Sunday, January 25, 2009
San Mateo or Bust
Went to Santa Ramen in San Mateo for Ramen.
Apparently this is Soosa's favorite ramen place. My friends really like it too. Will it be the Ramen champ?
I got the Chashu Ramen w/ the Kurobuta (black pig) extra. The noodles were firm but only semi smooth. The broth was hearty but a little heavy. The regular Chashu was kinda myeh. The kurobuta had a mighty flavor but maybe cooked longer to soften it up. No fish cake. No bamboo or burdock root. I've been to Watami 5-6 times (just wrote up a review) and their Ramen is also good but definitely a very different experience.
Dan also ordered some "Cheeze-it" Chicken Karage. He claims they have a cheeze-it taste to them. I sorta guess they do but if he didn't mention it I don't think I would have noticed.
Dessert Republic. Also in San Mateo. They had these posters us looking to get voted as one of the top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA. Pretty lofty ambitions.
The interior reminded me of the Venetian in Macau. Only with a lot lower production values. The ceiling was painted like a sky and lit up and the walls were done up like Hong Kong stalls with not-so-glorious paintings. Actually they were quite fine but definitely not top 100 material.
Service buttons. Even though you can push the buttons for many different functions, we determined that they all do the same thing. Someone comes to your table and pretty much goes "what do you want/need?" Smoke and Mirrors!
Got an Almond and Sesame combo paste. This was pretty good. Not top 100 good but still pretty good.
Boba tea was awful. The tea was way too sweet and the boba was that really bad, the "cooked at too high of a temp and not long enough = mushy outside, raw inside" variety.
Still it was an enjoyable night.