Hinodeya Ramen Bar is a small-mid sized ramen shop located in San Francisco’s Japantown. (They have opened a couple more locations) This spot serves a unique lighter ramen that’s a stark contrast to the thicker broths you typically see. While the most popular type of ramen such as Tonkotsu or Miso ramen have a pork based broth, Hinodeya uses a Dashi based broth. Dashi, a light broth is an essential element in Japanese cooking usually made up of a mix of bonito flakes(katsuobushi), seaweed(kombu bonito dashi) and dried shitake musrooms.
To start our meal, Jen and I opted for fried oysters which were solid. They were breaded with panko crumbs and fried to a perfect crisp.
While Hinodeya has a solid broth, their noodles are chewy and fresh. As someone who loves to make homemade noodles, Hinodeya’s ramen noodles had a texture that resembled freshly cut noodles vs pre-cut and packed. Lot’s of big ramen spots will buy ramen noodles in bulk so don’t be surprised if the noodles are made in house.
The broth was light, yet contained the delicious umami flavor that I always enjoy. While the broth was lighter, the combination of tare(seasoning) and oils created the perfect match. The toppings were also no slouch as I enjoyed a good portion of pork chashu, wood-ear mushrooms, and a perfectly soft boiled egg.
Ramen is one of my favorite foods and Hinodeya does a solid job of crafting a delicious bowl of noodles. The prices are good especially for being located in San Francisco’s Japantown and on slightly below what you would pay at some of the more well known spots such as Taishoken or Mensho Tokyo. This is the second time Jen and I have eaten here and each time, the food has been great. While the flavors are unique and savory, the noodles really made the meal for meal. Noodles are probably the second most important element of ramen behind…… Broth! The springiness and chewiness of the noodle was wonderful and I can’t wait to come back in the future!