December 1st was a busy day. PAX Unplugged was in full swing at the Philadelphia Convention Center, and we were hungry. Lucky for the con-goers, Philly’s Chinatown was just a few blocks away for us all to explore. My little group was just one of many following the tide into Yamitsuki Ramen, appropriately decorated with a Naruto mural and serving the checks to customers in Death Note mangas.
Given the event going on just down the street, we had a long wait. It took us about thirty minutes to get a table. Once we were settled, however, the service came as quickly as it could be expected in such a full restaurant. I give them huge credit for keeping up with the flood of con-goers that started at lunch time and likely didn’t end until closing.
I went in for the big one: the Chashu Deluxe Ramen. It was the first not-Maruchan-ramen ramen that I ever ate. The chashu deluxe is made deluxe by the inclusion of both chicken and pork chashu, which after some research I learned means that the meats were marinated in soy and mirin. These slices were laid into the both on top of a deep, flavorful pork broth and thin noodles. Beside these slices of meat was a softboiled, soy soaked egg that we all imagine to be on a bowl of ramen. I was very pleased with my first true ramen bowl experience. I couldn’t finish it, however. I had to tap my husband into the fight for us to finish the bowl.
They also have a limited sushi menu, and as a true white girl, I ordered a spicy salmon roll to give their sushi a try and supplement what I thought would be a conquerable bowl of sushi. The six piece roll was very simple and not terribly spicy, but the texture of the salmon at the center was pleasant. I think that if I ever go back, I will explore other parts of their menu further before ordering more sushi.
Their menu included pork buns, curries, and a number of other small bites. The people I went with tried both the pork buns and a chicken katsu curry, and they were pleased by both selections. It seems that what they do, they do well. I won’t be limited to ramen if I make another trip come PAX Unplugged 2019.
Did I mention that their drink menu checked all of the boxes for me? The best thing about really any Asian bar is that they bring flavors to the party that you don’t get to experience in any other location. My friend got a lychee martini, for example. I was blessed with a sip, and that little exotic fruit is unlike anything I’ve had before. I opted for something called ‘the Bermuda Triangle’, which was a cocktail composed of my two favorite alcohols, rum and blue curacao.
Among our many potential places to visit during our stay, I believe that this one was one of the best we could have chosen. We even met people during the convention that recommended it to us as a place for super later on! It’s close proximity to the convention center makes it a likely destination. The prices are reasonable for the quality you’re getting, especially for convention food.
You can check them out in Philadelphia, PA, of course, or on their facebook page. Locals can also order through postmates, grubhub, etc if you don’t feel like making the trek down toward Chinatown.
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An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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