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#41 Jill-O

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:41 AM


Thanks Jill... Try Picasa... it's really easy to adjust light in your photos.

Here is the menu with the sake pairings from the Portland Food Adventures dinner last week.

Posted Image

I have to ask....how much did this cost?



$125 and it also included the two cocktails and the sunomono salad which are not on the menu. Plus you get about $60 worth of certificates to 5-6 places recommended by the chef.
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#42 pyrofemme

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:35 AM

Hubs and I went last night to have nice little dinner out. No wait at 7pm but the place was relatively crowded. There was one 2-top, space and the communal table and some seats at the bar. We opted for the bar.

It took me a long time to decide on a cocktail because I had no idea what would pair with my ramen but I went for the Sayuri 9 (vodka, gin, creme de cassis, lillet) which I sipped while waiting for our small plates. For starters we went with the barbeque octopus and onigiri. The octopus was a little charred but incredibly tender and it was served atop a scallion/ginger emulsion that was a beautiful shade of green and paired very nicely with the octopus. I only wish there was more on the plate. We had 2 different onigiri, one with prawn-bacon-tomato and the ume shiso. The ume shiso was a clear winner although they were both enjoyable. Ok fine, the ume shiso was so good we ordered another.

Husband chose the aburasoba ramen which is ramen with toppings minus the broth. I don't recall all the toppings but kimchi, pork belly and egg was in there for sure. I only had one bite but it was really delicious. Those are some serious noodles, love the bite on them - and the kimchi added a really nice acidity and spice. I ordered the Wafu ramen + pork belly and egg. The ramen was served with scallions, corn, fishcakes and nori. The same noodles are used here and they were very good but I was blown away by the broth. Granted my knowledge is limited to local places, but this was definitely the best ramen I've ever had. The broth was intensely rich and darker than most ramens I've had before. The pork and egg were both fantastic elements but I found myself wishing I had 2 eggs. I thought I wasn't going to like the corn but it added an interesting texture and delicate sweetness. They also offer dragon sauce to spice it up but I didn't get any this time. I couldn't quite finish my whole bowl but that's what the husband is for.

We followed up the soup and finished off our meal with an yuzu ume cream puff. The pastry was served warm split in half with the cool cream sandwiched in the middle. It was not very sweet which is perfect for me. I enjoyed the contrast of the temperatures and the subtle sweetness with the tartness of the ume.

Service at the bar was good. The bartender was friendly and answered all our questions, even letting us sample the sake on tap since we had never seen that before. He tried to help me pick a cocktail but the whole cocktails plus ramen just didn't really mesh for me. Even though I enjoyed my cocktail, I will probably just order a beer next time. Thankfully they have a pretty nice selection on tap (7 if I recall) plus bottles/cans.

Overall it was a really great meal. After my first taste of the ramen, I immediately thought - I hope we can come back tomorrow night. And it's a good thing there was music and conversational noise because I was making stupid yummy noises with every bite. I couldn't control it. Seriously, I normally hate when people make any sort of noise while eating. Minor gripes - no purse hooks at the bar, tiny water glasses, no chopstick rest.

We may or may not be going back tonight. $55 for food and drink, not including gratuity.

#43 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:47 AM

Can't believe there (apparently) isn't a thread for Wafu yet!
Am I missing it?? Old FIN thread perhaps? Also tried to find mention in the "ramen in portland" thread. Nothing...

Tried 3 of the $8 ramen broth options so far (out of five). And tried all of the topping choices. Tried all schocus and several cocktails. Tried 75% of the late night snacks/grub. Everything but the higher end, early evening menu options that more resemble FIN days.

In a word: SPECTACULAR.

I haven't been to boke bowl yet, but I can't imagine how anyone's broth (or noodles) could possibly be any more perfectly balanced and so blatantly hand crafted. Miso broth is busy and creamy and luxurious. Shoyu broth uniquely earthy. The Shio broth is still my fave with it's sesame/salt balance and excellent, clean yet flavorful texture. Slow poached egg is merely a single buck more (!) and I've yet to have a more perfectly cooked egg ANYWHERE. Like Tasty and Sons in terms of perfect egg cooking. Other fave add on is the confit chicken leg for the price of all other add ons. A modest $2. How can they sell this stuff in such a gorgeous place for so cheap?? Total for described ramen with all add ons: $11.

