#261: Fukumi Ramen

11:10AM 10/17/2021

Quick announcement, I’ve fired up a Twitter account that you can follow for new posts: @EatingThruRSVL

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks since my last post. I needed a slam dunk after BOSS and knew just where to go. I first discovered Fukumi Ramen at their 2nd location, in Citrus Heights at Sunrise and Madison, this summer right when they opened. I’ve since been there a number of times for lunch during the week and have also visited this original Roseville location once or twice as well. They have a 3rd spot opening soon in Folsom as well.

The location here in Roseville is in the middle of a little strip with Sabores and across from the Nugget center on Fairway at Pleasant Grove. I arrived just after opening. There were already a couple tables seated. One of the two hosts working the dining room popped out of the kitchen, within a few seconds of me stepping inside, and had me seated immediately. I was left with their double sided menu while they went and grabbed me an ice water and then took my drink order.

Click/Tap for full size menu
Click/Tap for full size menu

In my time visiting Fukumi I’d accrued a free small plate / appetizer via their stamp card, which I knew I would on this visit eventually. Other than the gyoza, kimchi and edamame apps I’ve tried when co-workers ordered them, I haven’t ordered anything other than the ramen itself. Those are tasty but not hard to find. I thought one of the fried chicken options would be good and picked out the Spicy Karaage (Japanese style fried chicken with Fukumi special spicy sauce, topped with chili threads)[$8]. Towards the end of my visit I spotted the Kurobuta Sausage and Honey Garlic Chicken apps being delivered to the table next to me. Both looked great and I’ll have to check those out some time.

The pacing here is always very quick, which makes it such a nice place to go for lunch when you have a limited window to work with. My Asahi Black (A highly attenuated dark lager that blends the rich aroma and flavor of roasted malt with a dry finish. 350ml / 5.5%]($6] came out in just a couple minutes and my ramen was only behind that by 5 minutes. The Spicy Karaage Chicken took an additional 5 minutes or so.

I love these light fixtures!

My usual bowl is the Kara-miso Ramen (Thick noodles, Flavored with Fukumi original blend miso and spicy paste, topped with pork belly chashu, seasoned egg, green onion, sprouts, corn and chili threads)[$14.95] and I add Black Garlic Oil [$0.75]. When I’m extra hungry I’ll usually also add extra noodles for $1.75.

Today’s bowl was as great as usual. It arrived steaming with a small pile of the delicately sliced chili threads on top and black garlic oil glistening on top of the rich, cloudy broth. Two slices of the incredibly tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly sat atop the noodles and other ingredients, which were hid just under the broth. The soft boiled egg just barely broke the surface. The spice in this particular bowl is strong and clears my sinuses up a bit every time, though it takes a little bit to get there. Heat seekers should enjoy it but it’s not going to scratch the extreme heat that some look for. It’s a really nice hot and savory bowl and I really enjoy getting all the aromas and rich flavors when I’m slurping up noodles with my face just over the bowl. It’s going to be an extra nice treat to enjoy this body-warming soup when the rain and cooler weather arrives soon (fingers crossed on lots of rain).

I wasn’t sure if the fried chicken would be bone-in or not. Turned out to be boneless, which was nice and made it easy to eat without much mess. The batter was fried crisp (though it softened up a bit as the sauce soaked in while I went back and forth between it and the ramen). Inside the chicken was tender and juicy. The flavor was slightly sweet and it wasn’t super spicy, but like the ramen it built up a bit with several bites. Overall I was quite happy with these and I’m very much looking forward to try the other two chicken apps and other small plates at some point.

As you can tell, I hated it ūüėČ

My experiences with Fukumi have been consistently excellent and this visit was no different. The service is fast, friendly and attentive and the food is always fantastic. I was pretty sure this would earn a perfect score and it did not disappoint. This is a great addition to the area (along with Ramen 101, which I am excited to check out again soon to compare).

https://www.fukumirestaurantgroup.com/

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#256: Koi Garden

I received an in-person request this morning by a co-worker to check this place out.  Having had a small and early lunch I was more than eager to please.  I was headed out the door with my camera before 5PM.

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This is Koi Garden, an Asian Cuisine restaurant located on Roseville Parkway at North Sunrise. ¬†Some Yelp reviews give the impression that this is a rebranded and downsized iteration of the previous tenant here, Koisan. ¬†Although I can find no official evidence of this, I do believe it to be true because the friendly server greeted me and said “long time no see,” and she did seem familiar from my Koisan visit.

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They have split the big anchor space in two and now occupy the left half.  They are reusing the tables, chairs, and other than a new red wall and the obvious lack of a buffet, the dining room feels about the same.  The atmosphere was a little boring due to a lack of music.  The only sound came from a small TV at the front of the room, playing a procedural crime drama, at low volume and the droning of the kitchen exhaust, which actually was fairly loud in comparison.

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I had popped in here a couple weeks ago, while stopping next door for a quick Mango Lassi to-go from¬†Tandoori Nights, and grabbed a menu, so I had already looked over everything and picked out a few items to order prior to arriving. ¬†As soon as the server came over to see what I wanted to drink I went ahead and ordered everything ‚Äď General Chicken (lightly battered chicken in a spicy sweet sauce)[$9.50], Honey Garlic Pork Chop (in a honey garlic soy sauce)[$10.95], Walnut Shrimp (lightly battered shrimp in a chef’s creamy sauce with caramelized walnut)[$12.95] and a diet coke (because I’m trying to watch my figure)[$2.25].

