Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido – Atlanta, GA

by Julius Mayo Jr | December 20th, 2012 -

There are a few types of food that I like to seek out and eat when I travel. Japanese Ramen is one of those dishes and I have found some pretty good places through recommendations by friends. In the greater Atlanta area in Suwanee, GA, Umaido is making Tonkotsu Ramen in an authentic style that originates in Hakata, Japan. The menu lists a few variations like spicy or miso ramen using the Tonkotsu broth, but I had to go with the Umaido Original Tonkotsu ramen to get the true taste of this specialized broth. Tonkotsu broth is not offered at every restaurant serving ramen and here at Umaido, they use it in every bowl.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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I went to Umaido with my food partner O.D., along with my sister and her Atlanta friends. We went during lunch hours and our wait was fairly short for 6 people. An option for seating is a ramen style bar (pictured above, right) and is perfect for dining solo or for those who like to watch all of the action in the kitchen.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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Walking into Umaido, you can see through a long and skinny window the room where they make the noodles in-house. This is only the second time in the U.S. where I’ve seen a room displayed for making noodles for the public to see. That would be interesting to watch them make noodles live. They also make their own spicy noodles that can be ordered as an option too.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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As you walk to your table, you can see into the open kitchen and smell the soup stocks in the air.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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We sat down and each table has a number of condiments that you can add in your bowl of ramen. After browsing the menu, O.D. and I both ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen and we added the “Rich Soup” option that is “concentrated and flavored”. I also added an extra topping of Chasyu (3 pieces of roasted pork). The good thing about us ordering the same thing is that O.D. does not have to wait for me to take photos of her food first, which she just loves. It also helps me finish my photos so I can start eating sooner. We ordered a side of Yaki Gyozas too.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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Yaki Gyozas (Homemade Japanese Dumplings)

The dumplings were juicy, having a nice sear on one side and the flavor of the filling was good.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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Umaido Original Tonkotsu broth w/ slices of roasted pork, tree ear, garlic oil, bean sprouts, seasoned 1/2 hard boiled egg, scallions and sesame

This is how the bowl of Umaido Original Tonkotsu ramen comes out. Steaming with hot Tonkotsu broth and noodles submerged, the pork and toppings are floating on top.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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Chasyu (extra order of 3 pieces of roasted pork)

This was the extra Chasyu pork that I added, which comes out in a side dish here at Umaido. Not all ramen places do this, I almost prefer it if they just added it already in my soup so it does not get cold on the way to the table.It looks like they may have roasted the sides too.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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Umaido Original Tonkotsu broth w/ slices of roasted pork, tree ear, garlic oil, bean sprouts, seasoned 1/2 hard boiled egg, scallions and sesame, plus extra Chasyu pork

Here’s my bowl of Umaido Original Tonkotsu after I placed the extra Chasyu pork and a little bit of food styling. After I started eating, I was brought back to why I like eating Tonkotsu ramen. The broth was rich and had deep savory flavors. The milky and cloudy appearance is from the collagen that comes out of the bones when making the stock and is what Umaido calls their secret ingredient. The noodles were cooked properly and did not get soft too fast. Definitely a more freshly made noodle texture, which I always like. The pork was savory and the roasted edges gave a nice touch in different texture and flavor. The egg yolk was about medium boiled and added more richness when mixed in. Overall a satisfying bowl of ramen which I enjoyed finishing completely.

 
Tonkotsu Ramen at Umaido

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Umaido makes a pretty good bowl of Tonkotsu ramen and I really appreciate that they make their own noodles. They have an option of Kae Dama (Extra Noodle) that you can ask for, spicy or regular, and remember not to drink all of you’re broth if you plan on adding an extra round of noodles. I’d like to come back to try the Spicy Miso Ramen or Soy Milk Ramen, and maybe the Ultra Spicy Ramen if I was feeling really adventurous. I’m glad to see that the Atlanta area has a good spot for ramen and I’m looking forward to trying more.

Umaido
2790 Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd
Ste 140
Suwanee, GA 30024
678-318-8568
www.umaidos.com
Twitter @UmaidoUSA

 
*Bonus Side Story!

As we were leaving, O.D. and I spotted a guy who looked really familiar eating ramen at Umaido. I noticed that he had SOBE Wine and Food shirt on, so we figured he was a chef. Then after we drove away, we realized it was Chef Hugh Acheson, a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef! I sent him a tweet basically saying I think I spotted him at Umaido and this was his response:

How cool is that? He likes Tonkontsu Ramen too. This led us to research on Chef Acheson’s restaurants in the area and helped us find our next food destination for the following day. See where we end up on the next blog post…

 
Words and photos by Julius Mayo Jr.
Content and photos © Droolius.com 2012

 

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