When the weather gets cold, nothing warms me up like a steaming hot bowl of ramen. No, I’m not talking about the instant kind you can make in your microwave (I’m looking at you, Cup Noodles)- I mean the stuff you can only get in restauarants or use a variety of ingredients to make at home.
Baltimore, though mostly lacking in its ramen bar options, does have a few places that stand out. Of the ramen places I’ve tried in Baltimore (Tenten in Mt. Vernon, Peko Peko at Hopkins, Kippo in Fells Point, and Ejji in Belvedere Square), Kippo Ramen is definitely my current favorite.
I first heard about this place from an upperclassman BME last semester. I saw some pictures of the tonkotsu ramen on her Snapchat, and I fell in love. Tonkotsu is my favorite ramen broth- it’s a rich and creamy pork-bone broth that’s simmered for hours on end.
Of the four ramen places I mentioned, only Peko Peko doesn’t have tonkotsu. They only have chicken broth for their ramen, which is only alright. It does the job, but it’s no tonkotsu. Tenten’s tonkotsu is pretty good, but not the greatest. Ejji’s more famous for their laksa ramen (it’s a Malaysian-Japanese fusion place) and their tonkotsu is also nothing special.
With only those pictures of the Kippo tonkotsu ramen, I was hooked. Google searches and Yelp reviews of Kippo Ramen revealed that nearly everyone who goes there looooves the tonkotsu, and I made it a goal to try it at the next possible chance I had. Unfortunately, schoolwork got in the way and Fell’s Point (where Kippo is located) is too far from Hopkins to make it a quick trip. Nevertheless, I urged all my friends to try it if they were ever in Fell’s Point, even though I had never had their ramen before.
But I finally(!!) got the chance to visit! After working in the morning in a research lab at the Johns Hopkins medical campus, I went on a free city bus (the Charm City Circulator) down to Fell’s. I FINALLY made it there!
The broth was piping hot and as rich and creamy as tonkotsu should be. Ramen broth should always come out very hot, almost boiling, to be enjoyable. Lukewarm broth kills the soup- it’s hard to enjoy soup when it’s tepid. With one sip, Kippo’s tonkotsu ramen gained its current spot as the best ramen I’ve had in Baltimore.
The chasu was deliciously fatty and chewy, not at all dry. The boiled egg was perfectly seasoned and the yolk was not quite fully cooked, perfect for ramen. I was pleasantly surprised that the chef put crunchy black kikurage mushroom in the ramen! Other ramen places in Baltimore put the more common bean sprouts or enoki mushrooms in their ramen- these are ok, but kikurage mushrooms (in my opinion) are the best for ramen due to the color and texture contrast in the soup.
This place was so good- I’ll definitely bring my mom here when she comes to visit!