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Restaurants & Bars 7

Tsukemen (Ramen Dipper) @ Ryowa, Berkeley

Melanie Wong | Aug 8, 200504:01 AM

Recently I had a chance to satisfy my curiousity about what "Ramen Dipper", $6.50, offered by Ryowa might be. That's what it's called on signs with photos posted around the restaurant. On the menu, it's shown as "Tsukemen". This style of ramen with noodles and soup served separately is said to have been invented by Taishoken in Tokyo.

Unlike the descriptions I've read of Taishoken's tsukemen, Ryowa has the add-ins with the cold noodles and not in the soup. The wider and firmer extra grade "special noodles" are used for this dish and topped with bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, wakame, shredded nori, half a hard-cooked egg, and thick cuts of fatty cha su roast pork, all cold or room temperature. The small bowl contained a very concentrated shoyu-flavored stock with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.

To eat this, you dip chopstick-fuls of the noodle mix into the hot stock to flavor and warm it. It's actually a little clumsy. I tried putting a larger portion into the soup bowl, however, the stock is so reduced and salty that more than a quick dip in this potion makes the noodles too intensely flavored to eat. Also, the other ingredients fall to the bottom and its hard to get them together again in one bite. After a while, the small volume of soup stock cools down quickly too.

The special noodles were elastic and firm, just great. The pieces of cha su seemed fattier and more tender when cut in this fashion versus the cross cuts used in the regular ramen. Yet, while I liked the flavor and enjoyed trying this, I'm not sure that with the work it takes to eat I'd order it again. It's certainly worth a try for the experience.

I noticed that the tubs of kimchi on the tabletops were gone. Now you request kimchi and receive a small portion. Also, there was a notice posted that Ryowa's liquor license had been temporarily suspended. It should have been reinstated by now.


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8.Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, San Jose
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http://chowhound.com/california/board... Shoyu ramen
12.Masa’s Sushi, Mountain View
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13.Oyaji, San Francisco
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14.Maru Ichi, Milpitas
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17.Ramen Club, Burlingame
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[BROKEN LINK REMOVED] Miso ramen lunch set
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24.King’s Garden Ramen, Newark
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26.Lakuni, San Mateo
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29.Manpuku, Berkeley
30.Tanpopo, San Francisco
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31.Sushi Yoshi, Newark
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32.Suzu Noodle House, San Francisco
33.Oidon, San Mateo
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35.Kamakura, Alameda
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Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Image: http://home.earthlink.net/~melaniewon...

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