Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Best Bowl of Soup in Town - Sapporo Ramen

As the temperature drops, our desire to hover over a big bowl of steaming delicious soup rises. It's not easy to find a GREAT bowl of soup though. Many restaurants don't give soup the attention they really deserve. And often the portions are too small because it's considered more of an appetizer. So where should you go if you want soup and nothing but the soup? Sapporo Ramen in the Porter Exchange's "Little Japan."

Located just a block from the Porter Square "T," the Porter Exchange building looks sort of like a mini mall from the outside. There's a City Sports, a Gap. Where's the food? Well, one step inside and you'll see and smell all the great Asian restaurants packed into one narrow section. You'll find Japanese, Korean and Chinese food. Something for everyone. All restaurants have seating (albeit limited) and the prices are very reasonable.

Sapporo Ramen is always packed. Often there is a wait for a table but it's well worth it. For around $8.00 you will receive an enormous bowl of noodles - enough for 2 actually but I have to say I've never shared. You can choose from different broths - miso, soy and clear. I highly recommend the clear which really undersells it. Clear does not mean tasteless. In fact, it is a very flavorful broth. Absolutely delicious. Along with the fantastic ramen noodles (do not confuse these with the awful dried Ramen Noodles you had in college!), in your soup you'll find slices of pork, ground pork, bamboo shoots and a small piece of nori on top. You can order it without meat but I personally wouldn't. I recommend topping it off with a little red chili sauce for a bit of a kick. One thing you'll notice is that when the soups is served, all conversation comes to a screeching halt until a fair amount of soup has been packed away. It's irresistible. Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai is also a huge fan so if you don't believe me, take his word for it.

If you still have room in your stomach after the soup, stop by the Japanese Bakery which is in the same building right near the Blue Fin sushi restaurant. They have THE BEST desserts. Not too heavy or sweet. Their Sweet Red Bean Paste Donuts are absolute perfection as are their Custard Buns which consist of a sweet bread on the outside and creamy custard on the inside. Definitely try one or bring it home and have it later.

Sapporo Ramen
Porter Exchange Building, 1815 Mass Ave, Cambridge
Porter Square (right near the "T" stop)


Anonymous Donna said...

You make it sound so-o-o appealing! I can almost smell the aroma. Soup is good food.

2:35 PM  
Blogger minime said...

sapporo ramen is yum! I always get the miso or soysauce ramen. have you also tried ken's noodle house at the super 88 in Allston? that place is great too!

also the azuki buns at the Porter Exchange Japanese bakery are to die for!!!

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Madeira Mama said...

You're right about some restaurants not putting enough effort in their soups. Today I had some kale soup in a local eating place which was lame. It was followed by an extremely good main course. I would rather have passed on the soup. But Sapporo Ramen sounds great.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous CantCook said...

Can't wait to try this one! I had a craving for soup a couple of days back and had the lousiest wonton soup I've tried yet at a certain reputable Thai establishment next to the T on Boylston Street (trying to keep with this blog's spirit of only naming the worthy here).

Glad to hear someone's doing soup right!
P.S. Can you soon do a basic-yet-delectable sugar cookie recipe for Christmas?

3:21 PM  

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