Samurai Noodle is regarded as one of the best ramen houses in Seattle. Rather than the tonkotsu ramen, we thought we’d try the so-called “Shouyu” instead, which is a combination of pork/chicken. Our initial tasting of the broth was good, but we both noticed that it seemed to somehow become more bland as we continued to eat. This was kind of curious. It’s entirely possible that maybe the soup got diluted from excess water on the vegetables and meat that were served on the side: green onions, bamboo shoots, extra chashu slices. In fact, there was a pool of water at the bottom of the dish in which they were served.
Although we ordered the noodles “firm,” they still had a somewhat underdone firmness that the egg ingredient didn’t overcome. I don’t know how to describe it except to say that thre was a slight crunchiness, rather than chewiness that I look for in Japanese noodles. Odd, because Samurai makes a big deal of the fact that their noodles are specially made for them in California. O-o-kay … At least one slice of chashu tasted like it’s been sitting in the refrigerator too long, rather than freshly made, the refrigerator equivalent of freezer burn, which also affects poultry. Other slices tasted just fine.
All these are indications that there are issues with ensuring total quality, missteps that should be corrected if it hopes to be a serious ramenya, which now it definitely isn’t.