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Tokushima Ramen Do-Henkotsu, San Jose


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Tokushima Ramen Do-Henkotsu, San Jose

Melanie Wong | Mar 21, 2004 01:42 AM

Two weeks ago I stopped at Do-Henkotsu for the first time on my way down to King City. According to the information provided with the menus, the ramen here is Tokushima style. The noodles are imported from Tokushima, the broth includes fish and seaweed stock as well as pork and chicken, and the roast pork is unique. Perhaps if I’d grown up in Tokushima I’d like the ramen here better, but as it is, it didn’t do much for me.

I tried the ramen with sparerib and added the extra Salinas Valley lettuce (in honor of my ultimate destination), plus a side of gyoza. I ordered the noodles “hard” and they were nicely al dente. The noodles were yellower than others and also rounder and smoother, almost spaghetti-like in shape. The tender single sparerib was mildly flavored, braised in a sweet soy sauce-based marinade. As others have described, the Tokushima style roast pork is made from the belly instead of the loin. It’s sliced thinly, marinated and then roasted. While I liked the flavor, the texture of the meat was dry, hard and coarse. The lettuce, turned sweet with cooking, added a juicy crunch. What really fell down for me was the broth. A dark mahogany color with a brown core and reddish rim, the soup’s flavor was dominated by sweetness and vegetable flavors rather than meaty flavor and oily richness. Also, it seemed a bit thin and dilute, and didn’t invite finishing the bowl.

The gyoza were decent. They were on the greasy side and filling was overly firm, but tasty. However, there are better to be had and I left some behind.

I’ll mention that at peak lunch time on a Friday, the place was not full, in contrast to the lines outside Ramen Halu down the street. Also, a frequent buyer card offers a free order of ramen after buying 15. There’ve been a few posts mentioning a downhill trend. I’d be interested in hearing more opinions.

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