Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shoki Ramen House

Shoki Ramen House is another restaurant that I might never have tried if I weren't writing this blog.  My only previous experience with ramen was those little packages of dried noodles with seasoning packets that you can get at the grocery store for about 25 cents.  Since I never liked that type of ramen, I couldn't imagine why I'd want to go to a restaurant where ramen was the only thing on the menu.

Besides, the Shoki Ramen House on 24th Street in the Curtis Park neighborhood always has a line of people outside waiting to get in, which looks very intimidating.  I had no idea how long I'd have to wait, or what to expect if I ever did get inside.  But I kept hearing that there was a vegan broth option, so I finally decided to check it out so I could write a blog article about it.

Imagine my excitement when I drove past the 24th Street location at lunchtime yesterday and there was no line outside!  I must have timed this just right, I thought smugly to myself.  And then I noticed the big red "CLOSED" sign in the window.  Oh.  Undaunted, I drove to the new Shoki Ramen House location at 12th and R, and pulled into the last open space in the parking lot.

The place was packed, but people seemed to move in and out fairly quickly, so I only had to wait a couple of minutes for a table.  I quickly located the vegan options on the second page of the menu:  vegan ramen or spicy vegan ramen.  I ordered the vegan ramen at the medium hot spice level.  The broth is served over regular or whole wheat noodles (I ordered the regular, but I'm looking forward to trying the whole wheat noodles on my next visit), and topped with spinach, bamboo shoots, green onions, and a piece of seaweed.  Other items can be added at an extra cost, so I added tofu and corn.  I would have added shiitake mushrooms, but because of the way they're prepared, they are not vegan.  Most of the ramen comes in small, medium, or large sizes, but the vegan ramen is available only in the regular size, which turned out to be considerably more than I could eat in one sitting. 

The broth was hearty and subtly flavored, and the chewy noodles were plentiful.  I had expected the broth to be very salty, but it wasn't.  And I really liked the texture and taste of the added corn.  A sign on the wall of the restaurant explains that each type of broth takes between 6 and 8 hours to make, so it's clear that ramen is a labor of love for the chef.  I'm sorry I took so long to give Shoki Ramen House a try!

Shoki Ramen House has two locations.  The downtown location is at 1201 R Street, and the phone number is 916-441-0011.  This location is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  It's open for lunch on Saturday from noon to 3:00 p.m., and for dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  On Sunday, the restaurant is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Curtis Park location is at 2675 24th Street, and the phone number is 916-454-2411.  It's open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and for dinner Monday through Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  It's open for lunch Saturday from noon to 3:00 p.m. and for dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  It is closed on Sunday and at lunchtime on Monday. 

The website address for Shoki Ramen House is http://www.shokiramenhouse.com/, but it only lists their hours of operation.  It does not include an online menu.


sacvoter said...

Yummy. Who'd of thought that ramen would be a main item. And that the spicy vegan ramen would be so good. Can't wait to try it out.

Pam said...

I know -- it was a surprise to me too. Nothing at all like those little noodle packets that college students live on.

Melissa said...

Shiitake mushrooms and bamboo are now safe. They no longer soak them in meat broth per a call to Shoki on R on 11/17/17. You can see on the menu (not the anniversary menu) they are marked with the "V" for victory over meat...I mean vegan!

Pam said...

Thanks, Melissa -- that's good to know. It's always been such a challenge eating there, because items that were listed on the menu as vegan weren't always so, and you'd get a different discussion of what was vegan and what wasn't, depending on who your server was. I hope they finally have it all figured out!

Melissa said...

They are pretty good about it now. The only problem currently, in my book, is noodles. The vegan ramen bowls, which are numbered items like #9 vegan kurogoma tan tan, it defaults with egg noodles. So you have to say the vegan this or that ramen WITH whole wheat noodles. I don't think an item should be listed as "vegan" if the default version is, you know, NOT vegan. But some people... I put up with it because the ramen is frickin' amazing. The best I've found after I was spoiled by the the vegan ramen paradise that is T's Tan Tan in Tokyo.

Pam said...

I completely agree. If a menu item isn't vegan coming out of the kitchen, it should say "vegan option available," not just "vegan."

Melissa said...

The noodle conundrum continues! I was at Shoki this weekend, the first weekend of February 2018, and was told the whole what noodles as discontinued. I asked what noodles were vegan then and was told the normal noodles are vegan they only contain wheat. I ate a giant bowl of black sesame ramen with tofu and normal noodles and no stomach upset, so I'm inclined to believe it!

Pam said...

I'm glad you found something there that worked for you, Melissa. Honestly, I'd pretty much given up on Shoki, since they seem to have had such a hard time figuring out the whole vegan thing. Maybe they're finally getting it under control.