In our effort to find the best ramen in the Boston area, Travis and I visited the new-ish Tsurumen in Davis Square today for lunch. Our friend, Alan, alerted us to the existence of this shop last week, on an 100-degree day in which a hot bowl of ramen would not have been a comfortable food choice. But, on this 70 degrees and rainy Sunday, the conditions were perfect for a taste of authentic Osaka ramen. Tsurumen opened in April 2018, taking over Snappy Kitchen‘s former space on Highland Avenue.
We drove 15 minutes into town and parked in the lot adjacent to the Rite Aid, a two-minute walk away from the restaurant. We also saw abundant metered parking on Highland Ave. For those traveling by T, it’s a three-minute walk from the Davis Square station.
Immediately after walking through the door, we were greeted by Chef Onishi-san and one of his team members at the register. A quick glimpse around the restaurant revealed seven seats at the counter and four or five tables to accommodate larger groups along the windows. We placed our orders after quickly reviewing the two-bowl menu.
Travis ordered a bowl of Formula 1985 with extra pork chashu and an onsen egg. What does extra pork chashu look like? Four additional pieces of meaty goodness, roasted to perfection:
I opted for a bowl of Formula 1985 with an onsen egg as well:
We watched Chef Onishi-san lovingly prepare our bowls, starting with a base of seasoning and broth; then inserting a generous helping of ramen, purposefully-layered slices of chashu, a handful of beansprouts, bamboo shoots, and red onion, and finally, a scooping of the onsen egg. A sprinkle of green onion and shake of black pepper completed our bowls. Each one is a work of art, and obviously quite flavorful, since we finished our meals less than 20 minutes later with (almost) every drop of broth slurped away. (My bowl was the “almost complete” in these photos!)
Back to the first sentence in this post – Tsurumen has taken over the number one spot of our list of favorite ramen places to date. (For those who are curious, the list from recent memory includes Porter Square’s Yume Wo Katare, Harvard Square’s Santouka, and First Street’s Shabu & Mein, among others.)
For $39, we each enjoyed an incredibly satisfying bowl of ramen, had the opportunity to watch our food be made to order, and chat with other ramen connoisseurs around us. All in all, a Sunday afternoon well spent. We’ll be bringing some friends down to experience this ramen shop soon!
420 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 764 0588