Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sapporo Ramen - Acceptable and Convenient

1815 Mass Ave.
Porter Square, Cambridge
Hours: Mon. - Sat. noon-9 p.m.; Sun. noon-8 p.m.

Unlike California, Boston has very few restaurants that serve ramen. One of the few in the area is Sapporo Ramen, located in the Porter Exchange Building food court. It's a decent bowl of ramen but nothing spectacular.

Be prepared to fight for your seat - there are only three picnic-style tables with about six seats each. You'll have a decent chance on weekdays, but forget about it on Friday or Saturday night. Once you're seated, you have the choice of three different broths - soy sauce, miso, or clear (which I presume is the base stock. Either that, or steroids). Each of these broths has five or so versions with different meats and veggies. Jon usually gets the miso moyashi with ground pork and veggies. Last night, we decided to try the "normal" flavor of soy sauce standard, which comes with roast pork, bamboo, bean sprouts, scallions, and nori for $7.25.

The broth was very tasty and I liked the presentation, with heaps of scallions and an artfully placed seaweed strip. The service was excellent and fast, considering there's just one waitress. However, the noodles were nothing special and the "roast pork" was really just boiled pork slices. The bean sprouts provided a nice crunch, but the bamboo appeared to be rehydrated when I was expecting fresh or canned. Also, the serving size is ample for one person, but not enough for two. Next time if you're sharing, get the extra noodles for $1.75, and you'll have enough for about four servings.

In summary, it's a nice bowl of noodles and easy to get to, but nothing really amazing or delicious. I suppose that we in Boston have to take any ramen we can get.


Jon said...

Yeah, I think we got the shaft portion-wise. Every other time I've gone, I've felt like there was a lot more food, even without the extra noodles. Then again, I always order the miso moyashi, so I wonder if the basic soy-sauce ramen (which is cheaper by a couple bucks than anything else on the menu) is just smaller.

Sapporo Ramen is basically all I know, so when we're in the Bay Area we're going to have to go on a ramen tasting so I can find out what I've been missing...

Alvin said...

Mm, those dumplings look good!