2) Big Daddy Bowl, Hapa Ramen
This dish opened my eyes not only to how delicious real ramen is, but also to how thoughtful and complex it can be. Hapa Ramen’s Big Daddy Bowl goes beyond flavorful broth and perfectly-cooked noodles – it brings in a variety of ingredients that add subtle nuances, richness, and seasonality. Of all of the dishes on this list, this is the one that I have gone back to eat the most. There’s just something about the combination of the warmth, the spice, creamy slow-cooked egg, sweet squash, and fried fatty meat that keeps me coming back for more. You can read all of the details in my review of Hapa Ramen.
After my first time experiencing what a real bowl of ramen is supposed to taste like, I was left feeling utterly perplexed. How in the world did Nissan foods take something so rich and complex in flavor, and create a replica that is totally overloaded with sodium and tastes like absolutely nothing? Who did a side by side comparison and decided, “Hey! Our instant Cup of Noodles can totally pass as ramen! It’s close enough to the real thing, I bet hardly anyone will be able to tell the difference!” It would be like saying an M&M could pass as a fresh cream truffle from Jean-Charles Rochoux, one of the best chocolatiers in Paris. It simply makes no sense...Continue Reading