Ajisen Ramen in Fremont
After the demise of one of my favorite ramen spots, Gen Ramen, the sign on the door said that a new ramen shop will be replacing it at the same location, called Ajisen Ramen. Apparently it is a chain from Japan with locations in L.A., NY, and lots of cities in China.
The new place now has standard tables (instead of the old U shaped bar type sitting like Ryowa in Mountain View). The flat panel TV that was on the wall before is also gone. The place seems more clean and airy with mostly light colored wood tables and chairs.
The menu lists half a dozen ramen dishes, but they are all from the same Tonkotsu (豚骨 pork bones) based broth. The back of the menu promises other “coming soon” ramen such as beef and seafood flavored varieties. But for now, I wanted to try the original – #1 BBQ Pork Noodle in Large size. The Japanese waiter explaned that the Large size has 50% more noodle than the Small, while the XL size has 50% more than the Large. I thought the Large should be plenty but it wasn’t for me. If you normally order “extra noodles” at other ramen shops like I do, then you want to get the XL.
The ramen came with 4 pieces of chashu (叉燒) pork on top with half of a boiled egg, woodear mushrooms and scallions. The broth had a slight amount of oil floating on top but nothing like Halu richness. My friend ordered the Tonkatsu (豬排 pork chop) ramen and it was basically the same ramen with a side dish of tonkatsu.
The noodles were fairly standard thickness and had a little bit of curls but it was more straight than curly. It was the right level of done-ness. It was good until it started softening up a little too early at about 2/3 of way into my noodles. But it was still better than average. To this day no ramen joint can compare with the noodles at Halu, which stays firm enough until the very end.
The tonkotsu based broth also had a spoonful of a special topping I’ve not seen before. It seemed and tasted like the Chinese “yo-cong” (油蔥) with fried scallion and garlic bits. This gave a very strong, almost overpowering taste to the broth. The broth was on the salty side but nothing out of normal. I liked the combination of the broth and the noodle though the garlic flavor did mask the tonkotsu flavor of the broth somewhat.
The chashu meat was great. It had a good flavor from the roasting and even has the charred outer rim seldom seen among other ramen chashu in the bay area. It was tender and flavorful, better than a lot of other blend tasting meat at other places.
We also ordered the Kara-Age (炸雞塊) fried chicken appetizer. It was fairly good flavored pieces of meat from drumstick (some had skin). It was not overly juicy but was not dry either and had a light and not overly salty flavor.
Overall I really liked my first ramen here at Ajisen. I think it was a very good showing so soon after opening. I would try it again a few more times before giving it a final ranking, but currently it would make it into my top 10 list in bay area. Its above average showing in noodles, broth, and meat gives it a solid footing in the mid-tier of ramen shops in bay area.
47822 Warm Springs Blvd
Fremont, CA 94536
- Tue-Sun: Dinner only.
- Mon closed.