Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ken's Ramen (Ken's Noodle House)

Ken's Ramen
Inside the Super 88 building between the supermarket and food court
One Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

The Ramen Lovers were pleasantly surprised on a trip to Super 88 to find a new ramen restaurant! We did not have our digital camera with us, so no pictures unfortunately. Ken's Ramen is located between Super 88's food court and supermarket, near the exit to the parking lot. The decor is rather spartan and reminded us of a pizza joint with its green vinyl chairs and pressboard tables.

The menu is simple. There are about five standard and two specialty ramens. The standard ramens consist of clear (salty), miso, or soy sauce broth with various combinations of meat and veggies. We liked that the standard ramens come with a decent array of meat and veggies already included in the price ($6-$7). Add extra toppings or extra noodles for a couple bucks more. The two specialty ramens are subject to availability because they supposedly use better noodles ($9-10). The specialty clear ramen was not available on the night that we went. We did order the other specialty Sapporo Ramen, which was a miso broth with roast pork and veggies. There are also a few other items available on the menu like rice bowls.

The soy sauce broth was a little disappointing because it tasted like soy sauce added to a clear broth. Not much richness or flavor to this thin liquid. The miso broth, however, was quite excellent and hearty. We didn't think the specialty Sapporo ramen was worth the additional cost, since it is essentially the same as the miso ramen. The large and extra-large sizes arrive looking the same as the normal size, but there are many more noodles hiding underneath the surface. That being said, the normal size is ample for a single person.

The sliced pork was pretty good - it was roasted, not simply boiled, and quite tender. However, it was cold, and it would have been nice if it was warmed up at least a little. The veggie helpings are generous and of high quality - freshly chopped scallions, nori, and corn. The noodles are of the yellow variety and are soft and chewy, but not especially outstanding. But, Ken's Ramen differentiates itself from Sapporo Ramen in Porter Square simply on the basis of its toppings. The best ramen so far in the Boston area.


aileen said...

you guys are too cute. i'll have to tell nelson about ken's noodle house.

Anonymous said...

Ken Ramen is great. The other good ramenyasan in Boston is Mentei. Sapporo Ramen in Cambridge is so-so. Don't know of any others...

nelson said...

i'm a big fan of ken's ramen house, but their hours are a bit weird (what is with taking every other tuesday off?).

btw, their specialty clear ramen (i think it's called the sapporo) is awesome.

as for men-tei, i think their ramen is -- eh. i usually get the tofu with spicy sauce over rice.

and sapporo ramen in porter is good depending on who's cooking. i only get the clear flavor.