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Santouka Ramen, Cambridge

Santouka is a Japanese based ramen chain that has outposts all over the world; Harvard Square is the first New England location. I went to Charles and Sumita on a Monday night. Unlike my other ramen experiences, we were able to walk in and get a table without waiting. The space is industry and sleek; a stark contrast to the homey feel of Yumewokatare.

They claim to still be in the soft opening phase, so there is only a limited menu available. I had the Shio ($11.25) which is their signature ramen. It is a mild and creamy soup seasoned with salt. I opted for the 5 addition pieces of pork belly ($4). You can upgrade for a dollar more, or down size for a dollar less.

I liked my noodles; they were yellow and springy. The pork was also tender and unctuous. My only complaint was that it was a tad salty. Shio means salt in Japanese so maybe that was to be expected. The menu prices seems high, but Harvard Square real estate is costly. Overall, I prefer Yumewokatare, but it's hard to justify waiting in line for 45 minutes when there are alternatives.

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