It's been a very, very long time since I've published a restaurant review. You guys have been clamoring for one, so here. I'm here to appease you and your lustful eyes.
Oh, the ever so popular Orenchi Ramen in Santa Clara. The rumors you hear are true. If you dare make the journey to check this place out, brace yourselves for a wait. In my case, a bit more than an hour.
Oh, and get there early. We got there 10 minutes after they opened and after less than an hour of waiting, they cut off the line because they had run out of broth for lunch service. This happened at 12:35 pm, just an hour and five minutes after they opened.
The space is actually a decent size, especially when compared to other ramen giants (ironic, eh?) like Daikokuya, Ramen Dojo, and Yamadaya (Torrance location). I loved the bare strand board on the walls, but who am I kidding? Does one go to a ramen shop to admire the decor? Well, maybe if you're at Jidaiya. But on to what you all want to see.
Let's start off with the noodles, just because that's what's pictured above. Orenchi's noodles are a fantastic specimen of alkaline noodle. Chewy, but not overly so, and let's the broth adhere, giving you the perfect mouthful of noodley goodness, supplemented by the soup of course! The broth was tonkotsu (c'mon guys, tonkotsu, not tonkatsu), but had a definite chicken flavor to it. More so than I prefer, simply because I've turned into a lover of pork and I mean, tonkotsu is traditionally a pork broth. Still, very good.
The bowl was dressed very traditionally with nori, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushroom, green onion, egg, and chashu pork. Let's all just take a moment and marvel at the beauty of that soft boiled egg. It's always one of the highlights of a good bowl of ramen and Orenchi did not disappoint here. The pork was melt in your mouth goodness, though I wish there was more of it. The rest of the toppings are pretty standard fare and perfectly complement the rest of the bowl, adding textural contrast and flavor. You could also opt to add in some garlic paste that is left at the table. A bit of this and your whole bowl will take on a rich, roasted garlic flavor. Definitely delicious, but use at your own discretion.
Definitely a fantastic bowl of ramen and it was worth the wait. It ranks up there with the best bowls I've had, though I can't say it was my favorite. The next time you're in the South Bay, check it out! But again, get there early.
Orenchi Ramen 3540 Homestead Rd Santa Clara, CA 95051 (408) 246-2955 orenchi-ramen.com