Eatery - Shin-Sen-Gumi (CA)

Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen on Urbanspoon

18315 Brookhurst St, Unit 1, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Japanese

First of all, make sure you know which side of the restaurant you are entering as there is the ramen side and the robata side. Secondly, remember that ramen is good for cold, so good. It was a gloomy day when I decided that it was ramen or pho time. Duc agreed to ramen so we went off to Shin-Sen-Gumi, a place I remembered not liking when I was in high school but had only been to once. I wanted to give it another shot since I didn't trust my high school palate and because so many people rave about it.

The wait was quite long, over half an hour. However, that's usually a testament to a restaurant right? I saw that seating inside was very limited too. Luckily, they have a paper that you can fill out with your preferences prior to being seated. The add-ons came in separated bowls for our use as pleased. Awesome.

Duc got his with the add-on of egg, wontons, and a poached egg. The broth was ordered with a thicker amount of soup oil and the noodles regular sized. You could actually really taste the difference in thickness between his and mine. Craziness! It lent to a much richer mouth-feel.

We're here to talk about my own bowl though because that's where my subjective commenting would come best into play. I got the regular sized noodles at a "firm" texture, egg (a little salty but good), wood-ear mushroom (terrible alone but great in the broth!), and bamboo (looooove bamboo). The broth was very clean and savory which allowed me to better enjoy the other elements of it all. I was so glad to see that it was not salty like other restaurants' ramen that I've had nor was it overly oily. My mouth felt clean afterward instead of greasy - hoorah. I enjoyed the fresh ingredients in my bowl as well as the rich, warm broth. Right on, Shin-Sen-Gumi!

Photography by Duc Duong.