‘Sup world! I absolutely love Ramenwell SF, the amazing ramen joint in the Mission district of San Francisco! I’m always a little skeptical when I try new ramen places because I haven’t been impressed with many of the spots that have opened up around the Bay, but this place is legit! They have a bunch of small plates on the menu, too, and the owner, Harold, has actually transitioned the spot over to more of an izakaya rather than a straight up ramen place, so there is now even more to look forward to. If you’ve never been to Ramenwell SF, you need to change that ASAP. I’m excited to show you some of my favorite dishes, so let’s go!
Signature Pork Ramen
Having lived in Japan for a couple years, it’s honestly tough to find solid ramen in San Francisco that lives up to the real thing. I’ve found that SO many places don’t prepare the broth properly, especially when making tonkotsu (pork bone marrow) broth. It requires a longer prep time and the broth is supposed to be thick and rich, but so many ramen joints have super watery broths in the city. Well, not Ramenwell SF! I was so pleasantly surprised by the thickness of the tonkotsu broth, as well as the rich flavor. They do it right and prepare the broth for 20 hours and add pork chashu, half a golden egg, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, scallions, and black garlic on top to form one of the better ramen bowls I’ve had in a while. I 100% recommend you give it a try!
The chicken katsu was seriously good stuff. One unique thing about the way it’s prepared is that each piece is relatively small compared to traditional katsu. This is amazing for dipping in the katsu sauce, and each piece is probably about two to three bites, so you’re getting a surprising amount of food (see the second shot below). It’s perfectly crispy on the outside with moist, flavorful chicken on the inside, and if you’re a fan of katsu, you should definitely give this one a try!
Japanese Beef Curry
The newest addition to the menu is the Japanese Beef Curry! It’ll officially be available on Friday, October 16th, 2020, so be sure to go try it out! It’s a mild, sweeter curry with big pieces of tender beef and it’s fantastic.
Next up, I tried their Hamachi, and you’re probably thinking, “what’s so special about some sashimi?” Well, they’re not simply putting raw fish on a plate. According to their menu, they layer on some sweet soy bone marrow sauce, umeboshi puree, fried garlic, and scallions, and I’m pretty sure that’s some togarashi sprinkled on top and bits of shiso leaves placed around the fish for good measure. This was so full of flavor, and everything was perfectly complimentary. You’re going to want this one all to yourself, but remember – sharing is caring!
Takoyaki is one of those things that I love, but don’t have very often, so when I do happen to have some quality stuff, it’s a really special experience. In Japan, I would normally have this stuff from a street vendor or home made in someone’s house, and so the toppings were pretty minimal (usually just the sauce and some mayo). That’s why Ramenwell SF’s version was familiar, yet new, at the same time. Takoyaki is basically pieces of octopus inside a ball of fried dough, and they add a soy glaze, nori (seaweed), bonito flakes, green onions, sesame seeds, and togarashi on top, and once again, the flavors work so well with each other and make the experience that much better.
I tend to be pretty picky with Japanese food, but I would totally recommend Ramenwell SF to anyone looking for some seriously bomb food. They also have a great sake and wine bar if you’re looking for a more casual evening or want to have a drink with dinner. Give it a try and let us know what you think! Till next time, Nomsters!