“New ramen place in san gabriel called fuji ramen.” That’s how the text message read from a friend and fellow ramen fanatic who just happened to drive by it Saturday morning. After seeing the words “new” and “ramen” in the same sentence, I immediately called him back to get the scoop. And that’s when we decided to check it out on Sunday. At first I was really excited, but then a ramen place in San Gabriel can only mean one thing–Chinese-owned? I just hope it’s not as bad as Mountain.
Red-orange and yellow walls with wood trim. Bright blue and yellow seats. Umm…are you sure this is a ramen place? It’s definitely not a ramen-ya! I suppose I can live with the strange color combinations, but c’mon…Teriyaki Chicken Ramen???!!! Are you kidding me?? From the funky decor to the waiters speaking Cantonese to the Young Ho restaurant next door, I braced myself for an interesting experience.
Cha Siu Ramen: So I ordered the cha siu ramen. The soup was lighter than I thought it would be. It had hints of pork, but seemed to be primarily chicken-based and I really couldn’t taste any fish. The noodles were clumpy and only slightly better than the noodles from Cup O Noodles. The toppings (cha siu, egg, green onion, and 大根 daikon) were probably the worst I’ve ever experienced.
First of all, why is there daikon (japanese radish) in this ramen?? I love daikon, but in ramen? That’s just so weird! The egg was borderline nauseating…wait I take that back, it indeed crossed that border. I’ve eaten play-doh that tasted better. The cha siu was on the tastier side, but the texture was tough and far from melt-in-your-mouth. Overall, it wasn’t as bad as Mountain, but don’t count on seeing me there again. If I ever do go anywhere near Fuji Ramen in the future, it will only be to visit the Peach House two doors down.
Gyoza Dumplings: The gyoza dumplings didn’t exactly look like gyoza, but at least they weren’t fried. The gyoza dumplings didn’t exactly taste like gyoza either. They were more like Chinese dumplings. With that said, I liked them. But I wouldn’t call them gyoza.