The SE Portland location is small, casual, and full of natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that surround the family-style tables. You simply order at the small counter and are very quickly served savory, aromatic bowls of the good stuff.
There are three different bowls of ramen everyday - two meat, one vegan - and on Saturdays, the menu looks a little something like this:
Marukin Paitan Shio (まるきんラーメン塩)
Paitan - Creamy chicken based broth
Marukin Red (まるきんレッド)
Spicy Marukin ramen in Paitan broth
Marukin Vegan Tonyu (まるきんビーガンラーメン)
OTA Tofu soymilk broth with onions, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and kombu
While friends raved about the meat versions, Z and I slurped up every last bite of our vegan creation ($10/bowl). The broth was incredibly flavorful, the vegetables abundant and fresh, and the portion size almost too big to finish (but we still managed). Alongside our bowls of ramen, we also enjoyed the Ebi Tiger (5 pieces, $8), plump, deep-fried tiger shrimp Karaage-style (meaning, similar to tempura), as well as the Takikomi Onigiri (1 piece, $2.50) - onigiri made with traditional Japanese rice and seasoned with dashi, shoyu, and mushrooms.
My first experience at Marukin was delightfully successful (and delicious), not to mention affordable! I'll definitely be back for more slurp-worthy bowls of ramen soon.
Are you a ramen fan? If so, which restaurant serves your favorite ramen in Portland?