Nishiki Ramen was founded over 20 years ago in Japan, but has chosen San Diego to be the starting point of their global ramen conquest. For good reason too, as San Diego is currently the spotlight for this noodle soup dish that has captivated us with the likes of Jinya, Yamadaya, and Rakiraki.
Nishiki Ramen can be found in the plaza that is also home to Santouka Ramen in Convoy of San Diego. The interior décor features bright maple wood tables and walls reminiscent of a minimalist design and includes an on-site noodle room. Curious customers can observe the mechanical contrivances that go towards crafting either the flat or thin wheat noodles, an essential component of the dish.
Ramen can be broken down into 4 fundamental components – noodles, broth, tare (seasoning), and toppings. Nishiki appeals to the health-conscious customers by offering MSG and preservatives-free broth as well as noodles made from organic whole wheat flour. That didn’t stop us from ordering gluttony manifested in a bowl – the tonkotsu.
Nishiki Ramen (Tonkotsu Ramen)
Tonkotsu ramen is thick, creamy and profoundly complex due to being simmered for an absurdly long time (20+ hours). The broth is naturally very heavy and filled with lip-smacking cholesterol goodness and Nishiki’s Tonkotsu is no different. However, it does seem to be a lot lighter on the spectrum (more milky than creamy) which makes for a more comfortable post-eating experience. The inclusion of a small bowl option is also extremely thoughtful and should be implemented everywhere for those of us with smaller appetites.
The Nishiki black is the regular tonkotsu taken to excessive levels of extravagance with the addition of black garlic. Black garlic is made with a fermenting box (or rice cooker/slow cooker/stove) over the course of 200 hours. This results in richness similar to molasses or caramel with the underlying garlic tones still intact. The Nishiki black is saturated with smoky black garlic flavors that permeate the soul as you eat, and is one of the densest black garlic tonkotsu I’ve ever had.
Nishiki Ramen is definitely a place to visit if you’re a tonkotsu ramen lover and even if you’re not, there is bound to be something for you among the variation of ramen that they offer.