Sherman's Food Adventures: Marutama Garden

Marutama Garden

It's rather interesting that I keep raving about the original location of Marutama, yet at the same time, I haven't been back in quite awhile.  Generally, they do have the best ramen egg and the fresh-made noodles is a nice touch.  So when we were nearby Marutama Garden on Main Street, we figured this was the next best thing to visiting the Downtown location.  Besides, this location does have its perks such as no lineup (well at least when we were there) and a decent amount of tables considering the small store.  After taking a look at the menu, we settled on 4 different bowls of ramen.

The kids actually ordered the same thing, but one was bigger than the other.  My son went for the Shoyu Zenbu Ramen with chashu, extra chashu, spinach, nori and egg.  This was a solid bowl of ramen where the broth was creamy and rich.  Curiously not as rich as I remembered, but this was a good thing as it was definitely drinkable without being heavy.  Lots of meatiness and natural sweetness.  The chashu was tender while the egg was on point.  It could've been more flavourful though.  My daughter has a smaller appetite, so she went for the basic Shoyu Ramen with the same ingredients except she kept the onions (unlike my son).  Everything was consistent including the egg and the chashu.  The plentiful noodles underneath were al dente, although curiously not the same as the original location.

Viv decided on the Miso Ramen which was a huge pile of stuff on top of the noodles.  It consisted of a mix of veggies and chopped chashu which was really filling in itself.  Add in the generous amount of noodles underneath and there was no chance she could finish it.  The miso broth was a bit lighter than she would've liked but there was still the appealing fermented rich saltiness associated with miso.  For myself, I went for something different in the Aka Maru consisting of chili and nuts with soft-shelled shrimp and chopped chashu.  Naturally, the whole thing was nutty and aromatic from the combination of walnut, pine nut, peanut, cashew, almond and pistachio.  There was also a touch of spice and the faintest hit of brininess from the shrimp.  I thought this was not bad, but left me wanting for the more popular shoyu instead.

For some sides, we had the really crunchy and juicy Marutama Fried Chicken coated with corn flakes.  We really liked the chicken as it was so tender while the corn flakes provided an appealing crunch.  However, as very noticeable in the picture, the whole thing was extremely greasy.  So we weren't sure if the juiciness wasn't mostly oil.  We also had the homemade Pan-Fried Gyoza.  In terms of dumpling quality, these were pretty solid.  The skin was thin with nice elasticity and the filling was texturally on point.  However, they could've been a touch more aggressive with the sear.  Overall, we thought our meal at Marutama Garden to be relatively good.  We wished we had the same noodles as the original location, but that didn't make or break the meal in our opinion.  Solid option for Main Street.

The Good:
- Fairly spacious for the small store
- Solid option for the area
- Loved the fried chicken (but also too greasy)

The Bad:
- Wish they had the same noodles as the original location


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