We were feenin for some ramen and had originally wanted to check out Motomachi Shokudo, but unfortunately they were closed and the Internets did not know. Therefore, neither did we… until we had actually gotten there.
So, we decided to try Marutama, a ramen joint that only uses chicken broth. This is very rare, as most ramen places serve it with pork broth. We were really determined to get ramen because Mell had never had it before (G:—shocking since she’s the most Asian white girl ever).
Upon ordering our food, our server asked us how spicy we’d like our bowls. We both said medium, which elicited a skeptical look. She said it’s quite hot and that she’d give us spicy on the side and make our dishes mild. Heeding her warning, we agreed.
Either our tastebuds were on steroids today or it actually wasn’t that spicy. Pft. We ended up cleaning out those little dishes.
M: Okay, so chicken broth aside (I didn’t realize there were no vegetarian broth options), I’m ordering the most veggie option possible. The flavour is very chicken-y. And when I say “very” I mean MUCHO POLLO. This flavour is pretty difficult for me to handle as I don’t particularly like chicken. Cabbage, seaweed, and sliced carrots are fine. Nothing unique here, in terms of taste and originality. I like that it’s got a kick to it. And the fact that it’s hot.
G: Wow yeah I really dropped the ball with picking this place. All the balls.
M: Hey now. If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room. (Need to give my Grandpa credit for this saying.) +1 for trying new anything.
G: The noodles are quite soft and much thinner than the ramen that I’m used to, more like instant noodles. The broth also isn’t as rich as pork broth, and I actually prefer the taste of pork broth to chicken. The char siu (roast pork) is decent. Not especially flavourful and they only give you two small-ish pieces, but the texture is alright.
The service was attentive and they even gave us bins to put our bags in because there wasn’t much space otherwise. Marutama is without a doubt authentically Japanese (having started in Japan and now expanded to seven locations worldwide), but food-wise, the noodles were underwhelming, especially considering their prices are higher than other ramen places of equal or better quality. Neither of us were fans of the chicken broth in terms of taste, but Mell’s stomach really didn’t like it. To be fair, she doesn’t eat chicken and is sensitive to MSG, and Grace was fine after. Make of that what you will.
But pork broth next time for us.