Harumama Noodles and Buns recently soft opened. The restaurant offers an array of Japanese, Chinese and Korean inspired dishes including adorable character steamed buns, savory baos, sushi rolls and ramen.
I couldn’t resist visiting almost immediately to try out some of the menu.
Character Steamed Buns (Pig, Panda, Chicken)
Of course, I had to order the character steamed buns. They currently offer four different kinds: pig, mushroom, panda, and chicken. The first two are savory and the latter are sweet. Unfortunately, as of this point, there is no option to mix and match or get a combination to try them all. We decided to try three of the four sets.
Of the ones we tried, my favorite was the pig. The pig buns are filled with caramelized onions and shredded pork. The buns were quite fluffy and the filling had just the right balance of sweet and savory for me.
The chicken buns are filled with a sweet custard. I thought the buns and filling were a tad on the dry side.
The panda ones were filled with purple sweet potato. I enjoyed these more than the custard. The vibrant purple filling was sweet, soft and not dry at all.
Pork Belly Buns
We also chose a few baos to try. Pork belly topped with hoisin sauce, garlic chips and cilantro as well as their cabbage slaw and cucumbers. I quite enjoyed these. The charred pork belly was wonderfully tender. The cabbage slaw added some texture and lightness to the dish. I did find the cabbage slaw a little too watery though. Once I bit in, the slaw dressing kept dripping out.
We enjoyed the duck version even more than the pork belly. The duck was cooked to a perfect medium, seasoned with five spice and dressed with hoisin sauce, fried garlic, cilantro, slaw and cucumbers. Again, the slaw made it a little messy for me, but we really enjoyed the flavors of the buns.
The restaurant also serves a contemporary twist on traditional ramen, adding ingredients like brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, and other ingredients that are not usually found in traditional ramen.
The flying pig features a chicken and tonkotsu broth, pork chashu, brussels sprouts, fried garlic, and egg.
The thick cuts of pork were tender with a sweet caramelized finish. It was my favorite part of this bowl of ramen. Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy the rest of it. The noodles were quite soft, the broth lacked the rich intense pork flavor.
This ramen features tonkotsu broth, duck chashu, bok choy, miso, fried garlic, and egg. The duck pieces were slightly overcooked, but were still fairly tender. I also felt this broth lacked the rich creaminess I look for in a tonkotsu broth. The noodles were also too soft for my liking, lacking any chew or pull.
Overall, we liked the savory buns and fun character steamed buns. The ramen needs a little work, but it is soft opening. The servers were very friendly but the food did take a while to arrive. I’m looking forward to trying a few more menu items (they have a lot to choose from!) and I hope they are able to work out the kinks.
Tip: During this soft opening period, everything is 20% off. I believe the offer is good through Feb 8, but you may want to confirm with the restaurant.
Harumama Noodles and Buns
1901 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101