Shin-sen-gumi Hakata Ramen: The Place that all other Ramen shops should bow to.

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18315 Brookhurst St
# 1
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 962-8971
www.shinsengumiusa.com

Can I say OISHI!? This place is the epitome of good ramen to which we compare all other ramen joints we try. If you’re from Orange County I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. If not, then you’re definitely missing out! Granted, the place is small, and there’s almost always a guarenteed wait for dinnertime (which starts at 6pm on weekdays), the overall taste and consistency of their ramen more than make up for it.

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Whenever we come we always order the usual Hakata Ramen with extra Chashu meat. A great thing about the ramen here is that it’s highly customizable in terms of oil and sodium content for the broth, and firmness of the noodle. We usually get their broth just normal all around with either normal or firm noodles. If you’re not a fan of ginger, then don’t forget to ask them to exclude that from your ramen. I can’t stress enough how the combination of the broth and ramen consistency make this place perfect. Their broth is wonderfully flavored and just deep enough. Unlike some other places, such as Daikokuya and Ajisen, where their broth is on the lighter side. While we have a lot of praises for Shin’s broth, what other ramen places fall short of being on par with Shin Sen Gumi are their noodles. It is already highly appealing that you can order your noodles at Shin just the firmness you like, but Shin just has the thinner-type noodles that we love. Spicy miso here is also something I suggest for those of you who enjoy an extra kick in their ramen.

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One of the most unique features of this restaurant is their cheap add-on deal. For about $1, you can get extra noodles. How cool is that?! It’s like getting another order of ramen for just a fraction of the price! There is also a half-order deal, but it’s not really worth it since the amount of noodle you get is quite minuscule. The staff here is also very friendly…so friendly to the point that the ramen maker himself (pictured above) felt compelled to leave his workstation just to adjust our bowls and spoons so they could be picture perfect :).

I really only have two qualms about this place. One is the small space that inevitably leads to a wait nearly every time for even a table of two. If only they expanded the restaurant space, they could have even more loyal customers. I’m sure there’s others out there like me who’ve looked elsewhere to eat just because of the long wait. Another thing is the price. At about $7 for the basic hakata ramen, after extras (such as chashu, corn, spicy miso, noodles, etc) you’re looking at about $10 for a bowl of ramen. I think it’s safe to say that a $10 bowl of ramen is a little on the expensive side. I mean, yea, in many of our reviews we think the pricing is expensive, but then again we’re poor college students! All in all though, by far this is still our favorite ramen place and I would highly recommend it to anyone who else who is a noodle fan.

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~ by thankgoditsfood on June 10, 2009.

2 Responses to “Shin-sen-gumi Hakata Ramen: The Place that all other Ramen shops should bow to.”

  1. Totally agree with you guys. Shin-sen-gumi has the best noodles (even better you can add on for a buck!). For broth, I much prefer Daikokuya for their heavier, fatty, and all around tastiness. Santouka gets the nod for their salty base soup. Not sure who would win in a chashu battle though, since they’re all pretty even there.

  2. Had Shin-sen-gumi this past weekend. It’s all right…I don’t think I would go back. The noodles are a bit thin for my preference. My wife likes the red ginger that they add, but it’s not my preference. West LA Asahi Ramen’s shoyu is still the best in my opinion.

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