Shiba Ramen in Emeryville Public Market

I was in the Emeryville Public Market yesterday for the first time in about a year. Hadn’t heard anything about Shiba Ramen, which is now open, so we decided to try it out. They rotate which types of ramen are available, so we tried the spicy ramen and the dry ramen.

Spicy ramen is described as: " Creamy sesame tonkotsu broth with spicy ground pork, bean sprouts, soft-boiled egg, bok choy, green onions, shredded togarashi peppers"

Dry ramen is described as: “Brothless pork-flavored ramen with bean sprouts, soft-boiled egg, pork chashu, bamboo shoots, green onions, nori paper. Mix well before eating. Good for take-out.”

The spicy broth wasn’t really spicy at all, but had a nice flavor. Noodles were curlier and had slightly more bite than the ones I had at Santouka in LA recently. Ground pork had a nice flavor, but again, not even slightly spicy. Soft boiled eggs were served cold but were great.

I liked the dry ramen slightly more. All mixed together, the noodles became lightly coated in a sauce. No super strong flavor, but there was some fattiness which gave the noodles substance.

I’m not sure this is super destination-worthy right now, but it definitely seems like a good option in that area. Curious to hear what others think!

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Thanks for the report. So it sounds like the dry ramen doesn’t come with a side of soup for dipping, like tsukemen does?

I haven’t been, but I have enjoyed reading about it on one of the owner’s blog about the process of opening up a ramen stand http://www.ramenchemistry.com/
and other news reports about the process
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/12/07/shiba-ramen-wants-to-feed-noodles-to-non-foodies/

We ate there today for lunch and I had the butter corn ramen. It was what I expected after reading the linked article: a good bowl of ramen, not too fancy, and a fair value. My butter corn miso had firm noodles (my preference), a pat of butter, corn, bean sprouts, green onion, one egg split in half, bamboo, and three slices of chashu. I got what I paid for ($11 a bowl) and was satisfied. My small complaints are that the chashu was dry despite having up to an inch of fat on some parts and didn’t taste very porky, and the egg came cold.

Judging from one sip of broth, I liked the spicy ramen better and will order that next time.

They have 3 beers on tap: a Fieldworks IPA, a Faction DIPA, and Sapporo. There was also canned beers from Japan. We tried a Japanese porter-surprisingly light tasting and didn’t overpower the ramen.

I’m local, so I’ll come again if I’m in the area. However, I did spy Koja Kitchen’s new digs across the way - it will be tough for me to decide on where to eat between the two.

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East Bay Express (2/3/2016): Food Court Noodles -
Shiba Ramen proves that quick, casual ramen can still be tasty.
By Luke Tsai

My favorite dish at Shiba was the “Spicy,” a version of the tantanmen ramen style. A mass of noodles came in a thick, porky, red-tinged gravy and was topped with ground pork cooked in (only slightly) spicy fermented miso — basically more of a meat sauce than a broth, but not heavy enough to keep me from slurping down the entire bowl in a minute.

The “Spicy” ramen comes topped with ground pork that’s cooked in fermented miso. Photo:East Bay Express/Bert Johnson

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/food-court-noodles/Content?oid=4665091

Shiba Ramen
5959 Shellmound St. (at Emeryville Public Market), Kiosk #10., Emeryville
510-985-8309


Hours: Daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Mon.–Sat. 5–8 p.m., Sun. 5–7 p.m.
Cash, all major credit cards

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I was there for lunch today, and when I tried to order they said they weren’t taking orders for ramen because of some kitchen problems. I went over to the Afghan place and ordered a lamb wrap, but by the time it came Shiba was open again.

So, I took the lamb wrap home for dinner and ordered the butter corn ramen. The noodles are thicker than expected here, more like spaghetti (the pop-up at Tokyo Fish uses noodles that are thinner, about as thin as instant ramen noodles, and I prefer their texture). I loved the delicate flavor in the broth. My egg was warm, and the chasu was a single thick slab, almost a thin pork chop, not dry and with good flavor. It’s a good choice if you’re in the area.

KQED also ran a piece yesterday about Shiba Ramen.

Shiba Ramen: Emeryville’s First Destination Restaurant

I’ll disagree that it’s Emeryville’s first destination restaurant, though. Bucci’s had that title for a long time, and possibly Townhouse as well. Even Rudy’s Can’t Fail attracts people from all over, looking for hearty diner food.

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I think this is just my skewed opinion (I’m really not a ramen lover) but I tried shiba ramen the other day and I didn’t really enjoy it. I got the butter corn ramen and it was a little too butter and fatty for an already fatty soup. Everything seemed well cooked but it didn’t make me a ramen convert. I went with a small group from work and some thought it was great and others were less impressed. The service was really fast and efficient despite a line.

I happened to eat at Ramen Shop the next day and Shiba Ramen just couldn’t compare.

I tried the newly opened downtown location. They were busy. The chicken wings were solid, but my dry ramen was too salty and the pork chashu was dry. DC’s shoyu broth was ok on salt but lacking in depth of flavor. Based on the one visit, my DC and I both felt that Sobo Ramen a few blocks away is better.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold