Thursday, October 11, 2018

Travel Eats: Shinmai (Oakland)

On Friday Amy and I drove up to the Bay Area for our friends' wedding, so we made a weekend of it. For normal people, that means the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. For me, that (of course) means food.

We got in late so we ate close to our lodging at Shinmai, a Japanese place in Oakland. I'm glad I happened to see the entrance online, as there is literally no signage—just a big open door with a Japanese mural in the background.

I ordered a pineapple miso soda because it sounded interesting. What I got tasted pretty much like a limeade soda. Still good... just no real hint of miso or pineapple. Our hamachi appetizer was simple but tasty and lightly salted. It packed a hit of citrus from the ponzu and a bit of mellow ocean flavor from the seaweed.

The tonkotsu ramen was very good. It had a rich, buttery broth, light in color, full of thin noodles. I added the himitsu "secret" sauce which tasted of chile oil with slight piney, herby notes. The chashu was savory and tender, and the soy egg was perfectly cooked and rich with flavor throughout. It all came together for a comforting bowl that really hit the spot after an eight-hour road trip up from SD.

We just got a couple of chocolate mochi cookie truffles for dessert out of curiosity. Essentially, they were comparable to a simple Oreo-based truffle, except with a chewy morsel of mochi in the center. Nothing you couldn't do at home, but it was a fairly satisfying end to the meal.

As I'll write about in the two posts to come, the Bay Area has some insanely good restaurants. Shinmai doesn't quite measure up to the best of San Francisco, but it was still a pretty solid start to our mini vacation.

Score: 7.5 out of 10 (Great)

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