Hello world! How is the world while I was gone, for a few days….months…year? I haven’t been active lately, gomen, due to work, social/personal life, but I did go out and had some delicious experiences around town. Without been too obvious that ramen is one of our favorite thing to go to, this one will be another ramen review. I think I somehow set out a goal to try the ramen in this town.
The last time, Ponyta, Bayleef and I went out to eat together, we decided on a rather new ramen place called Kumamoto Ramen, located on St-Catherine street. I went there a couple of weeks before bringing them there and wanted their opinion on it as the concept of the restaurant is quite unique.
It is located on St-Catherine street,1812 Saint-Catherine St W, near Seoul Chako. The restaurant itself it very well decorate, but it visual attraction would be the sitting places. Ramen places are usually always decorate with wood element and tables, but what’s peculiar with this restaurant is that they had brought
the “eat alone” concept from Japan. If you are a foodies and often watch Japanese ramen places on youtube, you will probably know this concept of separation between seats. This restaurant had brought that concept creating eating place with minimal interaction between the waiters and the customer. Upon entering, you will be seated at their “counter”. If you are alone and would rather eat by yourself, you have the option of putting up the screen to separate yourself from other customer. If you are a small group you can also set up the screen to separate your group from the rest of the customer sitting next to you on both “end”. This concept is quite unique here and also ideal for the location as it is surrounded by students going for a quick bite before returning to their studies/class.
As mentioned, there is minimal interaction with the staffs, but it doesn’t mean that the quality of their service wasn’t there, on the contrary. One of the other original part of this restaurant is the way the waiters come to get your order/explain the menu to you. They don’t just walk around in the restaurant, but in front of your “table” there is a bamboo screen, the waiter will appear there, lift the screen take your order, pull it down and leave you alone. This is how they minimize interaction. On your table, there is a water faucet, a glass, menu/checklist/pencil and a red button. You sit down, check out what you want, HIT the red button and they will appear behind the bamboo screen to take your order and will reappear later with it. You get to pour your own water with the faucet set on your table (beware: the pressure can be strong).
Their menu is quite simple, the basic one of porc, chicken and vegetarian. We each order something a bit different to try, along with takoyaki and karaage. You have the choices, like the other places, of adding extras in your bowl. As usual, I will always have an egg and corn in mine. I do think that every ramen bowl should come with an egg instead of having it as extra. Maybe to have more instead of not having it in the first place and then add it. Anyway, that’s my opinion, I know some people do not like egg and would rather have it as extra instead of wasting it if it was already included. The broth was rich and creamy, but it does lack in flavor. The meat was tender and melted in the mouth. The side dishes that we had wasn’t anything that we can compliment on. This place really concentrate on their ramen. The takoyaki wasn’t crispy as I would like them and the karaage lack in that department also. It was also kind of soggy/wet and lacked in flavor.
From all the ramen places that I have tried throughout the year, this place would rank last in the flavor department. The concept is there, the idea is well executed, but the flavor is lacking a lot. They also mainly focus on the ramen and not on their other items on the menu. Ramen is the star of the menu, but their side dishes should lack in flavor or execution. Missing on karaage is kind of a crime! The broth was rich and creamy, but then again is was lacking the punch and after a while I was starting to get “sick” of eating it. It was kind of disappointing because I was actually looking for a place where I could eat alone without having to look at other people or have them look at me because I’m sitting by myself at a table for 2. The concept is very good and would actually work well with the location, but they need to work on their flavor.