1430 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Christmas is here and that means a time for giving and being grateful for all you have. Friends, family, and good times.
It also means that it is darn cold outside and with the especially rainy weather we’ve been having this week we thought nothing could celebrate the holiday season better than a warm comforting bowl of soup from this local Ramen Shop Noraneko.
Located in southeast Portland just a stones throw from Omsi Noraneko is a bit of a hidden gem. Tucked away in this seemingly small storefront is a cozy and classically decorated Japanese Ramen Shop
But surprisingly the menu here was far from classic. While most ramen shops offer the same assortment of traditional choices (shio, shoyu, miso) and this one to be fair does as well, what sets them apart is the modern section of their ramen menu which offers interesting twists on everyone’s favorite soup. So with that being said we had to sample a trio of flavors to make sure we covered our bases.
To start with we went with the basic route with their Miso Ramen selling for $11 making for a very reasonable priced bowl. Don’t let the lack of obvious toppings fool you because this ramen is packed full of flavor. With a rick broth made from pork and chicken, to the miso flavor just perfectly balanced to not overpower, and finishing with a perfectly cooked egg with a yolk that straddles the line between runny and firm so gently that it’s almost too delicious to eat. This basic assortment was too good to pass up.
And with the recommendation of getting a Fried Kara age Chicken add on we couldn’t resist. At first we were a little confused by the price at $7 for a small portion and with the pale color of this chicken. But we were put at ease when this dish hit the table and we instantly fell in love with the savory aroma of crispy, crunchy chicken. With four good sized pieces in the small price it seemed worth the price to bite into this juicy fantastic poultry. It was so good it was hard not to burn ourselves eating it too fast.
Now for a spin on the Modern side we decided to try this seemingly Latino fusion of a ramen dish. Called the Pollo Ramen Escabeche this spicy little soup sells for only $12 and is very intriguing. With a chicken soup base as name implies it is a bit more spiced than any of the other broths we tasted today but while they added flavor they never tried to overwhelm, spiced chicken compliments the broth and with the before mentioned egg and fresh noodles this dish hits with a deep depth of flavor. But the real champion of the bowl was unexpectedly the Pork Meatballs. With a light citrus note and bit of spice this meatballs come cooked perfectly firm on the outside to give a very satisfying snap when you bite in as they let loose a flood of juicy flavor. So good it makes us wish we had ordered an extra portion.
All things being said Noraneko is a wonderful ramen shop with a balanced flavor in its broths and very well crafted add on. With an interesting assortment of menu choices and great service. My only negatives we might note is the noodles were a little al dente and the soups while flavorful never quite had a huge impact like other ramen shops in the city instead keeping a more subdued flavor which for some may be a positive since it meant this ramen was smoother to eat and never made us feel too sluggish after. Still with the variety on offer at very good prices this is definitely a must try.
We give Noraneko 🍜🍜🍜🍜🍜🍜🍜🍜 out of 10
And we will becoming back for a bucket of that chicken.