I’ve been going through my #RamenPhase for several years now and it shows no sign of abating.
And why should it?
Slurping on some tasty, steaming-hot ramen is one of the most comforting things to do, specially on a chilly spring evening in the first week of my family’s visit to the Pacific Northwest.
That night, we ventured out to the beautiful city of Bellevue for dinner after a round of malling. From the mall, we walked across the Bellevue Downtown Park to the local branch of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka to enjoy the crisp spring air and to work up our appetites.
This ramen restaurant is quite familiar to us as it has several outlets in the Metro Manila. It has become one of go-to ramen places because of its tasty ramen and katsu dishes that fave become family favorites.
The restaurant was founded in Asahikawa, Hokkaido in Japan by Hitoshi Hatanaka when he produced the tonkotsu (pork bone) soup, the flavorful base of the restaurant’s ramen dishes. The soup is made by hand in all of the chain’s outlets in Japan and abroad; the process involves simmering the pork bones for twenty hours, then adding in vegetables, dried fish, kelp and other savory ingredients as well as seasonings, resulting in a mild but tasty broth. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s bowls are also specially made, with a specific thickness that slows the cooling down of the broth, allowing diners to enjoy their ramen in steaming-hot soup for as long as possible.
Upon arriving, we entered our name in the tablet provided so that we can be part of the wait list, one of the innovations that we haven’t yet encountered back home.
The place was cozy and frenetic with activity, from new customers being ushered in and the orders and requests being called out.
For tonight’s meal, our group got for ourselves several orders of our favorites:
Shio Ramen. The restaurant’s signature dish featuring a milky white salt-based broth, firm hand-pulled noodles, slices of marinated chashu pork belly and more.
Neginanban Ramen. The resto’s spiciest ramen variant topped with chashu, fried onions, onions and jalapenos.
Karamiso Ramen. A miso-based ramen with bit of red chilis to spice it up.
Tonkatsu. Deep-fried pork cutlet covered in crispy panko breadcrumbs and served with a tangy katsu sauce.
With our ramen and katsu orders, we also availed of sides such as the aji-tama (soft-boiled egg marinated in a soy-based sauce) and gyoza (pan-fried dumplings filled with minced pork).
With our dinner at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, the fam was able to enjoy some of the flavors we love back home right here in Bellevue.
This Hokkaido Ramen Santouka branch is located at 103 Bellevue Way, NE, Suite 3, Bellevue, WA 98004, open daily from 11am to 9pm. For inquiries or reservations, call +1 425 4620141.
For more details, visit www.santouka-usa.com.
Check out the other restos I’ve tried in the Washington State area: