Monday, October 30, 2006

halloween eve ramen

I have been avoiding my blog. This thing called life has been getting in the way. I've thought a lot about my blog recently, but really, I haven't had anything interesting to write about. The food excursions in the last few weeks have been lackluster, and I haven't had time to make anything at home. I did have all of my cash and one of my credit cards stolen at a restaurant in San Francisco while on my two week no blogging hiatus. I thought about writing about that experience, but decided it was too bizarre. Maybe another day. So, folks, the point it is I'm back. At least for now.

Anyway, today I was at work, and Mr. Cupcake sends me this email about pumpkin ramen at Ramen Halu in San Jose. Pumpkin ramen. Who knew there's such a thing? Well, apparently the people at Ramen Halu are on it.

I normally eat my ramen at Ryowa in Mountain View. It's tasty ramen that's close by. So tasty, that I haven't bothered venturing out to other ramen houses. However, this piqued my curiosity because I've never had pumpkin ramen. It's a special that Ramen Halu puts on around Halloween. They serve 20 bowls per lunch and dinner and that's it.

With those kinds of limitations, I knew we had to go and fast - or wait another year. Me being the impatient type, knew that wasn't going to happen. I persuaded Mr. Cupcake to ditch work and have an early ramen dinner with me.

We arrived just before their 6pm opening. And we weren't the only ones, there were four other people hanging out when we arrived.

The restaurant is definitely a hole in the wall. The walls are white, and seating is limited. The left side had maybe four tables, each partitioned off by screens. The right side had a row of tables sans screens. We were seated at one of the screened tables. Secretly, I was pleased because I knew I could take my pictures on peace.

It didn't take long for me to decide what to order. In fact, as soon I read the description I knew what I was going to get. Mr. Cupcake. on the other hand, had trouble deciding. Should we both have pumpkin ramen? Decisions, decisions. Another ramen won out.

I loved the presentation of the pumpkin ramen. The bat shaped nori was a nice touch. The bowl was filled with thick, pumpkin infused ramen noodles. They were thicker and more al dente compared to the noodles at Ryowa. There was also corn, Parmesan cheese, crispy pumpkin slices, pork, and onions in the broth. I was hoping for an intense pumpkin flavor, and unfortunately, it was anything but. The broth was actually somewhat bland as were the noodles. The only flavor additions on the table were hot pepper sauce and crushed garlic. I wasn't feeling the garlic and pumpkin combination, so I just went for the hot sauce which didn't turn out to be very hot. I also felt the Parmesan cheese was an interesting choice for the soup. Though, I will say the texture of the noodles were chewy and quite lovely.

Mr. Cupcake ended up ordering the Halu ramen. This turned out to be the better choice of the two. He found it to be sufficiently salty and the broth was thicker than he was use to. He was a fan of the chewy noodle as well. The only downside for him was that it was light on the pork.

Our total bill for the two bowls of ramen was just under $20. Ryowa is still my ramen of choice in the South Bay. I love eating the kimchee while waiting for my buttered corn ramen. Though, I'm not disappointed that we ventured out to Ramen Halu. Now I can say I've had pumpkin ramen. And you can too if you'd like. Tomorrow is the last they're serving the it, but go when they open for either lunch or dinner, or you'll probably miss out.

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