Tucked away in an unassuming strip on State Street, Tosh’s Ramen is an ode to noodle shops across Asia.
Introduced by Chinese immigrants, ramen burst into Japan’s culinary scene in the 1850s. Anchored by its flavorful broth and simple preparation, it became a staple of Japanese cuisine as shops, food stalls, and traveling vendors alike integrated the dish into their menus.
The basic components for a ramen dish consist of wheat noodles suspended in a meat-based broth, topped with either pork or chicken. Preparation at ramen shops throughout Japan takes no longer than five minutes, making ramen stops a brisk, satiating experience.
In cities across America, the dish is now a central piece of a new western culinary enlightenment: a ramen renaissance.
Tosh’s did not disappoint. With only seven styles of ramen available to order, the menu sticks to the basics, grounded by classic options like tonkotsu (chicken-pork broth), shoyu (soy sauce), and karai (spicy).
Expecting the same sad eventuality of lukewarm broth, overcooked noodles, and rubbery pork, I half-heartedly ordered the shoyu ramen. Within a few minutes of ordering, the server appeared with a steaming bowl of the shoyu ramen, a smirk on her face that read just wait until you try it.
And she was definitely right.
The noodles maintained a perfect, gelatinous consistency resting in a hot and hearty soup, the off-putting scent of excess white pepper that accompanies so many ramen dishes replaced by the mouth-watering aroma of pork broth and miso seasoning.
Meanwhile, the thin slices of pork fell apart like a brisket within seconds of eating, a savory respite from the broth-saturated noodles.
While the location and décor might not compare to other ramen establishments around Salt Lake City, Tosh’s touches on pieces of the ramen experience the others do not.
Trendy restaurants like Jin-ya charge $12-15 for a bowl with wait times of at least ten minutes, while Tosh’s charges about $9 for a well-prepared bowl and prompt, pleasant service, all fundamental to a genuine “no frills” ramen experience.
For the closest thing to authentic Japanese ramen, Tosh’s Ramen is the place to go.