Last week I was in Vegas and had a mighty fine lunch at Monta Ramen (www.montaramen.com), a small Japanese Noodle House seating less than 40 people away from the strip.
Monta’s various noodle soups are Kurume-style ramen which have broths made from selected pork bones and a unique soy sauce imported from Japan. All of their ramens have slices of Chashu (roasted pork that melts in your mouth and to die for!).
I had the Tonkotsu Ramen and ordered Nitamago (seasoned hard boiled egg) and shredded green onions as toppings:
Tonkotsu (“pork bone”) Ramen has a cloudy white colored broth. It is similar to the Chinese baitang and has a thick broth made from boiling pork bones, fat and collagen over high heat for many hours, which suffuses the broth with a heavy pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy.
And Graeme, who was sweet enough to share one of his favorite eating spots and treated me to lunch had the Miso Ramen with Nitamago (seasoned hard boiled egg) and corn as his toppings:
Miso (“bean paste”) Ramen is a relative newcomer, having reached Japan’s national prominence around 1965. This uniquely Japanese ramen, which was developed in Hokkaido, features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and is blended with oily pork broth to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup.
The Verdict of Tonkotsu Ramen and Miso Ramen?
I was very impressed with this little noodle house! I had the opportunity to taste both ramens and they were very unique and had very distinct different broths. We both enhanced our ramens with a dollop of minced garlic and some hot sauce – a great choice. As for the Miso Ramen, it did have a very nutty taste and the broth seemed to have more depth than my Tonkotsu Ramen. I don’t think either Ramen is better than the other but Graeme may disagree with me – I don’t think he will cheat on his Miso Ramen what-so-ever. My Tonkotsu Ramen had a creamy buttery taste – a yummy guilty pleasure for myself.
Next time I would love to add the corn and some bean sprouts to the Tonkotsu Ramen. I really liked how the corn played well in the Miso Ramen. I would also order extra slices of Chashu in my ramen – I think it is the superstar of the dish and should be on center stage!
Oh, ya….I LOVED the eggs. Monta has perfected the soft boiled egg indeed!!
Tip: Make sure you come hungry and try Monta’s handmade pan-fried pork and vegetable dumplings with your ramen. Just order them as soon as you arrive – they are made to order. They are delish and highly recommended by Graeme!
Soup Mistress Rating for Tonkotsu Ramen and Miso Ramen: