Dec 9, 2013

Eats: Ramen at Tiger Den

This place opened while I was in the Middle East and it was one the places I wanted to try when I got home. So, when temps dropped in Houston last Friday, I felt it was perfect weather for some ramen. Luckily since I'm not working, I was able to make it there by 5:30pm. Even then there was already a wait, albeit a short one.

I dragged my mom along with me. She ordered the spicy miso ramen. Even though that's usually my go-to ramen dish, I ended up ordering the garlic black bean ramen for variety. Of the two, I liked the spicy miso more. It definitely had more flavor than the garlic black bean one which, I found rather bland.

I'm no ramen connoisseur so I'm not even going to bother talking about the dish in detail. However, I did notice the noodles they use tasted homemade, it was soft not like the instant ramen noodles I'm used to in college. I also noticed that their togarashi (spicy red pepper flakes) wasn't very spicy - I kept dousing it in my ramen but, my dish never got spicy enough. I guess there's different levels of togarashi spiciness?

In addition to the ramen, my mom and I ordered chicken heart skewers from the robata grill. It was good - had nice sauce glazed on it. I would've ordered more from the robata grill but, I wanted to save room for dessert.

I heard great things about their pandan custard doughnuts. Damn, they didn't disappoint! The doughnuts were so soft and airy. At first my mom and I didn't think we'd be able to finish it but, them doughnuts were so delicious and light, we kept chomping away. The pandan custard came as a dip. It reminded me of a jam we have in Indonesia called, srikaya, which happens to be one of my favorite jams. Oh, I wish Tiger Den would sell it in a jar, I'd buy a dozen!!

The restaurant isn't very baby-friendly. We were seated in a booth and on my way to the bathroom, I saw they have high chairs and booster seats. But, they can't place the high chairs at the end of the booth. I understand why. The restaurant is quite tight and servers are carrying bowls of hot ramen around so, a high chair would get in the way. Luckily, I have this Fisher Price booster chair that I brought along with me and I was able to sit my baby in it on the booth. His booster chair wasn't secured but, at least he was strapped in to the booster chair.

In my book, Tiger Den can't compare to the ramen shops I've visited in California or New York but, it's definitely a start for Houston.

Spicy miso ramen

Garlic black bean ramen

Chicken heart skewers

Extra chashu

Pandan custard doughnuts

Tiger Den
9889 Bellaire Blvd (Dun Huang complex)
Houston, TX

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