Celebrate! I finished writing my last final this afternoon, and will be worry free for the next little bit (until I start planning my study schedule for MCAT, sigh)!
Vince picked me up from campus, and we headed out to eat before having to head to a staff meeting for work. I've been curious about Nomiya for a while, and heard some good things, so we headed there to grab a quick bite.
We got to the little restaurant around 5:00, and it was quite busy according to my standards. I expected there would be maybe 1 or 2 other tables, but the restaurant seemed to have half their tables filled. Good sign, I would say.
We were seated right away, and presented with their menu. They have two separate ones: one menu for their ramen offerings, while the other has their appetizers and sushi. There were approximately 6 choices for ramen, which isn't much, but sufficient since they do offer sushi as well (maki and bento boxes, along with different appetizers)
To start off, I wanted to try out their konbu seaweed salad. I normally love seaweed, and actually make seaweed salads for myself at home when I have to study. It's nutritious and delicious! However, this one at Nomiya is the most unappetizing thing I've ever put in my mouth.. No joke. I imagined a typical seaweed salad, where the seaweed has texture and a little bite, and seasoned with a light dressing/vinaigrette. What we got was totally different. The seaweed in the salad was thinly sliced, drowned in a bowl of dressing, and extremely slimy. Felt like I was eating from the bottom of the ocean or something. The texture was very jelly like, and I couldn't stomach it, let alone handle the texture of it. I think it was likely the agar coming from the seaweed that was thickening the salad and dressing. The flavour of the dressing was great though. It was soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger based dressing which tasted good. Just everything mixed into it was gross for me.
My palate was pretty excited to see my steaming bowl of ramen placed in front of me after being scarred by the salad. I ordered the spicy miso ramen, which is more expensive than the regular miso ramen. I wonder what accounts for the price difference? I'll probably have to check that out next time. The ramen noodles had a nice texture, and were cooked perfectly. The broth wasn't overly salty, and had a little bit of spicyness, but not enough for me to have to grab and chug my glass of water. The weirdest thing about it was the corn in the soup. Is that normally what they put in ramen? All the ramen I've ever had didn't have it. It is unique, and will probably make you feel a little bit fuller if you eat all of the little kernels! The noodles came with Chinese cha siew (BBQ pork), seaweed pieces, black fungus, and garnished with green onions. I enjoyed this menu offering and would definitely recommend it.
Vince on the other hand ordered the "Tan Tan", described as a ramen with tonkatsu pork soup, seasoned with house made spicy sesame and peanut flavour. He told me he ordered it because he thought it was the only ramen with meat in it. Hello?? Did you not read the menu properly? Oh the things I have to put up with :)
The ramen was supposed to be served with kirrage fungus, spinach, minced pork green onins, and peanuts. But when it arrived, it just looked like a plain bowl of ramen. Digging around in the bowl, them meat was found, but the fungus and spinach seemed to had vanished from his meal. When we tried out the soup, it wasn't fantastic, and I wasn't a big fan of the way the flavours were presenting themselves. Vince wasn't too big of a fan either, but that could just be how the flavours taste on our palate.
What's working really well for this restaurant is the texture of their ramen noodles, and they way that they cook them. What I wasn't too impressed with was the thick layer of oil atop of the soup, all shiny and gleaming due to the lighting above us. I can understand some oil being in the soup from the cooking process, but such a thick layer is not a good sign, especially when there are many people out there sensitive to fats in their foods. I have heard that people get the runs after eating at this restaurant (at least 2 of my friends already), and it's likely due to the oil in the broth. Vince had a pretty bad stomach ache after eating here, cause he likes to drink the soup, but I was okay.
For a Japanese restaurant that doesn't only serve sushi, this place isn't bad. I have yet to try Samurai Bistro still, as every time I go there it's closed! This isn't the best ramen I've ever had, but it's at least a nice starting point for one of the first 'real' ramen places in Edmonton
Nomiya Sushi & Ramen Restaurant
3803 Calgary Trail