Tri-City: Dohatsuten Japanese Ramen

My mom has a new favorite restaurant.  Now, she hasn't said so in so many words, but I know my mother.  I can tell by how she casually brings it up, how she tries to downplay the place, and finally, in how she's managed to get us to eat there three times in the last month.

Three times.

Say hello to Dohatsuten:


Dohatsuten is pretty small and narrow, but cozy:


The first time I went, it was just my mom and I.  We shared a mentai takana don, essentially spicy cod roe and pickled mustard leaf over rice:


My mom ordered the dohatsuten ramen.  There are a couple of soup bases you can choose from.  My mom likes the yuzu miso broth (despite the additional fee):


It came with chashu, chinese chives, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, spicy minced pork (really spicy!), and Korean chili.  Not the most amazing ramen in the world, but the yuzu in the miso broth adds an interesting flavor.

I went with the chashu ramen with soy broth (no additional cost because I'm cheap like that), which included 4 slices of pork chashu, bean sprouts, green onion, and bamboo shoots:


I was excited about the yakionigiri (grilled soy and butter flavored rice ball):


That excitement died a very quick death.  Unlike the yakionigiri at Tanto, the one at Dohatsuten was fried and hard to the point of being painful.  Stay away!

About a week and a half later, I bemusedly found myself at Dohatsuten again.  This time, my father came too.

The three of us split two bowls of ramen.  To appease my mother, we got the dohatsuten ramen with yuzu miso soup.  To try something new, we got the ta-ro ramen with salt broth (see bowl on right):


The ta-ro ramen had stewed pork belly, green onion, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots.  Usually, I'm all for large chunks of meat, but in this case, the pork pieces were so big that it was a bit much.

We also ordered the agedashi tofu:


And the shiro maguro don or seared white tuna over rice:


As if that wasn't enough, we also ordered the chicken karaage:


And were stunned by the mountain of chicken that arrived on our table.  Very well seasoned and fried, but simply too much food for one night.

Another week and a half later, we were back again.

Having learned our lesson, we ordered much less.  To go with our extra large bowl of dohatsuten ramen (yuzu miso broth, of course), we got a chashu and kimchi iron yakimeshi:


The stewed pork belly, poached egg, bean sprouts, chives, and kimchi rested on a bed of fried rice in a hot cast iron skillet.  As a rice girl, I enjoyed the iron yakimeshi a lot more than the ramen.

We decided to give the nankotsu karaage or fried chicken knee cartilage a whirl:


If you like crunching on cartilage, this is the dish for you.

Not exactly my restaurant of choice, but the food is good and the service warm and attentive.  And I mean really, really attentive.  (That's what my parents love the most about it.)  I think we've tried about 75% of the menu at Dohatsuten.  By the time my mom finds a new favorite restaurant, I have no doubt we'll have the entire menu under our belt.

And thickening our waists.

Sigh.


Dohatsuten Japanese Ramen
43691 Mission Blvd
Fremont, CA 94539
(510) 668-0959

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