Sherman's Food Adventures: Torraku Ramen

Torraku Ramen

So parking centrally to everything at 721 Filbert was a blessing and a curse.  Blessing because we could visit Chinatown and then North Beach pretty handily, but a curse because it was still quite a walk to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.  After taking the ferry out to Alcatraz and doing plenty of walking, the kids were no longer game to walk anymore.  Hence, we went back to the car and decided what to do for dinner.  Initially, we were supposed to drive all the way to Palo Alto (on our way back to Fremont) to try out Ramen Nagi.  But it was 4:30pm.  No way were we doing to be stuck in Bay Area rush hour for ramen.  Therefore, we hit up Torraku Ramen which was only minutes away.  Sure, it ain't Ramen Nagi, yet sometimes we make sacrifices based on convenience.

We actually found a parking spot right out front and also a table inside.  Music to our ears as we were both tired and hangry.  My son ended up with the classic Tonkotsu Super Paitan Ramen with fatty pork, bamboo shoots, fried garlic, green onion, nori and egg.  Despite looking like it was over-marinated, the egg wasn't that salty.  The yolk was perfectly custardy though.  As for the pork & chicken broth, it was on the lighter side, not being as rich as it appeared.  There was some creaminess from the fat and collagen though, yet the broth could've used more salt.  Noodles were al dente and well-portioned.  Meat was tender with some dry portions.

My daughter predictably had the Miso Ramen (with all of the same accompaniments) that sported a slightly more fatty broth.  Hence, it was a bit richer and due to the miso, had more depth.  The fermented flavor came through, yet was not salty.  She chose the leaner pork shoulder and it was of course not as tender as the pork belly in the previous bowl.

Viv went for the Shoyu Ramen that also came with all of the aforementioned accompaniments.  This broth appeared to be a bit lighter and indeed it was.  There was still the silkiness of the fat, but there was less than the previous 2 bowls of ramen.  We could definitely taste the soy sauce, but it was accented the broth evenly.  This still had a rich flavour and the black garlic oil added some aromatics.

For myself, I didn't go for ramen at all, instead opting for the Oyako Don.  This was loaded with so much tender dark meat chicken that there was more than the amount of rice.  Nice mix of onions, fluffy egg and mirin which gave this good flavor and texture.  The only thing that could've been better was that the dish had far too much moisture.  So overall, the food at Torraku was good and did the trick, especially given that we needed something closeby.

The Good:
- Above average
- Well-portioned
- Good service

The Bad:
- Would've liked to see a bit more punch in the broth
- Online ordering doesn't really allow for customization (omitting items)


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