While there are plenty of ramen chain restaurants around Shanghai, I prefer this one-of-a-kind and very delicious shop with an urban touch. Not only do you get to sit at the bar and watch the master at work under a brightly-lit “RAMEN SHOP” sign, each dish is served with love. The chef came from Japan to open shop, and the ingredients are also imported from Japan. Tonight, we came for the Black Ramen and White Ramen. On the blackboard behind us, there was also a Yellow Ramen (curry flavor) and Red Ramen (spicy flavor), which will have to wait until our next visit.
We started off with the Chicken Karaage, which was breaded and fried just right. I knew it hadn’t just been sitting in a pile of other karaages since we watched them fry it right in front of us. It was incredibly tender and juicy inside. Be sure to dip each piece in the peppered Kewpie mayo for ultimate flavor. The side greens also tasted notably fresh (unlike many other places that half-heartedly throw in some wilted lettuce on the side). These greens were topped with a creamy white dressing that reminded me of my favorite house-made ranch back home.
The Black Ramen had a soy sauce flavored broth with bamboo shoots and black pepper (and quite possibly some my favorite black garlic!), along with the staple pork chashu, half-cooked egg, and green onions. The White Ramen was in a thicker tonkatsu broth with parmesan cheese, corn, broccoli, and ginger. The meat in both bowls was tender, the noodle consistency good, and each broth proved to have its own distinct character aside from just being different colors.
With a giant piece of urban-inspired art plastered outside behind a bench, RAMEN SHOP has a hipster vibe reminiscent of my old neighborhood in San Francisco. Inside, this little shop is always bright and clean, with tiny details like superhero figurines in the corner and business cards of small local businesses placed along the bar. Grab a seat at the bar, watch the action, and get cozy with your ramen of choice.
Bonus: Ellen will also be posting her favorite ramen spot in LA this week, so stay tuned!
RAMEN SHOP / Shaanxi Road, Shanghai