Ramen comes to Fremont – Gen Ramen

Heeding Melanie’s call, I went to try out the Gen Ramen in my backyard of Fremont. Located in a non-descript strip mall which also houses a Verde Perl Tea place (a chain of the original Mountain View location) and a new Korean BBQ place.

The place is laied out similar to Ryowa with the U shaped counter seating with about 30 seats total and the obligatory bookshelf full of Japanese Manga comic books.

The menu consisted of 6 styles of ramen based on a single stock. The differences were mainly the topping ingredients. I ordered the “Gen” ramen named after the restaurant. It came topped with a slice of roast pork, roasted ground pork (a new item on Ramen for me), spinach, bean sprouts, scallion, woodear mushroom, half a boiled egg, and Melanie’s favorite – bamboo shoots. 🙂 There were also a couple of accompanying rice dishes with fish roe or other, but I didn’t look too carefully.

The pork-based soup was light brown and not very greasy. The taste was good and pretty salty, but lacked something I couldn’t identify. (the grease?) The noodle nicely wavy, but thinner than both Ramen Halu and Ryowa. It had a good chewiness or Q-ness. I like the thicker noodles at Halu better. And toward the end, the noodles were less chewy – though it still held up better than Ryowa’s noodles. The slice of pork was cut thick and tender and had the flavor of the broth. However, the ground pork did nothing special for me.

I really like a simple style of Ramen such as the one at Ramen Halu. The “Gen” ramen just had too much going on with its 8 toppings. And the amount of the noodle seemed skimpy. For me the most important thing is the noodle then the broth. The others are just extras. So next time I’ll order the “regular” ramen, which seems to have only a subset of the “Gen” ramen.

Overall I think the ramen was good, but not the best. I would rank it below Ramen Halu and probably Santa (but I haven’t visited for awhile) and rank it close to Ryowa. However, since it’s much closer to where I live, I’ll probably continue visiting whenever I don’t want to go down to the south bay or San Mateo. And don’t forget to order extra noodles.

This post was recovered from backup and originally appeared in 2004. This restaurant has since closed and replaced by another in 2007.

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