Ramen Tenma is one of the several ramen places along Saratoga in San Jose. It’s tucked in a big shopping plaza next to a Korean BBQ place and a big Chinese grocery store. It has a very friendly and welcoming feel. It feels a like like you are in Japan, as it is somewhat cramped, but full of things, such as different promotions, drawings, and quiz questions on the walls. It is brightly lit, and just makes you feel welcome. It has a sort of hand-made sort of feel to the place.
The menu listed many different kinds of ramen, and a few were pictured, but it was hard to tell details about the different kinds of ramen based on just the name and some annotation about the broth and noodle, as it doesn’t have you a sense of what toppings etc. are there.
After having ordered and gotten our ramen, maybe the point is that many of the main ramen types are relatively sparse with add-ins, and you order those a la carte. The downside of that is that you don’t get as many interesting different things in your bowl without paying extra. I like my restaurant ramen to have different textures and flavors as I eat through it.
We ordered the bonito ramen and a tonkotsu.
The katsuboshi flakes gave the broth a good umami taste, and some fishy richness. Unfortunately, as you can see the egg was almost fully hardboiled, which is always disappointing, as it should be a runny softboiled egg, ideally also steeped in tea, darkening the outer portion.
I ordered an extra egg with the tonkotsu broth, which was even more hardboiled. A side order of kimchee was also added to get in some fermented pickle. The tonkotsu broth was good, and the thin noodles almost made this a hakata style ramen, although lacking some of the other fixings. The broth and chashu were good. The corn gave it something nice to chew on in addition to the noodles.
Overall, decent. They had a Christmas ramen on the menu which had a bunch of other things, including tomato and cheese, and I will have to return and try this before the holiday.