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Spring Special Miso Ramen @ Ramen Halu, San Jose


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Spring Special Miso Ramen @ Ramen Halu, San Jose

Melanie Wong | Apr 22, 2010 12:33 AM

This week I lunched at Ramen Halu to try its current spring special, miso ramen. The special miso ramen made with thick noodles will be available through the end of the month and is described here.

Ordered regular-spicy and with the addition of the seasoned egg (ni-tamago), as I wanted to recalibrate versus the excellent egg offered by Orenchi, here’s what the bowl looked like.

With the thick-textured, pork-based rich soup and scatter of fat over the surface, this version of Halu’s miso is an over-the-top gut buster. Yet, the use of apple blended with the mix of miso types enlivens and lifts the otherwise heavy and deeply flavored stock keeping it from being oppressive. Regular-spicy registered as a pleasant warmth on the palate. This was the first time I’ve seen the roasted garlic oil used at Halu, and here it’s extra powerful and nutty in aroma and flavor.

Made with kurobuta bacon cut, the cha shu was fabulous. The well-marbled heritage pork was marinated in miso, roasted, and then griddled before serving. Warmed through and nicely browned from these additional steps, the two slices of cha shu were wonderfully unctuous and extra flavorful.

The added seasoned egg was cooked perfectly with a semi-runny yolk and jiggly white. However, Orenchi’s organic egg tasted a few days earlier had much richer flavor, especially the orange-colored yolk. I asked my server to pass on a suggestion to the chef that he experiment with using organic eggs and see if he doesn’t prefer the result.

The nori promised in the menu description was missing, but I appreciated all the veggie components to cut through the richness of the miso stock. Crisp and sharply pungent shreds of white Tokyo negi, the aromatic bite of green onions, cool and crunchy green cabbage, lightly blanched and well-plucked bean sprouts, and I even liked the bamboo shoots this time. The bamboo tasted more of the sake marinade and less fermented this time, and had some char as well.

If you like a robust and big style of ramen, Ramen Halu has knocked one out of the park with this special miso ramen. Once again the chef has offered up another unique and very tasty offering in his limited edition specials. While I wouldn’t indulge in this often, given the opportunity, I did enjoy every nuance combined with its sheer power and the intellectual exercise of appreciating the craft behind it. And for those who loved last year’s lobster ramen anniversary special, my server said it’s coming back next month.

1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santouka @ Mitsuwa Hokkaido Festival, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
3. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
4. Orenchi Ramen, 3540 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
5. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
6. Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
7. Ajisen Noodle, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont
8. Ramen Dojo, 805 South B St, San Mateo
9. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
10. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
11. Santa, 1944 South El Camino Real, San Mateo (post-move)
12. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed)
13. Sumiya, 2634 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
14.Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed)
15.Hana Japanese Restaurant, 101 Golf Course Dr, Rohnert Park
16.Izakaya Restaurant, 1335 N 1st St, San Jose
17.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
18.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
19.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
20.Ozumo, 2251 Broadway, Oakland
21.Dohatsuten, 799 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto
22.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
23.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
24.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
25.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
26.Halu Restaurant, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
27.Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
28.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
29.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
30.Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
31.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
32.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
33.Noodle Theory, 3242 Scott St, San Francisco
34.Watami Shabu Shabu and Ramen, 5344 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
35.Where’s Buta by Elgin Espiritu and June Lee, Eat Real Festival, Oakland
36.Kumako, 211 E. Jackson Street, San Jose
37.Japanese Restaurant Hoshi, 246 Saratoga Avenue, Santa Clara
38.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
39.Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (after ownership change)
40.King Won Ton, 1936 Irving St, San Francisco
41.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
42.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino (closed)
43.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino (closed)
44.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo (closed)
45.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
46.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
47.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark (closed)
48.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
49.Genki Ramen, 3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
50.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
51.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
52.100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
53.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
54.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont (closed)
55.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
56.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
57.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
58.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
59.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
60.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
61.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
62.Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
63.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
64.Bushido Izakaya, 156 Castro St, Mountain View
65.Fresh Taste, 2107 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
66.Asuka Ramen, 883 Bush St, San Francisco
67.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
68.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
69.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
70.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco (closed)
71.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
72.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
73.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

Ramen Halu
375 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

Orenchi Ramen
3540 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

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