Doesn’t bowls of steaming noodles in hot soup sound perfect for our cold weather? Opened in July 2014 on the ever popular Beltline strip in Addison, Ramen Hakata has fast become one of our favorite ramen houses. It’s a big stand out not only because it’s not a chain restaurant but because of the long lines that snake out the door.
The ramen house is small in size, with tables, booths and counter seating around a large open kitchen. Chefs are busy noodling about bringing out bowls of ramen which have to be cooked (and eaten) immediately.
Ramen Hakata restaurant specializes in a style of ramen by the same name that originated from northern Kyushu in the district of Hakata. The distinct Hakata style ramen is one of Japan’s top three styles of ramen, the other two being Tokyo and Sapporo. The noodles are firm, thin and boiled quickly. The soup is made with pork bones, cooked for 12 hours on a rolling high boil until the broth is rich and flavorful broth.
It’s worth it to note that all the bowls of ramen served are made with Tonkotsu pork based broth even the ‘Vegetable Ramen’ which has a variety of vegetarian toppings plus an egg. There’s small variations between the Tonkotsu ramen offerings. For example, the Tonkotsu Hakata ramen bowl or a Tonkotsu Chasu ramen bowl are nearly identical except the latter has an extra piece of chasu (pork belly) or the Garlic ramen has an extra topping of garlic flakes. Then there’s Tonkotsu Miso ramen bowls which has all the same offerings above except with the added miso in the soup broth. It sweetens the broth a little and though, we’ve tried both and we all prefer the Tonkotsu plain.
For something a little different, Beefcake sometimes order the spicy Tonkotsu ramen bowl with added chili and corn.
Like the broth, the other ingredients are put through a long process before it ends up in our bowls. The tender pieces of chasu are first grilled then boiled and marinated in a special sauce, a soft boiled egg that is slightly salty with a gel-like yolk is soaked in a tare sauce before serving. The bowl is finished off with a flavorful garlic oil, bean sprouts, kikurage (wood-ear mushroom) and green onions.
The menu also has a section for Special Ramen like the cold version and udon. Rice dishes are also offered but we’ve never tried it because no one is willing to give up their bowl of ramen for rice so you’ll have to let us know. We do see some people ordering the rice dishes but not many. Favorite appetizers are the gyoza (potsticker dumplings), steamed edamame and agedashi tofu (fried silken tofu cubes in a Japanese soy broth).
The menu is the same for lunch or dinner. If you’re heading out for lunch, go before noon or after 1.30pm to beat the peak business lunch hour. For dinner, 5.30 is the optimal time though we’ve had to wait 45 minutes once before when we turned up at 6pm.
Click here for more information on Ramen Hakata.
Till our next Happy Meal!
ITTY BITTY INFO:
- Food: Specializes in Japanese ramen
- Ambiance: casual
- Service: Friendly
- Kid Friendliness: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
- Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: For those who want to watch all the action, get a counter seat by the open kitchen
- Parent Foodies Tip: Go early as lines are long
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