Back in college, there was this ramen place in Durant Square (aka 3rd World Food Court) and I always remember thinking, “Why would I pay to eat ramen when I can get it from an instant noodle bag?” How naive I was back then…. Needless to say, as you can see by many of my postings, I’m much more appreciative of ramen houses these days, but one thing I always have a hard time remembering is if I like Shoyu Ramen or Shio Ramen. Shoyu is the soy-sauce-based broth and Shio is salt-based broth. We had both at Santa Ramen
in San Mateo, and they were both equally delicious. The noodles were just a little al dente so it gave some nice texture to the rich broth.
The one up above was probably the cleaner tasting one which is why I think it might be the shio ramen. I like the additional flavor that comes from the green onions and tree fungus/mushroom.
I added some cabbage to this ramen, because I was feeling a little bit low on my vegetable intake for the weekend. As a result, a lot of the soup was getting soaked up by the vegetables. However, the chashu pork and bamboo was very good and really made this ramen hit the spot.
I wanted to try to the chicken karage especially since everyone else around us had ordered it, but someone told me not to over order (as I usually do). However, I was promised that the next time we come back, we would get some to try, because it really looked good.
PAFO Ratings for Santa Ramen:
Price 3 ½ stars
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 4 ½ stars
Overall rating 4 stars