ramen and pickles

science, technology, and medicine served up with some tasty noodles

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Peninsula Ethnic Grocery Stores

I thought it might be worth going through some of the grocery stores in the Mt View-Cupertino area which specialize in particular cuisines.

For Chinese (and a bit pan-Asian, including Filipino), the 99 Ranch chain is the largest.   There is one in Mt View:  http://www.yelp.com/biz/99-ranch-market-mountain-view-2, there is also Japanese grocery store (Nijiya) in easy walking distance, that has lots of prepared food as well: http://www.yelp.com/biz/nijiya-market-mountain-view

However, if you want to go a little bit further south, there is a very large complex of mostly Chinese shops, including another 99 Ranch down in Cupertino, in Cupertino Village:  http://www.cupertino.org/index.aspx?page=781

If you want a larger Japanese grocery, tea shops, sushi shop, ramen shop, gyoza shop, Japanese bookstore, Japanese bakery, and Daiso, then you can try this place in northern San Jose:

If you want a Korean strip mall, with grocery store, home goods stores, food court, etc, then on El Camino, just after the Lawrence Expressway, there is this place: http://www.yelp.com/biz/lawrence-plaza-food-court-santa-clara-2

Although, for just groceries (and a fancy Korean BBQ place next to it), just a little bit before on the other side of the road there is also the very large Hankook Market: http://www.yelp.com/biz/hankook-supermarket-sunnyvale

For South Asian, probably the most fully stocked (with nearby businesses like a sweet shop, ice cream shop, sari store, etc.) this is probably your best bet: http://www.yelp.com/biz/india-cash-and-carry-sunnyvale

A little bit up the street is a similarly named, but quite a bit tidier and more low key Indian place:  http://www.yelp.com/biz/bombay-cash-and-carry-sunnyvale

For Persian groceries and halal meats (and prepared foods), there is this the Rose Market.  You get your kebabs from literally a hole in the wall:

For a more Arabic halal market, this place is decent:
There’s also an awesome Pakistani restaurant right next to it, which is a bit like a nicer version of Naan-N-Curry. It’s worth visiting not only for the food, but also the giant portrait of Dumbledore.

Happy shopping (and eating!)

Goma-Tei Ramen, Honolulu

At first I was a little skeptical about Goma-Tei, given that the pictures showed what looked to be the kind of ramen that tries to compensate for real flavor by adding a lot of hot pepper and only uses cooked eggs.   However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The shoyu broth that I got was quite good.  Usually when you get pork, you either get cubes or thinner slices, here there were round pieces of chashu, but cut like thick cubes.  The pork was melt-in mouth soft, and very good.  The picture below is midway through eating to give an impression of how robust the pieces were.  Add-ins were otherwise mostly unremarkable, at least with what I got.  There were options that came with more veggies on the menu.

However, one thing that really stands out here was the gyoza.  They were just incredibly fresh and homemade tasting, with visible pieces of green and white onion.  Given the “char siu” spelling for the pork and the taste of the gyoza (which were a bit more like Chinese pan fried dumplings); the Chinese influence is manifest.  However, it’s a tasty place to get some noodle soup, and some excellent pan fried pork dumplings.

IMG_0902 IMG_0905

Yotteko-Ya, Honolulu

On the second floor of a small plaza packed with Asian restaurants on Kapiolani Blvd, there is the the very delicious Yotteko-Ya.  We went on a Saturday evening, and there was no waiting for a table in the small restaurant.  The food was absolutely delicious.

There are a range of broths there, including a very good paitan (white/milky broth) broth shown below.

Yotteko-Ya Paitan Ramen


The Katsuo-dashi broth was quite good as well, if of course, a lot lighter than the paitan.  The chashu and veggies were very good.  One nice element is that they give you an option of a firmer or softer noodle.  Firmer, chewier noodles are more characteristic of ramen overall, but a softer noodle is closer to local Hawaiian saimin and more Kyoto style.  However, I went with a firm noodle, just because that’s my favorite.   Overall, very good ramen.  I would have maybe like to see some more add-ins, like a nice egg on the menu, but I was very happy and I would love to eat at this place again.  Those who live nearby are very fortunate.

It is worth noting that their gyoza are quite tasty as well.

However, I think an important thing to add about the Yotteko-Ya experience is that the front of the menu makes some very strong health claims.  I am certainly biased towards hoping to believe in them, but it is claimed that the collagen rich broth will help keep skin and joints young.