Local ramen sets the bar

When I walked into  Ramen Tsurumi, a recently-opened Japanese ramen restaurant in Rowland Heights, I didn’t anticipate being so awed by a single bowl of ramen.

The interior of the restaurant displayed white walls with minimalist wooden tables and chairs. A few pictures hung in frames evenly, making the restaurant look neat and well put together. Due to COVID, the restaurant also offered outdoor dining services and had outstanding service. I ordered a serving of gyoza ($5.50), a bowl of shoyu ramen ($12.50) and ice water with the wait being about five minutes. Some other dishes on their menu were chicken/pork rice bowls, shio ramen, and a plentiful variation of tantanmen.

The six pieces of gyoza were served first as an appetizer. The appearance of the dish looked remarkable, but the taste was even better. The gyoza were evenly placed from the center of the dish going outwards in a circle. The bottom of the individual gyozas were fried to a dark golden brown color with the texture of a very thin potato chip. This gave a pleasant crisp contrast to the otherwise chewy and soft dish. The gyoza by itself was very sweet, but when dipped into the soy sauce that was given on the side it gives a fusion of salty and sweet.

The shoyu ramen came soon after the gyoza and was served again with first-rate visuals. The ramen($12.50) was arranged neatly with the noodles tucked at the bottom, then the soup and toppings which consisted of chashu(pork belly), bamboo shoots and plenty of green onions. The soup base was a sweet and salty soy sauce soup that gave off a savory and refreshing taste. The noodles were made freshly from scratch and were chewy and plump, and went well with the other components of the dish. The chashu was also pleasantly tender and complemented the incredibly fresh and crisp green onions and bamboo shoots. The only downside was that the meal was pretty greasy,  so I would advise getting a more refreshing drink than just water, such as ramune or green and oolong tea to cut through the fat.

All in all, the taste of the dishes was great, and the prices were reasonable. I would definitely give Ramen Tsumuri another visit and recommend it to others.