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It took about 13 minutes for the first dish to arrive, and the others came one by one about a minute apart after that. ¬†Perfect timing to grab some photos of each before digging in. ¬†I started with the shrimp, which is usually my favorite. ¬†Lending itself to evidence that this is the same place as Koisan, I found the shrimp to be hot, juicy and generally tasty, but not particularly noteworthy beyond that. ¬†This is especially the case when compared to the same dish from Leo’s Kitchen, Bambu or Wong’s Garden, all of which are unbelievably good and have a crispy texture that is unmatched elsewhere, including here. ¬†The walnuts were OK, they just lacked the crunch I expect from candied walnuts. ¬†One upside to this dish is that I received¬†more shrimp here than at the previously mentioned places¬†for about the same price.

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Next up I tried the General Chicken. ¬†This was a very good sized pile of medium to large pieces of chicken doused in a thick, dark, syrupy sauce. ¬†It was nice and piping hot when it arrived. ¬†Now¬†this one was special. ¬†Flavor aside, and it was delicious, the texture of this chicken was downright magical. ¬†It had the most delicate yet satisfying crispy shell, just underneath its¬†thick coating of sauce, which gave way to the tender chicken within. ¬†The sauce was very rich, sweet and with just a hint of spice that only built over consecutive bites. ¬†I’m looking forward to my leftovers on this one for sure.

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Finally, the Honey Garlic Pork Chop.  When this was set down before me I immediately got strong aromas of sweet honey with a little bit of garlic undertones.  Interestingly, tasting it was the opposite.  The garlic was front and center and only here and there did I get little bits of honey.  This one was another excellent dish in terms of texture.  The pork was sliced thinly and the entire outside had a bit of a crunch to it.  Internally, the pork was flavorful, but not as tender as I would have hoped.  I did come across a piece here and there that almost melted in my mouth, but those were few and far between.  Most was a tad dry and chewy.  The water chestnuts did not add anything really exciting to this.

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The service throughout my visit was good. ¬†My server checked on me regularly, offered refills just before I needed them and boxed up my leftovers right at the table. ¬†The food was obviously a bit of a mixed bag. ¬†My lunch experience at Koisan faired¬†a little better than here, so they have the potential. ¬†I think I just didn’t order quite the right dishes to experience what they have to offer. ¬†Despite this I’ll likely be sticking to my go-to’s for Chinese (Wong’s Garden and Leo’s Kitchen) in the future.

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AM11: Teriyaki Land

Today I decided to try out Teriyaki Land on Auburn at Walnut, near Les Schwab. ¬†I’ve never thought much of this place, other than being curious that they seem to serve fish & chips in addition to teriyaki and sushi. ¬†Like most sushi places, they advertise 50% off all rolls. ¬†This is such an annoying gimmick, particularly since nearly everyone uses it.

Being hungry and looking forward to it earlier in the day I popped on Yelp briefly to get an idea of what I was going to see. ¬†There aren’t many reviews but it seemed to be a very polarizing place with mostly 5 or 1 star reviews. ¬†I skimmed the restaurant info and was taken aback by the ambiance category of “divey”. ¬†It makes sense, yet until now I’ve never thought to use that word to describe anything but a bar.

I walked in at 5 and the place was deserted, save for a guy standing outside that followed me in who I was half expecting to ask me for money, but instead he was grabbing his order to go (way to jump-to-judgement, Sean!). ¬†A woman was waiting by the counter and greeted me immediately, waiting with a pen and paper to take my order. ¬†Felt very much like Anchor’s Fish & Chips¬†so far. ¬†I had to go over the menu for a minute or two first. ¬†Wanting to sample both sides of the menu, I ordered the Teriyaki Land Special Teriyaki Combo (One choice of teriyaki chicken, beef or pork w/ rice, noodle, salad & soda)[$8.99] and also the Pink Lady roll from¬†the Deep Fried Special Rolls section (d.f., spicy tuna, avocado, crab, tobiko, eel sauce)[$12.50 $6.25 all rolls are half off, remember?].

I took a seat in the quiet dining room.  The woman and, presumably, her husband worked to prepare my order, making the only sound aside from some traffic noise coming in through a propped open side door.  There was no music, so I listened to a podcast and snapped a couple photos to pass the 10 minute or so wait.

She called out the items of my order to announce that they were ready. ¬†I retrieved the bento box with teriyaki combo and a tray with my sushi roll, it’s pieces arranged in a neat circle. ¬†She mentioned to the utensils to the right and I grabbed a fork and some chopsticks. ¬†She asked if I wanted sesame seeds and then sprinkled some on with my go ahead.

Everything was piping hot, including the roll since it was deep fried. ¬†The roll came with the usual wasabi/ginger, but also included a little dish of a slightly spicy, probably mayo-based sauce. ¬†I really liked that it came on the side so I could use as little or as much as I wanted, which I did experiment with from piece to piece. ¬†This roll was really good. ¬†It was perfectly crisp on the outside and the spicy tuna really came through nicely, even though there didn’t seem to be a whole lot in it. ¬†The avocado was actually the biggest percentage of the center and was nice and ripe.

The teriyaki was pretty great, particularly the noodles it came with. ¬†They were flavorful, hot and even had a bunch of dark chicken meat bits mixed in. ¬†The white meat chicken was very tender and moist. ¬†The salad was really the only thing that I wasn’t super enthused about. ¬†It wasn’t bad, just not anything special. ¬†Lettuce was fresh and crisp, yet the dressing was just kind of boring Italian.

The service was minimal, but the woman seemed very nice and happy to serve. ¬†Despite it’s shabby appearance, this place delivered. ¬†I will definitely return for some pre-bowling dinner.

Website: None

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