Last week I went out to dinner to try a brand spanking new ramen place called Menya Ultra. I was invited by Minion and Allison who were meeting up with their friends Frank and Penny. I invited Lynn from oh-so yummy to come and check it out, too!
When you get to the plaza, it says “Ramen Ultra” instead of Menya Ultra. This is in the same lot as Daiso off Clairemont Mesa Blvd. We went on a Wednesday evening and our party of 6 had to wait for quite awhile before we could get seated. Menya Ultra is a small space with not a ton of tables. If you go, parties of 2 and 3 had a much easier time getting a table than us!
There’s a long bar that accommodates the parties of 2 and 3. If you’re tall, you might even get to see them making the food. Short peeps like me don’t get to see stuff like that.
A few items on the menu were not available yet. But that’s okay because I already knew what kind of ramen I wanted to order.
There are blank order sheets at the table (but no pens or pencils – you have to ask for them) for you to fill out. We thought our waiter would just take the order sheets but instead he rewrote the orders onto another sheet which seemed to defeat the purpose of order sheets. Maybe they’re still learning or figuring out their order system.
Minion got an order of Fried Chicken [$4.95 for 6 pieces] and shared it with the group. I got one little nugget to try. I was expecting (hoping) for the chicken to be crunchier than it was. It seemed like an oversized piece of popcorn chicken to me. Juicy on the inside, decent exterior, but nothing amazing.
I ordered some Fried Gyoza [$2.45 for 3 pieces] as well. The gyoza had a pork and cabbage filling and luckily for me it tasted more porky than anything else. The exterior was crisp and crunchy and the whole thing tasted good with their dipping sauce. I like that they have 3 and 6 piece options, making it an affordable little appetizer.
Here’s Minion’s ramen dish – the Tonkotsu Ajitama Ramen [$9.95]. “Ajitama” is the flavored soft boiled egg that’s added to the dish. Minion also got that fancy fan of seaweed to make his ramen look more dramatic than mine. Cheater.
My ramen, the Tonkotsu Ramen [$8.95] looks plainer in comparison with no egg or fan of seaweed but don’t let that fool you. It’s a simpler looking but still had a ton of awesome flavor! The broth looked so milky and had a nice flavor. I’m not a ramen expert or anything so I can’t really break it down for you, but the broth tasted flavorful and good to me. The slice of pork was good and I loved the green onions in the ramen. I’m not too crazy about the wood ear mushrooms, but I ate a little bit of those.
What I really enjoyed the most about the ramen was the noodles! The noodles are handmade at Menya Ramen. They have an awesome texture – kind of chewy and springy with a good bite to them. I ate allllllll the noodles since they were my favorite part of the dish. I’d come back for another helping of these delicious noodles, that’s for sure!
I noticed that under desserts they had Ice Cream Tempura [$4.95]. I’ve never had ice cream tempura before so it was a no-brainer to order this for dessert. I think most of us at the table were curious and had an order. Allison commented that it tasted like “something from the fair” and after I had a bite it felt like the perfect comparison. It totally tasted like fair food!
There’s some kind of thick batter that holds the ice cream inside. There’s a crispy tempura coating on the outside of the batter/dough. It tasted like some like of fried bread or fried biscuit to me with the cold, creamy ice cream inside. You get the hot-cold sensation from eating this and it melts and gets a little messy. I thought it was a unique dessert to try! It’s a bit heavy and a little greasy so not something I’d want all of the time, but I’d share it again with someone if they wanted to order it.
8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego CA 92111