Best cocktail I've had in PDX since Kelly Swenson's celery bitter fizz things years ago at Ten01. $8, can't remember the name, but it's a "bomb" style drink where you drop the ice cold ceramic shot glass brimming with sloe gin berry eau de vie into a large freezing cold glass of house made Shandy, tart with lemon, not too sweet at all, based on Kirin Ichiban. BOOM! Ice crystals and fresh, tart lemon make this a bit too easy to slam for a quick eight bucks smoked. Bar is where they make their margin .... obviously. Makes sense.
i
Snacks: Flavorful preparation of edamame in spicy chili oil, inari hot pockets with fontina, stellar giant fresh shrimp tempura prepped as nuggets dressed two ways: scallion mayo and spicymayo, daikon dressed deliciously on the side. $6 Most other small dishes are $5-6 bucks and are large to huge portions. beef skewers (3) are enough to make the protein for a meal for one.

That's all I can think of at this time. This is easily my new go to along with MMM and Tanuki for truly excellent CRAFT food in comfy ambience for a reasonable price (if I'm not drinking too much... nuki and mmm still about 40% cheaper on good booze)
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#44 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:50 AM

Don't see where my topic description showed up, so here is the info again:
3113 SE Division (next to Whisky Soda Lounge)
Apparently now 7 nights a week, til 11 or later.

Also, spelling correction: schochus
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#45 nervousxtian

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:13 AM

http://portlandfood....pic/12078-wafu/

It's here, 4 letter words don't come up in search very good.

#46 ducky

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:12 AM

Merged
Pamela

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship.
It is of great importance to the morale.

-Elsa Schiaparelli

(Avatar is the cover of Sunlight Cafe by Mollie Katzen)

#47 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:17 PM

Thanks for merge. Is strange because I didn't search for it, but I did scroll through the first 3 pages of current discussions and Wafu was nowhere to be found. I can't believe that it never gets talked about, because I'm pretty picky all things considered and I haven't had better food service or drinks in portland in years. As a good yes. But not better.
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#48 nomnom

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:14 PM

I'm pretty picky all things considered and I haven't had better food service or drinks in portland in years. As a good yes. But not better.


I could not agree with you more.

We have eaten at WAFU about 7-8 times since they opened and have had excellent meals and service each time. We actually made a rule about a month ago called no more wafu until we try out a few other places that have been on our list for awhile. I miss it!

I was a huge FIN fan and sad to see it close. I am also not a ramen fan so I was upset when Mr. Pierce announced he was opening a ramen joint. In all of our times there we have yet to try the ramen. We just typically order all of the specials and a few of the hot and cold small plates. Variations of many of my FIN favorites have made appearances on the Wafu menu.

A few highlights from what we have ordered in our visits there
- seared lamb tongue with truffle and ponzu
- grilled skirt steak with a miso, ginger, scallion sauce
- all variations of their ceviche and we especially love their Thai-flavors ceviche
- cured saba with crystallized ginger and balsamic
- roasted crab hand roll
- the daily specials have all been fabulous

I think the only thing we were meh about was the wings but we are spoiled with frequent Whiskey Soda Lounge Ike's Fish Sauce wings carryout.

Excellent service as well and for the quality of the items everything has been a great value.

And......now I want to go there tonight.

#49 The Wannabe Gourmand

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:20 PM

I couldn't agree more. I've eaten at Wafu several times (it's 15 min walk from my house) and never had a bad meal or a bad dish. Great addition to our growing "SE Division restaurant row".

#50 friedalighthouse

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 04:06 PM

We went last night after a traumatic clothes-dryer experience involving Lowe's (long story!), and we needed something comforting, like a bowl of noodle soup. We went to Wafu for the first time, and it was perfect. We got the special of wok-sauteed mussels with sliced small potatoes, and we appreciated this unusual take on mussels (we were licking the shells, it was so good). We got two different broths, both with mushrooms (too salty, I thought), with an addition of slow-poached egg on mine and smoked pork for Mr. friedalighthouse. The smoked pork added a lot of depth to his ramen; I'll get it next time. And the service was cheerful and friendly, as well as informative. We'll definitely return.

