I’ve been passing by Ramen Shop, located on College Avenue in Oakland, since their opening back in 2012. Somehow I never seemed to make it there even though my parents house is literally five minutes away!
When I watched an episode of Munchies featuring the restaurant I decided that I had to try it!
Ramen Shop offers of course ramen noodles but with a Californian twist so if you’re expecting traditional Japanese ramen then this is the wrong place for you. They offer three types of ramen and one is always a vegetarian option. They change their menu almost everyday depending on what products are the freshest and most available. They also have a few appetizers including their famous pickle plate (various homemade pickled vegetables), fried rice (different toppings depending on the day), and donburi (meat, fish, or vegetables on top on white rice).
Ramen Shop doesn’t take reservations which can be quite annoying since they are always packed. I’ve read that people usually have to wait 45 minutes to an hour for a table and I was not down with that. I decided to go right when the restaurant opened and sure enough there were people already in line! However, we scored a table luckily and were ready to try some new takes on ramen!
We started off with two appetizers, both delicious and executed well. The black cod and ikura salad was the best way to start off the meal. Smoky tender pieces of fish with crisp little gem lettuce paired perfectly with creamy avocado, earthy beets, and bursts of salty shoyu marinated ikura. The donburi was very satisfying with soft morsels of chashu pork and various vegetables and pickles on top of steamed white rice.
Now onto the main attractions…ramen! The uni butter miso ramen was rich with a true depth of flavor. The ramen noodles were perfectly cooked and still had a nice bite to them. The green garlic shoyu ramen was also delicious and reminded me more of a traditional version of ramen with the savory broth and chashu pork pieces.
We were so full after eating the savory dishes but I had heard about the black sesame ice cream sandwich and I couldn’t miss it. Earthy black sesame ice cream in between chewy cookies was a great ending to an overall solid meal.
The only negative aspect of Ramen Shop is that it’s slightly expensive for a bowl of ramen compared to what I am used to at other places. Therefore, I’d have to rate Ramen Shop at a 7.5-8/10.