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Ramen Station

In a word: Almost all aboard.

The specs: #01026  
1124 S Park St., 53715
Details at Yelp, official web site, Facebook

Latest Ramen Station news and reviews

JM ate the curry chicken with a Mello Yello.
Nichole ate the shoyu ramen with a ginger cooler.
We split some bacon enoki mushroom skewers.
The bill was $31, or $15.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Ramen Station a  B+ (see our grading rubric).

Ramen Station is very unassuming.  Its location was once a Cousins Subs, and while everything has been replaced and the dining room is well-appointed, nothing here is too ostentatious or gaudy. The emphasis is on the simple rather than the blatant, but with character.

Ramen Station seems to have a deeper menu (than Madison's other Japanese restaurants) of 'things Westerners have not likely tried.' This did cause JM a small amount of dithering, but Nichole appreciated the choices available. One wonders if this was perhaps more like comfort food - none of that touristy stuff.

Bacon enoki mushroom skewers

Nichole's ginger cooler was nice and, well, cool. It arrived shortly before our wonderful bacon and mushroom skewers.  These were hot upon arrival but were consumed in short order. Each bite was a wonderful chewy balance between the stringy, earthy mushrooms, and the bacon, which was exactly like a nice chewy piece of bacon.  Plus they smelled really good.

Chicken curry

JM eschewed ramen this time in favor of the curry chicken kotsu. (He didn't want any surprises lurking just beneath the top of the broth.) The curry flavor was unparalleled and the chicken was quite well prepared, but there were a lot of veggies, like potatoes, that felt like filler given the relative amount.  Nichole overheard another table being informed that sauce was from a packet.  Who knows?

Nichole got the same meal she tried at Ramen Kid, which allowed her to compare and contrast.  On the plus side here were the noodles, which were more substantial and less likely to flop around.  Sadly, though, the pork and, more importantly, the broth was better at the Kid.

Shoyu ramen

Will there be more additions to Madison's ramen scene?  It seems possible, given that neither of the two locations we visited needed a large footprint and both seemed to have enough customers. You can certainly get full on a bowl of soup here.

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Japanese curry-from-a-packet is a Thing.

Basically, if you eat japanese curry anywhere (even japan), it's likely prepared from a boxed package (usually from S&B, but there are other brands) of what look like bakers chocolate. Comes in varying levels of spice, from mild to "extra hot" which isn't actually all *that* hot (because Japan). It's big business and curry-from-a-package over rice is practically a staple food.

(I guess the big national brand in Japan makes bafflingly-named varieties like "Vermont Curry" and "Space Curry.")

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