan

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The import/distributor sticker (click to enlarge).

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add in dry sachet and boiling water to fill line (approx 270ml). Cover and steep for 4 minutes. Add in liquid sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The noodle block.

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The liquid base sachet.

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Thick and gloppy.

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

A dry sachet.

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Looks like a lot of different things going on.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion. The noodles are thin and round with a good chew. Broth has a nice vegetable flavor with notes of peanut and a good thickness. The included garnish hydrated well. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4903088011370.

#2509: New Touch T's Restaurant Tantanmen - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

New touch assorted vegetables sprouts miso ramen 82g ~ 12 pieces

A New Touch TV advertisement.

#2559: Jackpot Teriyaki – Beef Ramen

#2559: Jackpot Teriyaki - Beef Ramen - Tulalip - Washington - The Ramen Rater - ramyun korea korean

On June 22nd, we met my sister up in Tulalip, Washington to check out the outlet mall. It’s kind of a misnomer; you think outlet mall, you think cheap prices, right? Well, these are outlet stores for stuff like Coach, Burberry, etc – so you can get overpriced things that are still overpriced but not as cool as if you got it currently for this season. Ugh.

Nonetheless, it was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun walking around. What’s interesting about Tulalip is that it’s on the Tulalip Indian Reservation next door to Marysville. You may be thinking ‘so what?’ Well, back in 2007 I was in a Computer Info Systems degree program at the local community college. My teacher also taught a Casino Slot Technology class and I decided to take it. He was a great guy – miss him a lot. Anyways, he told me how Tolalip has a zip code. ‘So what?’ came to mind. Well, being on a reservation, that makes it Federal land.

Again, so what?

Well, there’s only one other city in the United States that is on Federal land with a zipcode – Washington, DC. So basically, you commit a crime here, technically it’s a Federal crime. They have their own police department and all, but technically it’s the case. Interesting!

We;;. after walking all over the mall, my sister Sue invited us to have a bite to eat. She said there was this nice teriyaki joint nearby…

Jackpot Teriyaki – Beef Ramen – United States

8825 34th Ave NE Ste J, Tulalip, WA 98271

Phone number(360) 654-2977

#2559: Jackpot Teriyaki - Beef Ramen - Tulalip - Washington - The Ramen Rater - ramyun korea korean

Here’s the menu on the wall (click to enlarge). I’m legally blind and luckily they had little printed take out menus. Well, after looking at the wall menu zoomed in and the one on paper, there’s a difference. The paper one had a section that said ‘special’ and bam – it said Ramen – Beef Flavor. I immediately though beef ramen? Not pork tonkotsu? Not a msi or shio? Maybe shoyu. Yeah – a beef shoyu that must be it. I wasn’t extremely hungry but I thought yeah – let’s give it a try!

#2559: Jackpot Teriyaki - Beef Ramen - Tulalip - Washington - The Ramen Rater - ramyun korea korean

Here’s Miles waiting patiently (click to enlarge) Know that since he’s 22 months old, this is about as patient as you’re ever going to see him and that this ‘patience’ was a fraction of a second.

#2559: Jackpot Teriyaki - Beef Ramen - Tulalip - Washington - The Ramen Rater - ramyun korea korean

Then boom – our meals arrive (click to enlarge). I found the noodles to be curly and that it has mung bean sprouts, egg, cabbage, broccoli and carrot. As I slurped, I was getting the feeling that this was definitely not ramen. The woman who took our order was very nice – our daughter Miriam was in her car seat on the table and she started to get fussy. The woman asked if she would like it if she would feed her her bottle! So she fed her and talked about how mom’s carry their children – in Korea. Then it hit me – this definitely wasn’t ramen – it was ramyun.

I hadn’t said much as I was eating my noodles and when she mentioned that, I looked up and asked ‘Hanguk ramyun?’ Which means ‘Korean Ramyun?’ She seemed to be a little surprised and then I handed her one of my cards. I didn’t get exactly what variety it was, but I’m going to guess it was Ottogi Jin Ramen – the mild one. Maybe the spicy one but with a little extra water.

Regardless, this place rocks – I mean, I got to go out and get a bowl of Korean ramyun made for me – something that never has happened before. Plus, the garnish was absolutely perfect and made my day.I highly recommend this place – 5.0 out of 5.0 stars!


#2014: Oni Hot Pot Ghost Pepper Noodle

Okay so it’s been a while since I’ve gotten anything that’s supposed to be really spicy. Well, This one claims to have ghost pepper in it – that’s the Bhut Jolokia, a pepper that’ll rip your head off and then kick it down the road. This one hails from Oni Hot Pot, a chain of restaurants in Taiwan. Never heard of them before – although I have had Taiwanese hot pot here in the US before. Let’s crack this one open and see what’s inside.

The back of the 4 pack (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meat. To prepare, add the noodle block to 400ml boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain. Add in contents of all sachets. Stir and enjoy!

The noodles – very wide with the ripply edges I like!

The first of three sachets.

Definitely soy sauce.

The second, what looks like an oil sachet.

Definitely has a spicy aroma.

A larger sachet than the others.

Soybean paste perhaps?

