Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ramen Champ is Back with New Owner and Revamped Menu

by guest blogger @iam_robot

A few weeks after closing for a much needed “vacay”, Chinatown Far East Plaza’s ramen joint Ramen Champ will reopen with new owner and new menu on October 2nd.
Yoshimasa Kasai, former director of Ramen Yokocho Festival and famed founder of Ramen Iroha, took over the shop from one of Eggslut co-owners, Alvin Cailan, and would bring his vast experience (winning 5 Tokyo Ramen Championships among others) to this already popular noodle shop.
Alvin Cailan will stay on board as consultant while Kasai will keep the outlook of the shop, which includes a Robot Ramen interior mural by New York artist Mike Houston. IMG_1603
The tiny soup noodle joint started earlier this year as a partnership between Eggslut co-owners Alvin Cailan & Johnny Lee along with Men-Oh-Tokushima Chef Nathan Asamoto. Kasai revamped the entire menu and would start with 3 different bowls of ramen. Tonkotsu Ramen will be the main star with noodles, chashu, mushrooms, green onions and sesame oil; Tonkotsu Tan Tan Men will be the Chinese fusion flavor with noodles, greens and a Sichuan peppercorn paste; and Vegan Ramen will be the healthier options with spinach noodles and broth made with kombu & dried shitake mushrooms.

Last weekend, I had the chance to taste the broth for the Tonkotsu Ramen and a full bowl of the Tan Tan Men.
Tonkotsu Ramen
I was quite speechless when I tried the Tonkotsu Ramen broth, thought it was the most savory broth. It was rich but it didn’t feel overwhelming or overly salty, just felt right with the medium soft noodles and strong toasty flavor from the sesame oil.

Tonkotsu Tan Tan Men
Moving on, I thought the Tan Tan Men was quite superb. When I tried the soup for the first time, I smelled hints of Sichuan peppercorn but not enough to numb my tongue or my lips. After a few slurps, I realized the Sichuan Peppercorn paste was actually sitting at the bottom of the bowl, I should’ve mixed thoroughly prior to eating. Nevertheless, it was very enjoyable despite the broth looking like a sea of chili flakes – it was very aromatic and milder than many spicy ramen I had in the past. The 4 pieces of chashu was slippery and tender as it simmered in the hot broth. My only wish is that I wish the noodle was more al-dente or firm in texture.
All in all, I thought the new version of Ramen Champ is better than the old version. I dearly loved the old version but I thought the new version might pack a few more surprises in the future. Not sure what kind of seasoned eggs will be utilized but I surely hope Cailan’s delicious and runny hard-boiled eggs will make a comeback.

Ramen Champ
727 N Broadway #203
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 316-8595
Ramen Champ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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