With the giant Ramen boom in the Bay Area, it’s difficult to figure out which ramen shops are really worth trying. Many places threw authenticity out the window, and created Western twists of the classic Japanese comfort food. Hawker Eats in the Richmond, however, successfully kept the authentic flavor while introducing slight changes to their menu, creating rich broths and decadent toppings in their noodle soups.
Hawker Eats, crowd wise, can be a hit or miss. There are about six or so tables, and it’s a toss up on when it is super busy or easy to snag a table. Either way, it’s worth the wait!
They have a wide range of appetizers, from Takoyaki (Fried Octopus Balls) to Wagyu Beef, as well as Seared Ahi Tuna, Greens, and other bites of meat. Their full menu offers dishes such as Japanese Curry, Izakaya style skewers, and multiple different Ramen choices with a variety of toppings. The Takoyaki tasted just like the Takoyaki Mom&Pop stands in Osaka, the Ahi Tuna was dripping in a delicious Ponzu sauce, and the Wagyu beef was just… perfect.
Below is the K.O. Ramen, the classic Tonkotsu broth with Pork Belly, Pork Cheek, a poached egg, and garlic sesame oil. As a ramen addict who sticks to the classics, this ramen flavor pleased my desire for authentic broth, but had an extra layer of flavor from the garlic sesame oil and the juicy portions of pork. I would’ve ordered and eaten 5 of these if I could!
Underneath the K.O. Ramen is the Spicy Miso Ramen with tender slices of duck (my favorite!), Brussel Sprouts, corn, and a poached egg. This ramen was definitely erring on the Westernized side, with the unforgivingly red broth and the heaps of non-traditional toppings. The duck, however, was flawless and rich in flavor, and the broth wasn’t overly spicy, giving the noodles a nice kick.
While I do admit that I am hard to please when it comes to ramen, Hawker Eats definitely met my expectations, and the fact that it hasn’t blown up on social media (like Mensho Tokyo in SF and Orenchi Ramen in SJ) makes me hope that it will continue to stay a delicious secret 🙂
1650 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121