Monday, February 20, 2012

ramen/japanese: i recommend RAMEN SANJI

No. 12, Song Shou Road, 5FL 
台北市信義區松壽路 12號 5樓
(02) 7737-5188

MRT: Taipei City Hall


$ (about NT$200/person)

Kid friendliness: lots of kids spotted, lots kid friendly menu options

Visit reviewed: 2/3/2012

When I saw that Ramen Sanji had lines out the door when I was window shopping for a place to eat, it definitely piqued my curiosity. Was it worth waiting in line for, or was it just another Taiwanese "we love to line up no matter what" place?

It looked promising, but I ended up at its neighbor San Yuan that night instead. So when I needed a place to eat after the Taipei Book Fair, I wandered over to ATT4Fun. It was a late lunch so there was no line- we just waited a few minutes for them to bus the table.

We ended up getting a nice corner seat with a window view of 101.

table spices and sauces

The menu unfortunately is only in Chinese and Japanese, but there are lot of bright looking pictures (that look all like the same bowl of ramen). I interrogated our server and the gist is basically- the first page is a shoyu pork bone broth that has varying pieces of grilled fatty pork, with options of 1 piece, 2 pieces, 4 pieces (the NO. 1 bowl at NT$250), or chopped up pieces; the second page has the more unique black sesame flavor, bonito flavor or spicy flavor pork bone broth; the third page (not pictured) has the noodles separate from the broth which is served in a smaller bowl for dipping and includes a garlic miso broth;

and the last page has the appetizers and additional topping choices. There's also sets available with Kirin Ichiban beer.

I end up getting the original broth with ramen 2 pieces of char siu (NT $190) and not too long later a steaming bowl comes to me. Being pork bone broth, it's slightly oilier and heavier than the miso broth I usually order (with the post meal thirstiness that you get sometimes). The ramen is nice and al dente and the portion is just right. The elements set it apart from the other chains I've eaten at before- I love the egg has the soft boiled, custardy yolk and the char siu pork is served hot with a nice chargrilled flavor. Even though it's a tad fatty, I end up eating it all anyways.

My friend's screaming red bowl of spicy ramen looks good too. One small spoonful of her broth into mine gives my bowl a nice punch, but there's no way I could drink her whole bowl.

The fried chicken (NT$120) here is also heavily seasoned. Good, but the batter is a bit thick and I preferred the version I had other ramen places.

Even at 1:30PM, Sanji is packed with ramen slurping customers. There aren't a ton of ramen options in the Xinyi area and the ones I can think of are all in food courts, like Ajisen ramen at Xinyi Eslite or Ramen Kagetsu ramen in Vieshow food court. Sanji has a nice noodle shop feel without being too expensive.

And after we pay the bill, Sanji's regular line has formed at the door with ten or so people in the middle of the afternoon. I'd definitely come back, especially if I spotted there was no line.

No comments: