Fukumi Ramen: fresh interpretation of Japanese cuisine

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(JULIE NGUYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)

JULIE NGUYEN

There are a lot of things to be mad about right now. COVID-19 is robbing thousands of people of their income, livelihoods and wellbeing. For this year’s senior class, senior ball, graduation and any other senior activities likewise seem to be lost to the wind.

(JULIE NGUYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)

PICTURED: Honey garlic chicken appetizer

The one thing I’m absolutely not mad about? Fukumi Ramen.

Three weeks ago, the world was different when I entered through the doors of this unsuspecting ramen house – a portal, if you will. Roseville, despite being the poster child of suburbia, to me has always had a good amount of restaurants to choose from. However until the past few months, Roseville has strangely been completely void of any ramen-oriented joints.

My family and I were greeted by a modern but cozy interior. Despite coming on one of  Fukumi Ramen’s grand opening days (and receiving a notable 20% discount off the whole menu), there already seemed to be a loyal customer-base as half of the restaurant was already occupied.

My family and I got two of their appetizers – the honey garlic chicken and the gyoza. No exaggeration – the honey garlic chicken was an out of body experience that I would gladly go through any day, at any time. The delicate juxtaposition of the honey alongside the briny garlic seasoning melted in my mouth – truly living up to its namesake as an appetizer. The gyoza was not as new to me as its counterpart, however the tenderness of the dumpling fulfilled a feral need in me that I hadn’t known I had prior.

For my main meal, I ordered the “fukumi ramen bowl”, and just like Fukumi Ramen itself, the bowl was warm and intimate. The noodles were perfectly soft – playing their part in this show that was the ramen bowl, but quickly departing for the starring role. According to Fukumi Ramen, the broth stewed for 72 hours to a

PICTURED: Fukumi ramen bowl consisting of chashu pork, egg, mung bean sprouts, and more

chieve the indescribable richness that unfolded in my mouth. I felt every hour of this in my soul as I waded through egg, green onions and the perfectly seasoned garlic oil.

During this escapade, I was met with buttery braised chashu pork. I didn’t quite know love before I encountered it, but like Glinda, I have been changed for the better. When they say food melts — they are most definitely always talking about the chashu pork from Fukumi Ramen. This pork absolutely melted in my mouth. I’ve had chashu pork that was stiff as a brick. Sometim

PICTURED: Side of  chashu pork

es, even food that supposedly “melts” feels fatty and leaves me feeling sick. Absolutely none of this was applicable to the chashu pork, which effectively uprooted all I know about food and ruined my life for any other type of meat.

Fukumi Ramen is definitely an investment. The ramen bowls are all around $11.00 or more, and the appetizers are quite pricey for the average high schooler at around $5.00. They also offer rice bowls with curry at around the same price as the appetizers and have some vegetarian options. It’s not the cheapest place, but what you get out of it, in my opinion, is more than worth the price.

I would know. I’ve been there twice since.