Ramen is a signature dish for any university student. When you’re broke and hungry, it’s cheap and easy to rip open a packet of Mr. Noodles and throw them into a pot of boiling water. But after eating at Tokyo Ramen, I don’t know if I can eat packaged noodles again.
Located at 502 Forrest Hill Rd. beside Dairy Shoppes and Giselle’s Pizzeria, Tokyo Ramen is a five-minute drive from campus and a five-minute walk from Rigby Hall.
I couldn’t help but smile as I entered the restaurant. The Japanese artwork and music along with the soft lighting created a calm and peaceful atmosphere. On the wall behind the counter were pictures of the restaurant’s thirty main dishes. They all looked delicious.
There is seating in three main dining rooms or in the entrance area beside the cash. Then, once ready, you go up to the cash to order and pay at the same time.
My friends and I were tempted to sit in the first dining hall, where two Japanese-styled tables sat on top of a low stage. But we decided to sit in the second dining area where we could watch one of the employees make the restaurant’s signature noodles in the noodle-making booth in the right corner of the room.
With thirty main dishes and a variety of appetizers to choose from, my friends and I had a hard job deciding what we wanted. But in the end, I chose to order the Tokyo ramen dish with a miso base and six steamed gyoza for less than $19.
It only took five minutes for my appetizer to arrive. There was a satisfying amount of pork and veggies stuffed in the gyoza, but not too much flavour to make it overwhelming. The star of the dish was the tangy sauce, which elevated the gyoza’s taste. My friends and I cleaned our plates in minutes, excited to taste the main course.
Fifteen minutes later, the waitress set a steaming bowl of mouth-watering ramen in front of me.
After soaking in the miso base, the chicken was tender and flavourful. The pork was just as savoury and salty as the chicken. All the vegetables in the ramen were cooked to perfection. The beansprouts, corn and green beans were nice and crunchy. But the star of the dish were the ramen noodles.
The noodles were salty from soaking in the miso broth, but they were fat enough to remain intact when I picked them up with my chopsticks. They weren’t too mushy or too firm. They were perfect. Even though my stomach felt like it would burst, I cleaned the bowl.
While the food was delicious, the service was the best part of the night. Each table had a call button. I pressed it a couple of times to ask for more water, and each time a staff member came within around a minute. They’d always smile and bow politely while serving my table. Even when we left, each staff member I passed thanked us for coming.
I left with a smile on my face. Tokyo Ramen had some of the best food, prices and service in Fredericton.
I’ll be back.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Price: 5/5; Great price for a large and delicious portion of food.
Taste: 5/5; Everything was cooked to perfection.
Convenience: 5/5; It’s close to the off-campus residence and a great place for friends.
Presentation: 5/5; The food looked like it came from a Studio Ghibli film.