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles are broad and flat with a nice chewiness. I also like the kind of scalloped edge on the noodles; very chic. The flavor is a serious smack of Ghost pepper; it’s about 20 minutes since I had a couple bites and it’s still burning my lips and tongue pretty good. What’s neat is that it tastes good as well, something many that are extremely hot don’t offer; sesame and soy sauce notes come through despite the fiery Ghost pepper blaze. Serious stuff and not for the weak hearted! 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

If you’re in warmer climes with lots of sun, give this a try! 20+ Bhut Jolokia / Naga Morich Seeds – Ghost Pepper

Looks like they use a LOT of bhut jolokia peppers at Oni Hot Pot! Wow!

The Ramen Rater Reviews The Red Robin ‘Red Ramen Burger’

We were out doing grocery shopping and thought ‘hey there’s that Red Robin over there – wonder if they have those Red Ramen Burgers.’ Well, after a quick phone call to make sure they did, we swooped in to give them a try.

On the door (click to enlarge) we immediately saw some advertising for it. Kind of funny; the cat is clutching a bottle of ‘That’s Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale’ (I tried the root beer version which gave me a horrible gut ache) and nowhere did I see any mention of ordering this product anywhere.

At the table.

So it’s $12.49 – a little on the high end.

However if it were one of our birthdays, we could have gotten one for free!



Miles decided to sleep through the whole thing – he was out seconds after this.

Here is the one I got (click to enlarge).

A side shot of the burger (click to enlarge).

Let the investigation begin…

Well, there were some problems with this burger I found from the outset. They didn’t fry the bun long enough as it completely fell apart rather quickly. After about 3 bites, I ended up using a fork and eating it off the little plastic tray. The ‘seasoned bun’ really didn’t seem altogether seasoned at all to me; in fact, it just seemed bland. The burger itself was alright, but the aioli of onion, carrot and cabbage was like coleslaw and was just not right. Neither of us detected the presence of any basil really. Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with this overpriced burger. If I were to make a suggestion, do it like they did originally in Japan – use chashu pork! Maybe some tonkatsu sauce! In fact, I know that a short walk away from the Red Robin we visited in Katsu Burger, and last time we were there they had mentioned offering a ramen burger soon using breaded pork and tonkatsu sauce with a ramen bun.

Kit’s ramen burger (click to enlarge) was a little different. As you can see, the bun definitely seems a little darker.

Here’s a side shot. Hers stayed cohesive and I could definitely hear a lot more crunch to it when she took a bite. She had the same complaints about the aioli as well; she thought it was teriyaki sauce on coleslaw. They offered to serve it with or without jalapenos at the beginning which we both declined at the start. Jalapenos would have definitely overwhelmed all the flavor of the teriyaki, that’s for sure. I think we both agreed – the Red Ramen Burger gets about a 2 out of 5 stars – not extremely fun at all. A better idea is to make your own! Here’s the recipe I came up with using Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black South Korean instant noodles – in fact, you use everything from it and come out with fries and dipping sauce as well! Check it out!

The Ramen Rater’s Shin Ramyun Black Burger

  • 1 Package Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black
  • ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices processed cheese
  • frozen french fries
  • cooking spray
  • ketchup and mayonnaise

The noodle block. This is where our buns come from.

In this recipe, everything in the package is used. I’ve seen so many recipes for ramen burgers where the flavorings are discarded. Why waste?

Step 1: Boil a pot of water. Add the noodle block and cook for 4 minutes. Drain well. Return to pot and crack egg into it – combine with noodles. Split noodle/egg mixture into two bowls. I used one with a rounded bottom for the bun and one with a flat bottom for the lower bun (actually, the top part of a bun is called the ‘crown’ and the bottom the ‘heel!) Press the noodles down a little and then put in the fridge for a couple hours to set.

Here are the crown and heel all done and out of their bowls.

Step 2: Spray pan and cook both sides of your buns until done as you like. A nice crispness is really enjoyable, but burnt isn’t so great so just keep and eye on them and don’t flip too much – they are a little delicate.

Step 3: For the fries – use a little cooking spray on them and sprinkle liberally with the gold Sul-Long-Tang powder packet and cook.

Step 4: Empty the contents of the green package into a little bowl and add some hot water. Let sit for a minute or so which lets the veggies and other bits hydrate. Drain.

Step 5: Add ketchup and mayonnaise – I used a little more mayo than ketchup – and combin3. This will be the fry sauce as well as the sauce for the burger.

Step 6: For the patty, add the entire red packet to the ground beef and combine well. Form into a patty and cook. Put the buns and burger together – add processed cheese and sauce.

Voila! Click image to enlarge). This came out really nice – the burger has a really great flavor from the red packet. I think you could switch it as well – use the red packet on the fried and the gold packet with the beef. Either way, this was really good – I hope you try it and let me know how it goes!


My Wife’s Birthday At Chi-Mc n Hot Pot – Lynnwood, WA

Today is my wife Kit’s birthday! I thought I’d do up a post about the new restaurant I took her to.

Chi-Mc N Hot Pot
19400 36th Ave W #101
Lynnwood, WA 98036

The birthday girl!

Ready to try something new.

They have a large menu of what I understand is a fusion of Japanese and Korean foods.

This is quite possibly the best new thing I’ve tried in a long time: cream cheese topokki! This blew our minds!

I got the spicy ramyun – had a nice taste and good noodles.

Kit got the seafood yakiudon. She’s been a fan of udon for a while now. If you’re in the area, definitely check this place out! Happy birthday, Kit!