Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 333

Tonkatsu Ramen: After a few weeks in a row of eating new things that I wasn't that excited about trying, I finally got to try something today that I'd been curious about for awhile: ramen. No, not the dried garbage that's notorious for keeping college students alive. I'm talking about the real thing, made from scratch in the authentic Japanese style. I didn't know any restaurants in Atlanta had it, but I recently heard about a place called Yakitori Jinbei out in Smyrna that supposedly served the best version.

Since I only have a few weeks left with this blog, I wanted to make sure I tried it before the end, so me and my fellow food blogger friend Dan made plans to meet for lunch today. If you haven't visited his website (, please do so. Once we got there, there was no need for me to look at the menu - I knew what I wanted. There were other selections (sushi, udon, etc.), but it was all about the ramen today.

Once our server brought the still-steaming bowl, I was immediately curious. This didn't look anything like any ramen I'd ever tried. In addition to the broth and noodles, the dish also included 2 slices of pork tenderloin on top, as well as some cabbage for garnish. The broth almost looked like it contained cream, but Dan informed me that it didn't - the creaminess comes solely from the lengthy cooking process of making the pork stock. It was studded with little globs of pork fat, and based on the appearance, I knew it would taste great.
I decided to try the broth first - wow. One of the best things I've tried in a long time, and I could have drank it out of a glass if necessary. The buttery, pork-y flavor was the perfect match for the ramen noodles, which had a firmness and crunch that the dried versions could never dream of achieving. The slices of pork on top were also amazing, and they were tender enough to cut with chopsticks. If you've only had the cheap, dried ramen, forget it. If you like pork or noodles at all, you need to try this dish. I knocked out the whole bowl quickly and could have easily eaten more.

I'll definitely return to Yakitori Jinbei for this dish alone, but I also want to try their yakitori, which is only served at dinner.

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