Food Passport: Waraku
The tan tan ramen cooked in a sesame broth and served with ground pork. All photos by Catherine Uy
Waraku, the dimly-lit restaurant run by Shabuway and Men Oh owners, Eiichi Mochizuki and Koji Kikura, is quaint and cozy. Despite its simple aesthetic it really speaks to the idea that good things, or food in this case, are found in the smallest places.
When sitting down, on a date or with a group of friends the setting itself is intimate and demure. It’s a very trendy ambience because of the crowd of people that attend this restaurant as popular music is played throughout the background.
The bowls are a favorable portion size, but worth the price at only $8-$12. Jars of peeled garlic are served table side to add pressed garlic to your bowl of ramen.
The tantan ramen is a hearty portion of soup and noodles, oily and hot, with a little bit of spice. The tonkotsu ramen, which contains a creamy, milk-like broth, is infused with rich slices of pork. The noodles, which are thick and have a springy-texture, have a good consistency.
All bowls come with basic toppings such as bamboo shoots, soft, slices of barbecue pork, and green onions. The soft boiled egg has a creamy yolk with a custard like texture. It also has a combination of both smokey and sweet flavors.
The gyoza (potstickers) are nothing special. The dumplings are crispy on the top but overly soft on the bottom. The takoyaki (octopus balls) on the other hand, were perfectly cooked, crispy yet soft.
The only issue is that Waraku’s tonkotsu is not really flavorful. It lacks a heavy pork bone flavor and the pork is either too soft or tough.
The verdict: The smoked egg is creamy and delicious, and the bowls come with a good portion of toppings. However, a rich broth is what really makes a perfect bowl of ramen.
★★★ out of 5Waraku, 1638 Post Street