Having eaten my fair share of ramen, in both the restaurant and the horrible sodium laden bagged college dorm room variety, I have always had an affinity for the stuff. Upon hearing that food factory Miyake was opening a ramen joint, I knew I had to try it. No opportunities came up for a few weeks until we were supposed to meet our friends Marshall and Heather at Norm’s for some pub grub before the Bright Eyes concert on March 11th and found there wasn’t a seat to be had there for at least an hour. On our tight schedule that wasn’t going to cut it. We only had about two before the the concert to eat and have a few cocktails…so in the pouring rain we marched up to Local 188, where yet again, there was no room at the inn. So, as a last ditch effort (I thought it would be totally booked) we strolled over to Pai Men Miyake for some dinner. There was a free table right by the door as we walked in, so luckily, we were promptly seated and handed menus.
I neglected to bring my camera with me…so this menu will have to suffice.
The ambiance was very simple and tasteful with lots of natural wood accents and a less than expected feng shui vibe. The restaurant was bustling with life, but not in an annoyingly noisy way, but a carefree way that makes you feel like you can laugh with your table and not live in fear of being judged. The crowd was younger and urban, but seemed kid friendly if you have well-behaved little foodies who enjoy ethnic cuisine. The seats by the door were a little drafty, but there were heaters everywhere to cut the late winter chill.
Since it was Friday during Lent, my husband, being the good Catholic that he is started with the cucumber salad. Marshall, resident carnivore, had the Pork Belly Sliders, while Heather had the Pork Dumplings. I opted for nothing besides sipping my Japanese beer and waiting on my ramen! YUM!
When the appetizers came, they looked delicious and everyone dug right in. Marshall and Heather enjoyed their pork while Mark lamented the fact that he was forced to eat cucumbers…he claims he still liked it though. It did look delicious and fresh!
For entrees everyone but me opted for a sushi dish. Mark got a tuna and a salmon roll,and Marshall and Heather each got a tuna roll. I ordered the Veggie Ramen. When dinners were presented everything looked amazing and my ramen smelled divine! There were plenty of shitake mushroom pieces in my ramen and the broth was flavored, but not overbearing, and not as salty as I have had other places, which was a welcome relief.
The rolls each had about 10 large pieces to them with lovely almonds slices for garnishes and looked simple and delicious. My husband said he loved the sushi, but hey, who wouldn’t expect great sushi at a place bearing the Miyake name?
Overall, I felt it was a great meal at a great price point. The ramen’s are reasonably priced and filling. Had we not ordered several drinks a piece I think we could have easily squeezed out of there paying just a little over $40 a couple with apps, sushi and ramen. So, go ahead Portland, it’s been open long enough to work the kinks out! You won’t be disappointed.