Monday, December 29, 2008
Ajisen Ramen's symbol is a cute anime Chinese girl in a Chi Pao and winking cutely! lol It was packed for dinner. I actually thought about coming here when Ms. Lin was around with the family but the wait was way too long. Even on a Monday night they were packed and my Aunt & I had to wait about 20 minutes. Luckily there were a few places to walk around in that plaza. The reason it is so crowded is because this is the newest plaza around and everyone flocks to the newest thing... regardless if it is good or not. I have read many mixed reviews about this place and was quite skeptical but I still wanted to check it out for myself. The decor was very simple like a ramen shop yet modern with the pretty lanterns on top. Of course it being the holidays and all, there were many gimmicks plastered across the walls.
I saw pictures of their Fried Chicken on the internet that really caught my eye. Anything fried gets bonus points in my book. ^_^ The taste was better than I thought it would be. There is a slight hint of curry in the seasoning. It is not too salty and the batter was not overwhelming. I would have liked it to be crispier. The portion was not too bad and each piece was pretty chunky. Adding the lemon help give it more of a kick. Still, it is definitely not anything special but a good meat filler since most ramens don't give much meat.
We also decided to try the Beef Enoki Rolls. I love Enoki, which is one of the rare vegetables I actually eat. To have it wrapped with meat, seasoned, and cooked. How can you go wrong? Or at least I thought that... there wasn't much flavor despite the sauce in the plate. I didn't think that the beef paired well with the mushroom and the meat was tough. Even though it is suppose to be a customer favorite, I wouldn't recommend this or order it again. I will give them points for uniqueness but they failed in execution in my mind.
My Aunt ordered the Seafood Ramen with Scallops, Shrimps, Mini Octupus, and Mussel. The soup was not bad and had a strong seafood taste, of course. =9 It is perfect if you are in the mood for a seafood broth. All the seafood was cooked nicely and a great size.
My instinctive choice was the Premium Pork Ramen. I was actually surprised at how much thinly sliced pork they put on top of the ramen. The flavor was a cross between shoyu and miso ramen. It was very nice to have a steaming hot pot of ramen when it has been so cold outside. This may not have been the best ramen in the world but it sure hit the spot that night. I thought the pork was nicely flavored and soft on the palette. The big spoon given was great for me to pack in a thin slice of pork, some ramen, and scoop of soup. Mmm good. O=)
All in all it was better than I expected it to be. I think I would come back for what I got again but not necessarily for any of the appetizers. Keep in mind that going in I had very low expectations. Does it really live up to all the hype? Mehhhh, but don't worry I will be back one day. Sadly, I think this is the best place to grab a bite in that new plaza. I don't think there is any other place that is worthy to frequent. This place is not very authentic but still decent enough taste.
Irvine, CA 92606