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What you can expect from Hanabi Ramen

What you can expect from Hanabi Ramen

January 30
16:05 2018

Think Tokyo middle class — not the street stuff, but also nothing too special. That’s what you can expect from the new ramen place opening here in Denton at the corner of Hickory and Carrol.

Upon trying out their Carrolton location, I found a lot of “good food,” but again, nothing too special. I ordered a round of gyoza (lightly pan-fried dumplings) and honestly, they could have been frozen before. It came with a rice vinegar, soy and chili sauce mixture that was delicious and definitely complemented the crunch of the gyoza. They were good, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve enjoyed the same thing out of a bag in the frozen section at Walmart for a little cheaper. The worst part was when my date asked if they were made in-house and the waiter had no idea.

Hanabi Ramen in Carrolton, Texas also serves Age Gyoza served with a chili oil soy sauce. Claire Lin

But, I obviously wasn’t here to try some dumplings, so I ordered the Baisen Miso Ramen. Upon its arrival, I was glad to see a generous portion for how much I paid, a staple across the board at most ramen restaurants. The first taste was light and creamy — the miso was just like the miso in tiny bowls you get at a sushi restaurant before your meal comes out, but this one was a little more developed in flavor with a heavier concentration on soy sauce. I noticed right away that the noodles were just chewy enough to play in to the soft flavors of the soup, absorbing the miso and setting a bed for the pork belly. The soy sauce-cooked, soft boiled eggs were almost special, and certainly delightful.

I loved the fresh components of the soup: the bamboo shoots and the thin-cut onions provided for more crunch and flavor and broke any heaviness one might perceive from a concentrated miso. My date was right, in that it tasted a lot like a Japanese version of a chicken-noodle soup. It was indeed soothing and simple — something I like in a dish.

Unfortunately when it comes to ramen, I look for something that I didn’t find here: umami. Umami is the sort of mythical taste that people (especially Japanese people) go searching for in good food. It is like a savory “umph” that makes you want bite after bite, and when it’s gone you are left wanting a little more. This dish was missing that.

It was yummy, and there were certain parts that I really enjoyed fishing around for in my bowl, but overall, on a scale to 10, it was maybe a seven. It was something I might order again on a cold or rainy day, or something I might ask a friend to pick up for me if I have the flu, but it certainly will not be a staple in my diet.

Now, if I were to compare this ramen to the shoyu ramen I had at Komodo Loco last week (which I understand is a completely different type of ramen, but still), I would say that this one wins out. The noodles were better, the broth more significantly complimented the overall flavor of the bowl and its components and I think I might have gotten a little more bang for my buck.

All this to say: try the new ramen shop opening up in Denton, but don’t expect anything too exceptional.

Best thing that hit the table: That dipping sauce for the gyoza was so good that we ended up putting a lot of it in the ramen.

People who would love this: Well, I hear the flu is an epidemic now, so I guess everyone needing to feel better.

Price range: Expect to pay between $15-$20 per person after tip.

Featured Image: Hanabi Ramen is a restaurant in Carrolton, Texas which specializes in their ramen selection. Pictured here is their Baiso Miso Ramen. Claire Lin

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Brennan Dufrene

Brennan Dufrene

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1 Comment

  1. ArisaM
    ArisaM April 26, 14:22

    I don’t agree with this article. I think the person was very biased, and basing their review off of some ideal they found of what mystical elements of Japanese food might be… but in America that is not really a thing. What you will find here is a good solid version of some basic Japanese food you can get on a budget. For $5 any of the appetizer bowls are amazing. I prefer the Gyu Don or Curry Chicken bowl but they do have pork. The marinated beef in their beef bowl is to die for, and the curry is perfectly seasoned and cooked. The pork tastes great – but sometimes is dry. That is my only complaint. For what food is served here;it is the best option in our area. It is also easy to get in and out because they serve you quickly, and I never have to spend more than $10 to leave very full. They are closed between 2:30 and 5. That is the only inconvenience, but that’s also necessary for the type of food to be prepared. It’s not something to call home about, but it is very good. The gyoza do not taste Frozen to me…even if they were which I don’t know. They lack that watery gush in the middle that normally Frozen gyoza have. And it’s not to say that they weren’t made in house and then put in the freezer anyway… so I don’t think that’s something to base a review on. My favorite items on their menu are actually not the ramen at all. Their Ramen is good in house, but better the next day. Also don’t expect to be able to ask for custom orders. Japanese restaurants do not like to customize their menu so you’ll have to ask your waiter to bring you things like extra spice Etc. Their rice is always perfect it makes me jealous even being part Japanese I cannot make such perfect rice. Being half Japanese, I enjoy this place, and no it’s not the most mouth-watering, exceptional dining experience but it is great especially for this location. The price and menu are great and affordable for everyone who can afford to eat out. It is extremely clean and a pleasant dining experience. I highly recommend everyone try it and bring friends. I don’t know anyone who works there or the owners I simply went there because I live down the street.

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