#51 HappyHourHero

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 04:45 PM

I need to re-try Wafu. I only went once a few months ago. I recall the ramen being good, but spicy. I got a sushi roll that was on special that boasted a high grade tuna, that was completely underwhelming. We also got a clay pot rice and fish dish that was decent. Overall, I was not impressed, but sounds like people are having good experiences there.

#52 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:55 AM

HappyHourHero, you musta had an off night. I just went again tonight for the fifth time. Absolutely flawless. Everything is completely perfect. Amazing flavors. Amazing balance. Every small dish, the ramen, and the drinks are spectacular and fairly priced
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#53 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:03 AM

I need to re-try Wafu. I only went once a few months ago. I recall the ramen being good, but spicy. I got a sushi roll that was on special that boasted a high grade tuna, that was completely underwhelming. We also got a clay pot rice and fish dish that was decent. Overall, I was not impressed, but sounds like people are having good experiences there.

Another note...spicy? You sure you went to Wafu?!? The five broth options have zero spicy elements whatsoever. You have to request "spicy" (last add on,zero charge) for a side of spicy red pepper paste to add yourself if you want any spiciness whatsoever. Otherwise,the ramem, while delicious, is devoid of any spiciness whatsoever
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#54 HappyHourHero

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:10 PM


I need to re-try Wafu. I only went once a few months ago. I recall the ramen being good, but spicy. I got a sushi roll that was on special that boasted a high grade tuna, that was completely underwhelming. We also got a clay pot rice and fish dish that was decent. Overall, I was not impressed, but sounds like people are having good experiences there.

Another note...spicy? You sure you went to Wafu?!? The five broth options have zero spicy elements whatsoever. You have to request "spicy" (last add on,zero charge) for a side of spicy red pepper paste to add yourself if you want any spiciness whatsoever. Otherwise,the ramem, while delicious, is devoid of any spiciness whatsoever

Crap, that's supposed to say salty.

#55 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:04 PM



I need to re-try Wafu. I only went once a few months ago. I recall the ramen being good, but spicy. I got a sushi roll that was on special that boasted a high grade tuna, that was completely underwhelming. We also got a clay pot rice and fish dish that was decent. Overall, I was not impressed, but sounds like people are having good experiences there.

Another note...spicy? You sure you went to Wafu?!? The five broth options have zero spicy elements whatsoever. You have to request "spicy" (last add on,zero charge) for a side of spicy red pepper paste to add yourself if you want any spiciness whatsoever. Otherwise,the ramem, while delicious, is devoid of any spiciness whatsoever

Crap, that's supposed to say salty.

Makes way more sense! Thanks for clarification (no pun intended):-)
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#56 Jill-O

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

Had an amazing dinner last night. Really, really good stuff. Special of salmon belly hand roll was awesome, as was the on-menu crab roll. Delicious lamb tongue, tried the non-soup ramen noodle dish and added chicken confit (worth it and delicious). Least fave, but still delicious, was the octopus and potato salad . Great sake list.

Had a fun time sitting at the open kitchen bar. There were plenty of tables/seats when we walked in around 6pm, but by 6:30 it was pretty darn crowded. Go early!

It took a while to get the GF to go, but I am so glad that she came around. Ever since that Portland Food Adventure dinner, I have wanted to return...

GO!
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#57 pyrofemme

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:31 PM

Got an email from Wafu yesterday:

SUPER RAMEN BOWL SUNDAY @ WAFU

In honor of the 46th Super Bowl, WAFU will be offering $4.60 bowls of ramen,
with 46 cent add-ons.

We'll also be introducing an insanely good lineup of BAO for just 46 cents each.

WAFU will not be airing the game so watch at home and then come in to celebrate, lick your wounds or just hang with us
on Sunday February 5th, 5p-11p.



