I’ve been warning about the downhill quality of Santa Ramen for a couple of years. Their noodle really is a shame to be served in a ramen shop. I also don’t see what’s so special about their plain white tonkotsu broth. Maybe it’s just a preference thing, but if it’s plain pork bone broth, I can get it anywhere else. What I look for is something deep that can use the good tonkotsu broth and add the extra dimension that makes the broth unique to a shop. In that sense, Halu, Do-Henkotsu (RIP), and Gen (RIP) all really outshine Santa.
While I try to compare each restaurant’s offerings with other restaurants equivalents, there are times I have to resort to comparison with instant noodle ramens. And unfortunately the Santa experience had me start thinking about all the instant noodle ramen noodles that were better.
As far as the broth types, for tonkotsu, there can be many varieties of quality and different characters. But most of the shoyu I’ve tried are pretty much the same. From the shoyu ramens I’ve tried in Tokyo, I don’t know how much better they can get. I have yet to try Kahoo since they took over from Do-Henkotsu, but it sounds promising. I’m looking to be enlighted by their shoyu broth.