I was going to start a thread on your favorite ramen, but the dish I wanted to write about isn’t ramen. Still, if you asked me about my favorite ramen dish, I’d mention this dish. I’m talking about the laksa served at Panya. Maybe there is a better laksa out there (Is there any other place that serves this?), but I really like this–probably more than most ramen.
As for ramen, I’ve been enjoying the tan-tan at Junpuu, which reminds me of the tan-tan at the now defunct Jin-Din-Ro.
17 thoughts on “Best Noodle + Broth Dish”
Those you listed are better than anything at Home Sweet Home Café?
I don’t really count Sweet Home–that place is more like broth + noodle, if anything. I don’t really enjoy Sweet Home because of the noodles or even the garnishes.
Are you guys talking about Sweet Home Cafe or Aunty’s Ramen? And Reid, are you differentiating between (noodles and broth) and (broth and noodles)? What’s the difference?
Same broth I’m pretty sure, but Reid never been to Aunty’s, again I’m pretty sure.
I was thinking of Sweet Home, not Aunty’s, because I’ve never been to the latter.
I am making a distinction. The terms “noodles + broth” and “broth + noodles” are two I just made up to reflect emphasis. Ramen, pho, saimin, kook-soo–I think of the noodles as central, or at least equally important as the broth. With nabes, Taiwanese hot pots–they’re basically soups, with noodles being secondary; noodles are optional.
Yeah okay. I totally agree: hotpot is a completely different animal.
So… One of the distinctions between Aunty’s and Sweet Home is Aunty’s is considered ramen, hence the name Aunty’s Ramen. Noodles are part of the dish and not really optional. You never been so you cannot say, but you can sort of get the idea…
I’ve had Laksa at a few places outside of Hawaii and I like it as well. In fact I still remember this place in Australia (lots of Asians in Sydney) had this place where you could choose your noodle, sauce, and toppings. Sort of a make your own noodle place, kind of like Aunty’s I guess but it had a different feel and it wasn’t based on weight. I really liked the Laksa there. But I still may lean Aunty’s.
Wait, are you saying Aunty’s has the best ramen (noodle+broth)?
It’s up there for me. Her broths and Sweet Home’s are darn good. I would choose it over any Japanese ramen broth, I’m pretty sure. When you add the char siu or pork belly into the mix, then ramen can top it. But broth against broth I’ll take Aunty’s.
OK, I’ll make a point to try it. Are the broths the same as Sweet Home or different?
For me, what I want in from a nabe/hot pot broth is a different from what I want from a ramen broth. For the former, I don’t mind more savory types, whereas with ramen-type of dishes, I like the broth to be a little more flavorful, rich, even gravy-ish. This is one of the reasons I generally prefer ramen over saimin/kook-soos and pho. (In general, I would say the quality of the noodles in the latter don’t seem to be as good. For example, I don’t have I’ve had really good kook-soo noodles, and I tend to think pho noodles are inferior to ramen noodles.)
I know what you mean about nabe broth being blander. Places like Little Sheep, if you don’t use the different dipping sauces then the beef (or whatever you pulling out of there) don’t have enough flavor. But I have always thought the broths at Sweet Home have a lot of flavor. I think ramen broths can be too salty and not have enough layers of flavor (ie: depth). It’s more straight-forward. And although there are some differences between ramen broths at different places, the differences are really slight unless you go to a crappy place. Oh and I think the broths at Aunty’s and Sweet Home are very similar if not same.
Sweet Home’s broths have a lot of flavor, but, to me, they’re generally more of the savory variety (with the pumpkin being somewhat of a slight exception.) And this is how the broths of nabe’s are, as well; it’s not that they don’t have flavor per se, but I tend to think it’s more subtle.
With ramen, you have the thicker type of shirus–like the tonkotsu or even the Chinese style gomoku, where they put a layer of that cornstarch gravy on the top. Or the tan-tan. I guess you could say these shiru’s are richer, heavier, almost creamier. Some of the more recent places have fairly complex shirus as well–Wagaya, Golden Pork, Agu. Some are so complex, I don’t really care for them–they’re too “busy” if you get my drift. For whatever reason, I like these type of broths with noodle-type of dishes.
And again, something like pho is more in the savory category. Even Pig and the Lady’s beef-based one, which is really flavorful, is more in this vein; and while I like it, when I eat noodle+soup types of dishes, I think I prefer the shirus I describe above.
I’m curious to try Aunty’s, though, and see how I react to that (because I like Sweet Home’s broths).
We tried Aunty’s recently. I tried four different broths–beef, seaweed, pumpkin, and curry. I think I liked the beef broth the least, although I just tried a sip. The broths are really good–the star of the show–but the garnishes and noodles are mediocre. Basically, this is the same reaction I have for Sweet Home Cafe. The broths are so good, though, that the quality of the garnishes don’t matter. (Also, the dipping sauces are really good.)
When Todd asked me about Aunty’s Ramen, I told him it’s really good, but not better than Sweet Home Café, because there is something in the continuous boiling process which changes the broth. And when you add the ingredients boiling in the broth change it even more. Then you may get more broth added in at some point and it changes it again.
Honestly, I didn’t notice any significant difference between Aunty’s and Sweet Home.
Although I have yet to eat at Aunty’s, I’m with Don about the way the broth changes as the meal progresses. It gets better. I don’t know how they’d do that with ramen unless they make it a different way so that when the noodles are dropped in, it already has some of that character.
I don’t really disagree with that–although with the pumpkin broth, I feel like the pumpkin taste can get watered down by the end (and I like that taste).