Chef-Owner Nobu Iwahashi of Shalala sensed an opportunity to bring his Ramen expertise to Santa Clara and recently opened Kotetsu Ramen. He took over the Menta Ramen space and brought some of his izakaya dishes from Mt View over, but the ramen is completely different. At Kotetsu, other than a vegetarian version, the only ramen offered is one made with unctuously rich tonkotsu-based pork bone broth, flavored with either shio (salt) or shoyu (soy). Other than ramen, the limited menu offers a few small plates meant for sharing and individual sized rice bowls that can be topped with pork or an egg.
The fried chicken karaage is brought over from Shalala; however, it wasn’t quite as good as the version from the original location. Perhaps the fryer wasn’t brought up to the right temperature that day since it was more greasy than it’s Mt. View counterpart:
The Ramen Lunch Special came with Agedashi Fried Tofu the day we ate there:
The Shoyu Ramen was fatty rich and comforting. Chef Nobu-san really knows how to make perfect soft-boiled eggs. The tasty tender char-siu pork is sliced from rolled pork belly. The creamy soup contained plenty of hearty pork flavor:
The noodles are the same as that sourced for Shalala: the spongy, alkaline-salt based variety that makes for a delicious ramen bowl:
Although similar in concept to Shalala, the ramen bowls at Kotetsu are very different. Even though they do have beer and sake available, it will likely focus on Ramen with a limited small plates menu for now, rather than provide a full izakaya style experience.
Google Map: 2089 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050 (408) 557-0822