I suggested to Jilly that we meet up for lunch at Ninja Ramen, a Naruto-themed ramen shop, after my hair appointment just down the block. I got to Ninja Ramen a little after 12:30 and got my name down on the list. With only a 20 – 25 minute wait, I headed off to do a quick errand at another store in the shopping center. I also ran into a few people I know. Turns out, they, too, were waiting for a table at Ninja Ramen. Quite a popular place! It’s only been open a few days and it looks like they’ve been busy since it opened.
My phone rang about a half hour later to let me know our table was ready. Not bad, considering all of the tables were full. The restaurant only seats 20, from what I counted. It is close quarters. Close enough that when the child at the table next to you accidentally flings their soda from the table, you will end up wet.
We were disappointed that they were already out of takoyaki. This is not something you see on many menus around Lancaster, so I had been looking forward to trying theirs. Next time! We ended up having gyoza and pork buns instead. The bun for the pork buns had a nice springiness to it and the vegetables were crispy.
I ordered the pork tonkotsu ramen. The broth was silky and rich, as a tonkotsu should be, with a hint of ginger. The noodles were done al dente. Only two things disappointed me: first, the bowl was served without narutomaki (noted on the menu as "fish cake") and second, the chashu was some of the driest I have ever had. Our server quickly rectified the narutomaki situation when I let him know it was missing and came out with a small bowl containing a few pieces for us to add to our bowls. The broth helped with the chashu, too.
Jilly had the spicy version of the pork tonkotsu ramen. I tried it and the broth was also very good with a really nice warmth to it.
The Naruto gimmick is fun. The ramen is good. It’s not the best I’ve ever had, but for a ramen shop in the middle of Lancaster? Definitely worth stopping in for a bowl.