Ever since Ramen Halu opened its doors about 5 years ago, it has been my favorite place for ramen in the SF bay area. One cannot bring up Halu without mentioning the original, granddaddy ramen-ya in the bay area, Santa Ramen in San Mateo. But for some reason, I just cannot rank Santa highly. It’s broth has been weak and it’s noodles even weaker. I’m waiting for a re-visit when they move to their new place soon.
I ordered my usualy Halu ramen with extra noodles. I forgot to ask for less oil this this however. The saltiness of the broth does not bother me as much as the little white fat droplets. And without it the flavor of the broth is not compromised.
The noodle came promptly in its large sized bowl. One of my only complaint is the single slice of chashu pork. To get more, one has to ask for extra order for more money. The chashu is tender but not extraordinarily flavorful.
The stars here are the broth and the noodles. The thick, yellow-ish noodle has been known to be too chewy for some people. But I like it the way it is as it is able to withstand its Q-ness throughout the meal – unlike any other ramen noodle out there. In addition, it can soak in the flavor of the broth unlike many of the thinner, more Chuka-style, non-wavy noodles used at places such as Santa, Himawari, and even Kahoo.
The tonkotsu broth has the deep sea flavor that I’ve loved since the beginning. The combination of the pork and chicken bones plus the additional kelp, dashi and other secret ingredients really creates one of the most complex ramen flavors this side of the pacific. (Grade: A )
For my taste, Halu is still the best ramen in the SF bay area. It is even better than some of the ramen shops that I’ve tried in Japan. However, I am looking forward to trying some of the L.A. area ramen houses that have gotten rave reviews to see how it stacks up.375 Saratoga Ave, Ste M
San Jose, CA 95129