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Ramen @ Oidon (San Mateo)

Melanie Wong | May 28, 2004 11:55 PM

Cold and gray in the City yesterday morning, it seemed to be the right kind of weather for lunching on a hot bowl of ramen. I stopped in San Mateo at Oidon for noodles (served at lunch time only). The menu offers 11 variations of ramen, plus a lunch set with fried rice and gyoza, and a dozen udon offerings too.

My bowl of miso chasu men, $7.50, was served scalding hot. Described as miso broth with extra roast pork, there was a sum total of five thin slices of chasu. While from a fatty cut and well-flavored from marinade, the pieces were too dry and I wondered what a “regular” portion could be. This was a very plain bowl of noodles with only the pork, bean sprouts (plucked of the roots and beans), chopped scallion, and white sesame seeds as toppings. The broth was a dark honeyed brown hue, looking and tasting like a mix of tonkotsu and miso broth. It was tasty enough but a bit on the thin side and dappled with only a few oil specks. The crinkly egg noodles were fresh, factory-made and stayed reasonably firm even in the overheated soup. It was okay, and while I wouldn’t order this variation again, I’d be interested in trying some of the other styles.

Most of the diners, all women who were speaking either Japanese or Mandarin, seemed to be enjoying ramen in a very light broth, perhaps the salt flavor, that had more garnishes (spinach, fish cake, etc.). Maybe this is the type to get here.

Oidon
Katsuyoshi Suruki, owner
Sozai Corner (upstairs)
71 E. 4th Ave.
San Mateo
650-342-6748
Closed Sundays

PERSONAL RAMEN RANKING

1. Ramen Halu
2. Santa
3. Tanto
4. Maru Ichi
5. Ryowa
6. Gen Ramen
7. Masa’s Sushi
8. Tomoe
9. Do-Henkotsu
10.Kaimuki Grill
11.Oidon
12.Ramen Club
13.Tanpopo
14.Katanaya
15.Sapporo-ya
16.Tokyo Ramen
17.Hotei

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