A feverish craving for noodles, a delicious broth, and pork belly can linger in your body taking control of your thoughts and stomach. This feeling won’t go away until you subdue it. Conquer it, or find that ramen joint. Relatively close in proximity to the downtown Ballard scene there is, Arashi Ramen (Also in Tukwila, WA). Master Chef Daisuke Ueda apparently splits his time in between the two restaurants and creates a beautiful dish of savory noodle soup. I’d like to meet this guy.
With a small assortment or sake, beers, and appetizers to compliment your soups this ramen spot has plenty to give. It has a quaint but open dining area with about 4 tables and a soup bar with around 5-6 stools. The restaurant seems to have a storage problem though, with boxes out in the dining area. What lacked in aesthetic was made up by having proper flavorful foods. The service was quick during the late lunch time hours with just a few people coming in and out picking up take outs or sitting inside. So, I wouldn’t worry about making a reservation. People who eat here aren’t lingering, they seem to eat and run.
I worked that night so I only looked at the sake from afar, missed out on a prime cold unfiltered sake, or Nigori :(. Vicariously short-lived through the lunch time drinks our neighbor was having, I had to move on to the appetizers. We ended up ordering the gyoza to switch up our usual choice. Gyoza are the staple Japanese dumplings which can be steamed, fried or pan seared. They are usually filled with a flavorful pork, chicken, and vegetable mix.
Our usual and also one of Sarah’s favorite appetizers, is the infamous Takoyaki. Takoyaki are octopus balls, fried and topped with bonito fish flakes, spiced mayo, and okonomi sauce. We had them a few weeks ago so we didn’t have the “balls” to repeat ourselves. Terrible pun. Both are good prerequisite choices before ramen if you dine here.
Good ramens are difficult to come across. I found Arashi hit all the marks of a great Japanese/ramen restaurant. From the broth to the ramen eggs the ingredients were fresh and well prepared. Sarah ordered the Black Garlic Ramen (Top) and I ordered the Arashi Ramen (Bottom), both bowls came with Pork Belly Chashu, ramen eggs, and thin ramen noodles. It’s one of those meals that can warm you up while giving you hug of salt savory goodness. It wasn’t the best ramen I’ve had but it was still a delicious bowl of noodles and god I love noodles.