Saturday, January 9, 2016

Robata

Patience wanted to try one of the new ramen restaurants and it was a perfectly chilly night for some over the holidays. I had never been in the building that used to be a Church's Chicken and I thought it was funny how now there are no parking spaces available.

The building still looks like a fast food joint and it's quite small, but they have squeezed in two rows of counter spots as well as quite a few tables in the main dining area. When we walked in, we crammed ourselves in the doorway area with a handful of others who were waiting for a table as well as for orders to go. Robata was prepared and provided a couple of heaters outside for those who waited there as well.

We were very lucky and only had to wait about five minutes for a table for four, so you may want to try off peak hours. Or perhaps wait until it gets warmer so it's not a chilly wait outside.

It was a little overwhelming to be handed two menus since the sushi menu is quite long and then the ramen menu is a large plastic page as well. For the ramen, they give you a marker so you can circle your choices right on the menu and then it's erased later for the next customer. Quite clever!

There are actually only two real choices for the ramen though... first decision, type of noodle. I'm guessing it's mainly a noodle size difference, but I went with the "Rice Noodle" since those are the clear, glass noodles that I love, even though they cost a little extra.

The second choice is much harder since you must decide the style of your soup. It seemed to me that only difference was pork broth vs chicken broth, although both included roast pork, green onions, hard boiled egg, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, nori, red ginger, and mushrooms.

Then it was broken down even further to with or without corn, miso, or soy.

So I decided to go with the last option, which was Yashi, or vegetarian. That way I got all the veggies and just added chicken on top at the end, which is your last decision...any extras you might want.

Yashi Ramen with Chicken
You really don't need any of the extra toppings unless you want something special. Patience went all out and added scallops and kimchi in a miso-based broth.

Miso Ramen with Scallops and Kimchi
The soup really reminded me of Pho a lot and nothing like what I used to have in college. I managed to eat most of the soup and all the goodies inside, but with the sushi on the side, I filled up rather quickly. You won't go home hungry! Then I had a delicious lunch for the next day as well.

Now that it's winter, I definitely recommend hitting up one of these new ramen restaurants, but this is probably the smallest location so be prepared to wait if you going during the rush.

Resources:

Robata = http://www.robatamaplewood.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon