Sherman's Food Adventures: Ramen Bella

Ramen Bella

Sigh, another year, another birthday...  I am indeed getting old...  Well, the positive part of it is all of the birthday dinners!  One of them is with Jacqueline, because her birthday is literally 2 days after mine.  We originally, planned to hit up Matsuzushi for their good value Omakase, but I had no luck calling to make a reservation as they do not answer their phone nor clear their mailbox.  I gave up after 5 days and resorted to heading there when they opened to see if I could score a table.  Well nope and really, they had no really good excuses for the frustrating way to make a reservation there.  So we decided to drive a bit further and just do something simple in Ramen Bella in Poco.

Gosh, the place is so hidden in a corner next to Michael's, we initially thought we were in the wrong parking lot.  We eventually found it and sat down in one of their 5 available tables.  We started with the Chicken Karaage and it was quite good.  We found 5 large pieces of fried chicken thigh that were juicy and tender.  There was enough seasoning with the chicken and the batter than we really did not need to dip it into the sauce.

Jacqueline went for the Double Pork Ramen with spicy miso chicken broth, pork chashu, ground pork, green onion, garlic flakes, nori flakes and half ajitama egg.  We found the broth quite creamy, but not overly thick.  There was the definite fermented flavour of miso and a decent amount of spice.  This was satisfying due to the amount of pork involved.  Although the egg was perfectly custardy in the middle, it was not marinated enough and had no flavour.

For myself, I had the Shoyu Black Ramen with firm noodle, soy sauce based chicken broth, chopped pork, 3 slices of pork chashu, black garlic oil, mushroom, green onions, garlic flakes, sushi nori, spinach, ajitama egg and corn.  Again, the broth was creamy and full of depth.  I liked how it wasn't too salty.  The chashu was fatty and melted in my mouth.  Loved the amount of black garlic oil as some places don't give you enough.  I found the noodles not as firm as I would've personally liked, but they weren't soft either.  Again, the egg was a disappointment as it has no flavour whatsoever.  

For good measure, I added the Tonkatsu Set that included rice, miso soup, sesame dressing, cabbage salad and tonkatsu sauce.  This was a pretty good value at $17.50 as it included 2 pretty decently-sized pork cutlets.  I found the panko coating to be crispy without being greasy.  The pork was a bit over-marinated as it lost some of the natural pork texture.  With that being said, it was still good.  Overall, we thought the food at Ramen Bella to be good especially since the Tri-Cities isn't known for great ramen spots.

The Good:
- Chicken broth is silky and full of umami
- Fair portions
- Nice people

The Bad:
- Ajitama egg prepared well, but not marinated enough


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