North Houston’s first ramen soup restaurant opened in March, serving the popular Japanese dish based on a rich, slow-simmered broth and fresh wheat noodles.
However, the noodles used in the four soups currently offered at Ramen Fun are not the same variety as the dry, packaged ramen noodles known as a kitchen staple for starving college students.
“It takes time to make them if you make good ones,” Ramen Fun co-owner Jason Chen said.
Chen and his five business partners chose North Houston for the restaurant because the region boasts a large Asian population, but ramen enjoys a growing popularity among all demographics, Chen said.
“It’s pretty popular here in Texas,” Chen said.
The soup is so popular that on its opening evening, the restaurant sold out within three hours, he said.
A traditional bowl of ramen, called pork tonkatsu, features slow-cooked, braised slices of pork belly along with noodles, a soft-boiled egg and vegetables such as bamboo shoots.
“First you boil [the pork] for four hours, then you marinate it for four hours,” Chen said.
Additional variations of the soup that the restaurant prepares include one made with garlic and black bean broth, as well as several broths based on miso, a fermented soy paste.
In addition to the soups, Ramen Fun offers appetizers including dumplings and fat bao, which are small pork sandwiches served with pickles on steamed buns. The restaurant plans to add more menu choices in the coming months.
“We’re doing it slowly, to make sure everything runs well,” Chen said.
6345 FM 1960 W., Ste. 228, Houston
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.