I’ve had ramen now at two Boston-area establishments: Sapporo, within the Porter Exchange; and now Ken’s, within the Super 88 Market in Allston. I’d heard from multiple sources that Ken’s was the best around here, but I was sorely disappointed. One item on the menu advertised a rather more intense pork flavor, and the waiter recommended that, so I got it. It was not intense. The broth was thin and uninspiring. The only real plus side to their ramen was the combination of boiled egg and nori. Plus the noodles were maybe a bit more substantial than Sapporo’s.
Sapporo … I’m kind of obsessed. They advertise their broth as being filled with “rich collagen” after cooking for “over ten hours.” It really is an intense, flavorful, buttery, full-bodied broth. That’s broth you want to bring home to mother. But you wouldn’t, is the thing, because it is soup rather than a person.
Next time I’m at Sapporo, I’ll ask them if they can throw in a couple sheets of nori to their house ramen. With that added, it won’t even be a contest.
__P.P.S. (14 October 2010)__: Verdict on Men Tei: Nice noodles, and a lot of noodles, but uninspiring broth. Also not much *in* the broth. I got the pork cutlet, which definitely felt as though it came from a package of frozen cutlets. This is of a piece with the octopus balls, which people on ChowHound suggests really do come from a frozen package. Men Tei seems to have very little kitchen at all, so this isn’t surprising. But in any case: nothing to write home about. I think my Sapporo homecoming will come soon.