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King’s Garden Ramen, Newark

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King’s Garden Ramen, Newark

Melanie Wong | Apr 30, 2005 05:23 PM

Last weekend William met me in Newark to check out the new Shanghainese-owned ramen joint. The interior has sleek, modern lines and color scheme with an assortment of Japanese tchotchkes thrown in to try to look more authentic.

The menu is illustrated with photos of the ramen choices and combo meals. Prices are low here, $6.50 to $6.75 for bowls of ramen. We started with an order of gyoza. Barely fried on one side, William thought the dumplings reeked of frozen cabbage odor.

He had the spicy pork ramen, made with ground pork flecked with chili, similar to the meat in mapo tofu. I had the plain cha siu ramen with pork broth. The half hard-cooked egg was just plain with no seasoning. The bamboo shoots were straight out of the can without marinade. Bean sprouts were fresh. Sliced raw cabbage was the vegetable filler here. Noodles were too similar to Chinese egg noodles and cooked too soft. Yet, we thought the cha siu had good flavor and texture and while the greasless and mildly salted stocks were on the thin side, they had good depth of flavor and freshness. The tonkotsu-style pork broth was pale-colored and milky and tasted more like chicken than pork. I had a slight preference for the mapo tofu version, spiced to medium warmth with good balance of flavor.

We agreed that the soup noodles were tasty, but they lacked the special salt nuance of Japanese seasonings. We’d go back again for an inexpensive and warming bowl if we were nearby.

PERSONAL RAMEN RANKINGS

1. Ramen Halu, San Jose
2. Santa, San Mateo
3. Ryowa, Berkeley
4. Himawari, San Mateo
5. Ryowa, Mountain View
6. Maru Ichi, Mountain View
7. Tanto, Sunnyvale
8. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, San Jose
9. Gen Ramen, Fremont
10.BY Grill, San Francisco
11.Masa’s Sushi, Mountain View
12.Oyaji, San Francisco
13.Maru Ichi, Milpitas
14.Tomoe, San Rafael
15.Ringer Hut, San Jose
16.Ogi-San Ramen, Cupertino
17.Kaimuki Grill, San Mateo
18.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), San Francisco
19.Ramen Club, Burlingame
20.King’s Garden Ramen, Newark
21.Sushi Bistro, San Francisco
22.Lakuni, San Mateo
23.Iroha, San Francisco
24.Manpuku, Berkeley
25.Tanpopo, San Francisco
26.Sushi Yoshi, Newark
27.Suzu Noodle House, San Francisco
28.Oidon, San Mateo
29.Katanaya, El Cerrito
30.Sapporo-ya, San Francisco
31.Tokyo Ramen, Milpitas
32.Hotei, San Francisco
33.Bear’s Ramen House, Berkeley

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