Updated: Oct 21, 2020
A little while ago when I went to the theater to see the movie “Tenet”, time was short and we decided to get dinner at a new ramen restaurant in the shopping center which houses the cinema.
Ulsan’s largest cinema, owned by CGV entertainment, is located in the UP Square shopping center in the heart of the new downtown area in the city.
When it first opened, the UP Square shopping center had a number of family restaurants and more expensive places to eat, including TGI Friday’s. It’s been a number of years since the doors welcomed guests, and many of the more high-priced dining options have since disappeared. In their place is a number of more affordable restaurants, and in some cases, clothing stores.
Walking by the outside of the shop, there was only one other customer there, and she was just finishing up. After taking a look at the menu banners just outside the shop, we found a number of different choices that were appealing.
We finally decided on a couple of dishes to have and went to the touchscreen self-ordering system.
After choosing our two dishes, which were Karaage Chicken and covered rice (Deop-bap) and also a Mini Gyudon (Beef Bowl) we chose our seats at the counter seating that they had along the wall.
While waiting for our dishes to arrive we noticed the décor of the restaurant. It was clean, with lots of interesting posters advertising both the food and the restaurant itself.
We also went and got some side dishes, which were self-service. The two side dishes they had available, kimchi and pickled daikon radish are pretty standard at many restaurants here in Korea. However Himeno Ramen does something a little different with their radish side dish, which is add lemon slices and juice to it! This made for a very different taste, and one that was very delicious!
After about ten minutes was ready and we went to the counter to pick it up. The two dishes looked and smelled great!
The Kaarage Chicken Deop-bap had an ample amount of crunchy fried chicken, seaweed, different types of onions, an egg yolk, and a sweet teriyaki sauce on it. After giving it a generous stirring to make sure the ingredients were properly mixed and that the egg yolk was heated up enough, I gave it a try.
The chicken was VERY nice! It was flavorful, juicy, and the coating had a nice crisp texture to it. All the ingredients meshed very well, although a bit more of the teriyaki sauce would have made it even tastier in my opinion.
The Kaarage Chicken Deop-bap also came with a bowl of broth, which tasted like a really good ramen broth to me. The soup was incredible! It was hard not to drink it all in one shot. It was warm, comforting, and not too salty. The umami flavor in the broth was amazing.
The second dish was the Mini Beef Bowl. This dish was also really outstanding! The beef was plentiful, very well cooked, and filled with flavor. It was also topped with an egg yolk, some purple cabbage, and some finely cut green onions. Underneath was a small amount of rice as well. For a mini dish, there was actually a substantial amount in the bowl.
We ended up completely cleaning our bowls, a testament to just how good the food was. Also, the price for the two dishes was very reasonable at only 11,200 won (about $10 US).
We will definitely be going back to Himeno Ramen. I am very excited about trying the ramen there, as it looks beautiful in the photo. The spicy ramen in particular is very appealing to me!
If you are going through Ulsan and find your self in Sam-san Dong (the neighborhood in which UP Square) is located, you should definitely try Himeno Ramen if you are in the mood for some comforting, tasty, and affordable Japanese food.