Ramen, boba tea, and Korean bakeries 🍜

Posted on 2017 April 17 in Food, Life

I’ve mentioned before that learning Japanese has opened new doors for me in a lot of different ways, including introducing me to new and incredible people. Recently, I met one of the girls who’s also studying abroad with me in Japan! We’re going to the same school and studying the same material, so we instantly clicked when we met. Both of us love the Japanese language, and it’s so fun finally having someone to talk at length with about the language.

After meeting her, she introduced me to her friend who’s a Japanese exchange student studying at the community college in my city. I will refer to her as S, and my other friend will be known as C. Anyway, this weekend we met up for ramen and some exciting adventures! We met up on Sunday night because I had to go into work at 1am (ugh), so it was their plan to help me stay awake so I could tackle my ridiculous shift. I’m forever thankful. 💜

First, we met up at Jinya’s Ramen Bar, which has some incredible ramen. I tend to order the spicy tonkotsu ramen, but I get it extra hot. 🔥 My lips were burning by the time I finished, but it was so worth it! C ordered a non-spicy ramen, but told our waiter, “I want it so spicy it makes me cry,” which got a laugh out of S and me. Prior to sitting down, we’d been talking about the Korean fire noodle challenge, so I think C felt inspired to order something that was similar to this. Her ramen was so hot that she did cry! 😱 It was even hotter than my ramen, ha.

My friend’s super spicy ramen! 🌶

S was the smartest of us three and ordered the least spicy ramen, which meant she was the first to finish and wasn’t frantically sipping her water! My mom wants me to take her to Jinya’s someday, and I can’t wait to see what she chooses to try. 😉 I’ll have to teach her the art of chopsticks…

After ramen, C and S decided we needed to go to a boba café because I’d admitted over dinner that I’d never actually tried boba before. It just didn’t seem like my cup of tea, no pun intended. But since I was open to trying new things at that point and was having fun, I drove us to their favorite café nearby the ramen restaurant.

I had S order for me since I had no idea what to order (seriously, their menu was so long!), and she ended up ordering a really basic milk tea for me that she said was her favorite. If you’re not sure what boba is, it looks a bit like this:

It’s essentially bubble tea which contains a tea base shaken or mixed with fruit or milk, and chewy pieces (like fruit balls) are added at the bottom. I was surprised I actually liked it! I’m usually not the biggest fan of teas, but I really liked what S picked out for me. I was also surprised I was a fan of the squishy jellies at the bottom since I’m not usually a fan of squishy textures. I’ll definitely try it again, but I’d like to try more flavors! 😁

After this, we headed to Crown Bakery! It’s definitely got the aesthetic thing going on, and it was comfortably warm inside. The seating was really neat and I felt like we could all sit together without being three feet away from one another. At Jinya’s, the tables are really wide so you’re far from the people across from you!

It’s a Korean bakery, and a few of their sweets are Korean-inspired, but I ended up buying a small pack of 3 chocolate macarons since I wasn’t too hungry after ramen and boba. We were really there because it was 11:30pm and nothing was open anymore, but it was a great place to stop in!

They also had Hello Kitty macarons so…win-win. 🎀

Featured image found on Crown Bakery’s Yelp! page.

Comments on this post

  1. Yay for making new friends with similar interest 😀 This sounds like a fun outing before your 1:00am shift (why are you even working that late?!) The ramen looks great, but I would have gone with the least to medium spicy ramen, too. I don’t like it when my meal becomes too uncomfortable to eat XD

    I am surprised you didn’t try boba until now! I love boba. Those tapioca balls in different drinks are awesome. I haven’t had boba in a while — not since one of my co-workers bought me some the couple of weeks ago. I keep forgetting that a new placed opened up near where I work, so I should get it more often! XD

    Crown Bakery cracked me up. I love their snack items in the grocery market, and I used to frequent one of their bakeries here, but now I hardly see those around. I see mostly Paris Baguette/Croissant and Tous les Jours now. Chocolate macarons sounds yummy! I wouldn’t mind some now!

    • I haven’t tried non-spicy ramen yet (I’m too hooked on the spicy one I get at this restaurant), so I’m interested to try other ramen flavors! I have tried my friends’ broths before and enjoyed them, but I’m a bit biased about the ramen I order at Jinya. LOL.

      Ah, get yourself some boba, Tara! I really want to go back and try other flavors as well as milk combinations since I can’t generally have milk. 😛 So I’d like to try the almond milk option!

  2. That’s so great that you clicked straight away with the girl you’ll be studying abroad with. That definitely makes things a bit easy when you get there!

    RAMEN IS THE BEST. Honestly, I could eat ramen everyday and not bad an eyelid.

    I’m so glad you got to try boba because that is also y favourite. My fave flavour is vanilla, but I can throw down with a basic milk tea any day.

    Sounds like a fun adventure! All the best ones include food 😛

  3. I used to love bubble tea/boba but I get sick of the tapioca pearls (the balls, whatever you call them haha) after some time. Also, I’m kinda lactose intolerant so milk has gotta be soy for me, and not a lot of boba places do soy. I usually go for roasted black tea or something slightly fruity. Depends on my mood. But since you can get other toppings, not just the pearls, I like to get jelly or custard. When I had my first boba I was like “what the fuck” and spat out some of the pearls because they tasted weird. But I definitely think you get used to it. It’s a bit of an acquired taste.

    Whether it’s Japanese ramen or other noodles, I do like a spicy bowl sometimes. I don’t like it too spicy, because it just tastes like nothing. One time I went to a famous restaurant, famous for its spicy noodles, and I got a “medium spicy” which just burned the hell out of my tongue and I was properly crying. I like it to be spicy and have that lip-numbing feeling, but not so that I can’t taste anything. Then it’s not even fun or enjoyable.

    • Yeah the first sip of my tea wasn’t exactly pleasant, but after a few sips I really enjoyed it! I’m also lactose intolerant (and forgot to mention that to my friend), so I think next time I’ll likely get it with almond milk. Luckily enough, this boba place offers non-dairy options — even coconut milk! Unfortunately, it’s 30-45 minutes from my house so it’s absolutely a treat, ha.

      Ah, agreed! My noodles were spicy enough to numb my lips but not so spicy that I couldn’t taste how delicious they were. My mom can handle extreme heat and I’ll never be sure how; she loves it too.