For a limited time (until tomorow), Chibakiya is at Mitsuwa supermarket again, this time at the Costa Mesa location. On the menu this weekend: their famous shinasoba!
The Costa Mesa Mitsuwa gets ridiculously crowded at lunchtime, especially when they have their food fairs. You have to prowl the dining area and be ready to pounce on tables when people leave. Luckily my wife was able to snag a table while I waited for the ramen. According to exile kiss, Chibakiya’s very own Chef Kenji Chiba, straight from Japan, was in the kitchen, preparing his signature ramen! I lurked around the Chibakiya stand, trying to get a picture of Chiba-san. I caught glimpses of Chef Chiba (the gentleman on the left, below), but was only able to get a picture of this gentlemen (in the green shirt on the right), who looked like he was supervising?
After a short wait, the ramen came out on a fancy-looking tray (did they bring their own trays?) and, unlike their neighbor (cough), also came with a proper, if disposable, renge (soup spoon, pictured above)!
The chicken-pork bone-fish-shoyu broth was hot and delicious. The chicken flavor stood out the most, but there was a nice depth to the soup and a strong pork after-note that sets it apart from more average shoyu broths. The slightly curly noodles were average, and on the soft side for my taste, but went well with the green onions and the soup. I was disappointed with the single slice of chashu though: the chashu had a thin but noticeable layer of fat and had a good texture, but was surprisingly bland. There was very little pork flavor and if it was marinated…maybe someone accidently put it in a bowl of water overnight instead of the marinade? It wasn’t horrible…it was just…oddly un-porklike.
I’ve had a craving for hanjuku eggs recently, and Chibakiya’s version didn’t let me down. Delicatedly marinated, egg white with the soft texture of jello, and an egg yolk with a consistency halfway between a liquid and a solid, the hanjuku egg hit the spot. Thinking back, I wish I would’ve gone back and tried to order a few side dishes of just the egg.
Chibakiya is serving their ramen until tomorrow, so you’d better hurry, or else you might have to wait another year before it comes around again! The shinasoba gets a 7 out of 10.
(inside Mitsuwa Supermarket)
665 Paularino Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
7 thoughts on “ramen rating: chibakiya – costa mesa, ca”
Okay, you’re post is making me want to go try it now. I mean, I’ve tried Chibakiya’s Shinasoba before but I think I shall try it again. I’ve been craving a good hanjuku tamago too. Looks like it might be my pregame meal for my bball game tomorrow. It’ll be all your fault if I play like crap. haha.
Seen The Ramen Girl yet? Let us know what you thought… Worth seeing for us die-hard ramen fans out here?
@Keizo: I thought ramen to you is like spinach to Popeye. So if you play *well*, I get credit, right? Haha
@Xeroz: I have, and I need to get off my lazy butt to write it up! Thanks for asking!
For the record…we lost…and it’s all your fault! haha j/k.
You know what though, I didn’t like today’s Chibakiya at all. It was very unimpressive and feel like I wasted 9 bucks. And I rarely ever say that about any ramen. But then again, that’s probably just me being picky. I’m not a ramen hater so I’ll just say it was good and leave it at that. It’s still better than most in LA.
I tried the Shinasoba ramen today at the Mitsuwa near me in New Jersey. Its a buck more($9.99)! Honestly, I was also abit disappointed in the chasu, its exactly as you described. But then again, I also felt that this ramen was comparable to another chain, which also has a store in NY, Ramen Setagaya. But their chasu was too soft. :/ Over all it wasn’t bad to eat, but I probably won’t be ordering it again if I manage to get over to Mitsuwa again before Sunday here.
I got a bowl at Mitsuwa NJ today as well.
My comment to a friend was that it was a mere wisp of chasu, almost pointless. Not a pretty cut, not a lovely flavor, not a pleasant texture.
The broth tasted fine, it was clear, deep and rich in color, but didn’t have a ton of character.
The egg was pleasant, but all in all I thought the soup suffered from half-heartedness.
@Keizo, Shinycelebi, GSG: Yeah, I’m still scratching my head over the chashu, especially at that price.