Santouka Ramen

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A Ramen Institution Comes to Harvard Square

75916d18c675f1c82d92b079c17b27bed7c965e23 PhotosSantouka Ramen
Right now, Boston desperately needs three things:

1) Shovels.
2) Functioning public transit.
3) A new ramen joint.

Best out of three with Santouka Ramen, a new noodle bunker from a Japanese ramen legend that opens a week from today in Harvard Square.

“Big in Japan” is not an inaccurate statement here. This started as a nine-seat family restaurant in ’88, and now they’re in 10 countries and command multi-hour waits. The takeaway: get there early.

You may mistake it for an unusually well-kept warehouse—bare concrete floors, gray tile walls and exposed pipes aplenty. But then you’ll notice the chandeliers made out of desk lamps and blown-up photos of a Japanese shrine (the slideshow cometh). Ambient slurping might be a giveaway, too.

Speaking of: they specialize in a 20-hour tonkotsu base. And if you peek through a narrow window along the left wall, you can watch that broth simmer in enormous pots. You don’t have to stay for the ending.

Just sit down with a piping-hot bowl of the signature tonkotsu shio with pork and a pickled plum and meditate on the meaning of umami (here’s the menu). Or the spicy tonkotsu kara miso, if that’s your thing.

Point is: warm food.

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