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Pork Belly Shoyu Ramen @ Gen Ramen, Fremont

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Pork Belly Shoyu Ramen @ Gen Ramen, Fremont

Melanie Wong | Jan 25, 2005 10:43 PM

Following alice’s lead,

http://chowhound.com/california/board...

recently, I revisited Gen Ramen to try out one of the new varieties. I ordered the braised pork belly with the soy sauce-flavored broth.

Chestnut brown and relatively clear, the broth had more soy sauce inflection and was less meaty and rich than other shoyu versions tried recently. It was nearly grease-free with only a few beads of oil from the tasty deep-fried garlic bits floating on the top. Not as salty as some, yet it wasn’t so delicious or round enough in flavor to invite downing the whole bowlful. I enjoyed the richer tonkotsu broth from my first visit more.

The variety and quantity of tasty toppings was generous and almost riotous, which seems to be Gen’s signature vs. the studied simplicity of Santa’s style. Well-trimmed, compressed and very fresh poached spinach leaves, slivers of wood ears, bean sprouts (not trimmed), sweet-tasting marinated bamboo shoots, chopped scallions, and bits of fried garlic joined the thick cut slices of fresh streaky bacon. The seasoning for the stewed fatty pork was a good balance of salt, sweet, and savory, but the pork slices were too cold and firm when they were added to the bowl and never warmed up enough to hit the meltingly tender texture that the cut should have.

Noodles were the weak link this time. While fresh and cooked to an attractive chewiness, they reeked of ammonia.

While the above comments may sound overly picky, Gen still holds onto its 8th place ranking among local ramen houses. If it were closer to where I live, I’m sure I’d be there often.

PERSONAL RAMEN RANKINGS

1. Ramen Halu, San Jose
2. Santa, San Mateo
3.&4. Ryowa, Mountain View and Berkeley
5. Himawari, San Mateo
6. Maru Ichi, Mountain View
7. Tanto, Sunnyvale
8. Gen Ramen, Fremont
9. Masa’s Sushi, Mountain View
10.Tomoe, San Rafael
11.Do-Henkotsu, San Jose
12.Ringer Hut, San Jose
13.Kaimuki Grill, San Mateo
14.Ramen Club, Burlingame
15.Sushi Bistro, San Francisco
16.Lakuni, San Mateo
17.Iroha, San Francisco
18.Manpuku, Berkeley
19.Tanpopo, San Francisco
20.Suzu Noodle House, San Francisco
21.Oidon, San Mateo
22.Katanaya, El Cerrito
23.Sapporo-ya, San Francisco
24.Tokyo Ramen, Milpitas
25.Hotei, San Francisco
26.Bear’s Ramen House, Berkeley

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