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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hanabi Ramen & Izakaya

Last weekend, a friend and I decided to take a day trip out to Ft. Worth. Neither of us have been there much and just wanted to check out the sights, and of course, food!!

The first place I wanted to hit up was definitely Hanabi. I've heard great things about it and almost everyone who's been there has said they have the best ramen in DFW. God knows we need a good ramen place here!

Hanabi Ramen & Izakaya
3204 Camp Bowie Blvd
Fort Worth, TX
(817) 420-6703
Price: $$

Obviously I've never been, so I always imagined it to be a small place. So I was pleasantly surprised that they took reservations. I made one for 3 people on Saturday at 11:30AM. We arrived on time, and there was maybe 3 other tables there. haha. And the place is wayyy bigger than I thought. I guess the reservation is totally unnecessary. Oh well. Better safe than sorry, eh?

We were seated immediately and the waitress came to take our drink orders. We all got the hot green tea which was really good. A lot of matcha flavor. :)

We got some appetizers to start.
Squid Leg Fry (6 pcs.) $4.50~ 
6 pieces for 5 bucks is a little expensive in my opinion, but at least the pieces were big. It was yummy. It came with a side of Asian mayonnaise to dip. Loved it! The squid was cooked well, the outside was fried nicely. The mayo had a sweetness that paired well with it.

Salmon Onigiri (salmon rice ball; 1 pc.) $3~ 
This was good too, esp with the mayo as well. But these tend to have more rice than filling ratio, and this was no different. There wasn't that much salmon in the middle.

I already knew what I wanted. The dry ramen. If it's an option, I always opt for the dry. The noodles are generally thicker and chewier, which I prefer.
Kara Miso Aemen (pasta style ramen, without soup, with pork belly, egg, cabbage, carrot, chives and green onion) $11~ 
My fiance decided to get the same thing. It was a HUGE bowl. Wow.. I think we could've shared! haha. The sauce is all on the bottom so you have to mix everything together. As soon as I started mixing I realized there was chili oil... this was spicy. The name should've tipped me off "Kara" indicates spicy but I didn't even think of it. And they didn't put "spicy" anywhere on the menu... I think restaurants should indicate that, not everyone can take spice. I mean I love spicy so it's great. But my fiance can't eat spicy. It really upsets his stomach. So the waitress overheard and told him not to mix, and they would remove the bottom part with the sauce for him. I dunno, that seemed like a stupid move on their part but we didn't say anything. She brought a new bowl back with everything that was above the sauce. So basically half the noodles were gone. She told him he can add additional flavor with the soy sauce at the table... Uh... ew? He decided to just go with what he had. He didn't use the soy sauce, but just threw the squid in for extra flavor. haha. I told him he should've sent the whole thing back and gotten something else. And why didn't they offer him the broth from the dipping ramen or something?? Doesn't this ruin the flavor/experience of someone's meal? Needless to say, it was bland bland bland. But he was too nice to complain. :( 
Mine however, was great. The spicy sauce on the bottom had chunks of meat in it. The egg could've been a bit runnier but I didn't mind it. There were plenty of veggies, which I appreciated. And everything was finely chopped so it was easy to pick it all up with the noodles. The noodles were great. Nice chewy texture. Although I think the noodles at Wabi House was even better. Hanabi totally trumped with the flavor. It reminded me a lot of the Chinese Zha Jian Mian, which is one of my absolute favorite noodles in the world. So that was a plus. I tried to finish it all because it was really good, but couldn't. It was wayyy too much.

My friend got the Karami Tonkotsu Ramen (creamy broth made with pork bones; with chashu, egg, bamboo shoot, green onion, takana, nori; spicy) $10~ 
At first bite, she said "this is good!" Better than Wabi. I tried a bite or two. I felt the noodles were a tad overcooked but it was the curly kind so I still liked it better. The broth flavor was good. We both agreed that so far this has been the best in DFW.

I really enjoyed it. My friend did too. My poor fiance... not so much. I think they should've discounted his dish too, but they didn't. To pay $11 for bland noodles is not a great feeling. But he did learn to always verify spicy or not in the future. Other than the poor choice in dumping out his sauce instead of giving him something else, our waitress was very nice and attentive. I do agree with most people that it's the best in DFW. As comparison to the rest of the world tho... it's somewhere in the middle. And it's so far from Dallas still... sigh.

Quality of Food:




Overall Experience:


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