#58 vrunka

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:10 PM

I don't know why it took me so long to go to Wafu. The menu just didn't look that exciting, I guess. But we finally went on Friday night and, man, it was awesome. Everything was excellent, but the standouts were the lotus root salad and the lamb tongue. The only thing I didn't love were the cream puffs for dessert, but then again, I'm generally not a big fan of choux so that one's probably more me than them. Prices are quite reasonable. We ate more than our fill and had a couple drinks and the bill was under $50.

The space is way bigger than I thought it was. I had no idea that they had that whole big back room which must seat almost 30. The Japanese movies being projected on the wall were a nice touch.

It was 8:00 on a Friday night when we got there and though it was hopping, there were still several tables open. By a little after 9, we were the only party in the back room.

#59 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 06:27 PM

I don't know why it took me so long to go to Wafu. The menu just didn't look that exciting, I guess. But we finally went on Friday night and, man, it was awesome. Everything was excellent, but the standouts were the lotus root salad and the lamb tongue. The only thing I didn't love were the cream puffs for dessert, but then again, I'm generally not a big fan of choux so that one's probably more me than them. Prices are quite reasonable. We ate more than our fill and had a couple drinks and the bill was under $50.

The space is way bigger than I thought it was. I had no idea that they had that whole big back room which must seat almost 30. The Japanese movies being projected on the wall were a nice touch.

It was 8:00 on a Friday night when we got there and though it was hopping, there were still several tables open. By a little after 9, we were the only party in the back room.

Right on vrunka! I have no personal ties to wafu, but I LOVE it! Feel like their poster child. May be my crush on the cute boy bartender ;-)
So glad you experienced it and feel the same way I do. Excellent value, staff, drinks,and FOOD.
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#60 Nacho_B

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

Hola,

Wafu had some great specials for Superbowl Sunday, and who was I to pass that up?

They had ramen bowls for $4.60 (with $0.46 add-ons) and bao for $0.46/per.

That was my third time there. I've always gotten a bowl of ramen (with the mushrooms and the egg added in), and I always get the spicy addition (which is free...it's a housemade "sriracha style" hotsauce that comes on the side in a small sake cup). It's a tasty hot sauce. I stir out as much of it from the tiny sake cup as I can with chopsticks, then pour some of the broth in to get out even more, and then have always ended up (as discreetly as possible) licking off any excess from the outside of the cup. It's good stuff.

It was packed last night when I went in there, they were slammed. The word clearly had gotten out about their Superbowl specials. Fortunately, I was blessed with the magic of the solo diner. Wafu, in particular, is well suited for the solo diner. They have bar seating at the bar and at the open kitchen. I was ushered past a number of groups waiting for a table for their larger numbers as soon as I asked the hostess if she "had room for one". The solo diner trick doesn't always work, but it works more often than not.

I enjoyed the ramen as much as I have before (which is to say a lot). They make a fine bowl of soup. I just went with my normal mushroom and egg additions, in spite of the sweet pricing for the add-ons. Their ramen works just fine for me that way, and I didn't want to seem greedy or exploitative. I *really* enjoyed the bao, and ended up wishing I had ordered some more of those. They were (for lack of a better definition) folded "taco style" bao, as opposed to the "doughnut style" fully enclosed versions. My version had (to the best of my recollection) pan fried chicken, marinated carrots and daikon, cilantro, kewpie mayo, and some other flavor/sauce. While the ingredients were "bahn mi", the flavors were different. It was very tasty and enjoyable. At 46 cents it was certainly a loss-leader, but I had some sake too (which is my custom at Wafu). I thought about ordering some more bao later, but once I finished my soup I wasn't hungry anymore.

As busy as it was, things moved right along. I was seated at the last chair at the open kitchen bar, so I had a good view of the action. It all looked very smooth and coordinated. There seemed to be some awkward reaches across boiling cauldrons of broth to get pans and bowls from the dishwasher to the food preparation area, but I've never worked in or designed a professional kitchen, so that's on them.

It was a good meal, and there was a lot of energy in the place that night. If they were worried that it would be a slow night, then those worries were put to rest. If the specials were set up to bring in new customers to the place, I think they were successful. I overheard a number of people talking about how this was their fist time in. If nothing else, I appreciated the discounts on the ramen and bao, and very much enjoyed my meal.

¡Buen provecho!