Honolulu’s ramen bistro, Agu Ramen, has landed in Texas and in the blink of an eye, has opened its doors in multiple locations around the greater Houston area. Mr. Agu, the infamous “samurai of soup”, shares his love of ramen beautifully and with a bit of intriguing flare.
My love for ramen has become an obsession over the past year or two as Houston’s ramen scene has grown. I’ve tried many local spots, from Samurai Noodle to Jinya Ramen and everything in between, so Agu was next up on my list.
The menu at Agu Ramen is pretty straightforward like many other ramen joints, so I steered straight to the specialty ramen. I asked our server to recommend an “out of the ordinary” ramen that I could try and he suggested that I try the Original Kotteri, which is a thicker pork based broth with pork char siu and all of the fixings. I’m obsessed with kikurage, a Japanese wood ear mushroom, so I added that along with a side of the first 3 levels of spice out of 5 that they offer.
Since we were out to lunch, we didn’t completely indulge in all of the awesome looking small plates, but the ramen quickly came out, piping hot and smelling amazing.
Our server’s recommendation was SPOT ON! The Original Kotteri broth was so rich and flavorful and the pork char siu was perfectly tender and tasty. I added a healthy scoop of all 3 spices to the soup as I like a nice kick, but not too much so that I didn’t drown out the broth’s natural flavor. The softness of the char siu and the marinated boiled egg were contrasted with the crunchy menma, or bamboo shoots, and the crisp garlic chips. Such a perfectly balanced dish in respect to the flavor and the texture. I’m salivating just thinking about it!
Agu Ramen is absolutely a top contender in the Houston ramen world and for me, it tops all of the other restaurants I frequent. Bravo to their team! Exceptional service and stellar ramen. NEED. MORE. AGU.