Ever since Pdho tried out Ramen Dojo in San Mateo, he’s been interested to check out Ramen Parlor, which happens to be located just down the street. All three of these restaurants are part of the same empire spearheaded by Santa Ramen yet each seems to offer its own unique take on these Japanese noodle soups. Ramen Parlor serves what I would characterize as a more modern take on ramen in the sense that the broth seems to offer a richer, more complex combination of flavors.
I had never heard of Tan Tan Mien Ramen before, but we decided to give it a try. It was rather interesting, to say the least. Pdho thought it was quite similar to the Kuro Ramen Special which you can find at one of the best ramen places in Mountain View, Maru Ichi, but Pdho didn’t think it was as good. The broth had an bit of a spicy kick and although I’m not sure what all the black bits floating throughout the broth was, I think it was what was giving the broth its main flavor. It wasn’t my favorite of the two.
I really liked their signature Soy Sauce ramen which had a very subtle seafood essence from the garlic lobster oil infusion. The broth was rich and hearty with a depth of flavor that you don’t normally find in your every day ramen. The chasu pork tasted like it was grilled rather than just boiled, so it added a smoky dimension. The noodles were firm yet chewy and nicely rounded out the ramen quite nicely.
Overall, I really enjoyed the ramen, and the fact that there isn’t the wait that you normally encounter at Ramen Dojo or even Santa Ramen makes this place even more appealing. I have never been to Ramen Dojo, so I can’t speak to how it compares, but I would be hard-presssed to compare it with Santa Ramen. Both are equally good, but the ramens are really quite different and it just depends on what kind of mood you’re in.
901 S. B St.
San Mateo, CA 94401
PAFO Ratings for Ramen Parlor:
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 3½ stars