Marunouchi Ramen, Gangneung (강릉 마루노우치 라멘)

All hail the ramen. Just reading the word makes my mouth salivate. I've been to so many ramen restaurants and most don't really make the cut as being great ramen. Ramen needs to be tasty, none of that bland broth or watered down water. Have you ever had a ramen that tasted of nothing but hot, salty water? Yuck. I love ramen and it's very difficult to find great ramen outside of Japan.
My friend told me about a Japanese ramen restaurant in the Korean city I live in. So, today, I went there for lunch. Oh, how I'm glad I did.

The restaurant is small, with three tables of four and two tables of two. When I arrived, there was only a table of two left and then two other families of three came. They were pretty popular, and I assume pretty busy during weekdays, too. 

Opening times
Mon-Saturday: 11am-2pm, 5pm-9.30pm.
Sunday: Off

Marunouchi is located in Gyo Dong, Gangneung. The address is 1825-3 Gyo 1(il)-dong. 
It's located opposite Kim's Bar and right next to a CU. 

The Food

They have 5 different types of ramen on the menu: tonkotsu, miso, shio, shoyu and tan tan miso. 
They also have one rice dish; aburi buta don, which is rice topped with pork. 
Their sides include chicken kare age, shrimp katsu, squid kare age and korroke. 

A nice selection for a small restaurant!

I ordered the tan tan miso ramen. My favourite ramen of all time is the tan tan. It is usually served with spicy mince meat, but this one only came with cha shu. 
It was divine. There was a tonne of flavour from the broth and not too salty either. There was also a nice kick without it being too spicy. There was also a bottle of chilli sauce which could be added for an extra kick. The noodles were the right constancy and they weren't instant noodles! I've had so many kinds of "Japanese" ramen which had instant noodles in it. They were actual ramen noodles which had a nice chewy consistency. 

David had the tonkotsu ramen. It was the same as the tan tan except no spice. The toppings were the same. That was the only downside to the ramen. For some reason, I expected them to be different. 
The ramen broth had a lot of flavour and it was David's favourite part of the ramen. I was glad that they didn't put the yellow radish in it! 

The cha shu in both dishes were okay, but a little fatty and resembled bossam. I've not had real cha shu outside of Japan apart from at Yatai Izakaya in Aberdeen. (If you're looking for a really good Japanese place, check it out, Yatai is one of the best for Japanese food outside of Japan)! 

Of course, every Japanese restaurant I go to I have to order their tori kara age. Which is chicken in batter. They were much better than the kara age in Tetsu, the teppan restaurant I reviewed here. The batter was still a bit off, but the chicken was much more tender and juicy. 

Squid kara age, deep fried squid. Not as good as calamari, but it was okay. They were made using the squid legs. They were fine, but not as crispy as I would have liked. The batter was a little bland, but they had shichimi and sancho on the table to season it with. 

The Price 
The price was really good and cheap. It was 7,000-8,000W for a bowl of ramen. 3,000-4,000W for the sides. Soft drinks were 1500W or 2500W for ramune (Japanese lemonade). Beer was 6,000W for a large.
Our total bill came to 23,000W for two bowls of ramen, squid and fried chicken.

This place was great, and I am so glad I have discovered a nice ramen house. The decor was simple and had a menu with pictures on the wall. The staff were okay but we had a bit of a communication problem when paying the bill. The guy asked something and wouldn't take our money until we answered his question. I have no idea what it was, but we gave him our card instead and he took it.

I will definitely be back here. Their ramen was great and filling. If you're in town, check it out. 


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