I was thinking of going to Ryowa the other day, but when I saw the wait, I turned the corner and went to Maruichi instead. Short soapbox, but Ryowa MV has gone downhill for me. Their lunch specials used to be of a very decent size (gyoza, ramen + fried rice). After not going there for a year and then back this year, I find that the lunch specials have shrunk in size (the ramen bowls really shrunk) and quality went down. Did the chef leave? End of rant.
So I stepped into Maruichi and my eyes were fixed on a small hand written sign above the sign in book.
This new flavor du week is Aka Miso (red miso) Ramen that is noted to be spicy. The sign also says M-F which I suppose means not offered on weekends. Price is $7.99, but one is always welcome to supersize it (Maruichi Aka Miso Ramen) for just more toppings, which I did.
The Aka Miso Ramen does look more potent than it actually is. For those who can tolerate the self help kim chi there, can likely handle the Aka Miso soup base without too much trouble, though I think it has a stronger albeit slower kick. I believe the Aka Miso base was cooked separately, and right before serving a nice layer of chili oil (la-yu) was put on top.
The Maruichi Aka Miso Ramen doesn't have the wood-ear in it like the regular Maruichi Ramen bowls, but my server was smart enough to serve the stewed pork and spicy cod roe (mentaiko) on the side. The mentaiko was actually spicier than the soup base, so it would have been a bit of a waste dunking that in and mixing it together.
This new ramen flavor for Maruichi is a nice addition. I would order it again, and it works well for these cold nights. I think the level of spiciness is controlled well, unlike Santa's standard miso which last I tried many years ago was spicy (and way too spicy...couldn't even taste any miso flavor in it).
I don't know if the Milpitas Square location offers this Aka Miso Ramen, but given Melanie's ranking I would think the Aka Miso (if offered at both locations) is safer to try at Maruichi MV than Milpitas.