Le Shrimp Ramen at South Coast Plaza’s Collage has recently revised its broth recipe for ramen. When the restaurant first launch, the original broth was a combination of shrimp and pork. The new recipe sees pork eliminated and replaced with chicken. This, in my opinion, is a far better choice as it allows for diners who don’t eat pork for religious, or health reasons, to enjoy it as well.
Signature Trio Shrimp Ramen ($18.50) offers up jumbo prawns, ebiko prawn paste, prawn and chicken wonton in a bowl of rich, hearty broth and your choice of noodles (definitely pick the ramen). The ebiko prawn paste creates these delicious prawn balls that have an excellent texture (much better than I remember). What I found curious was that the bowl offers two prawns, two prawn paste balls, but only one wonton.
While we’ve enjoyed the dry noodle option before, Crispy Chicken Tossed Ramen ($12.25) is something new for us. You may choose non spicy, or spicy (we picked the latter) and a fried chicken breast cutlet is served on the side.
The noodles are well-seasoned, but the sauce sits on the bottom of the bowl, so definitely give it a toss before eating. I like mine with a drizzle of black vinegar (so ask for it if it’s not offered).
The chicken cutlet is also rather generously portioned, so it’s an extremely tasty, and value-for-money item on the menu.
The other thing I love is their chili sauce, reminiscent of the sambal you get in South East Asia. It adds another dimension of flavor to all of the noodle dishes, whether dry or with soup.
Although the noodles are good sized portions on their own, the side orders are also worth mentioning.
Poached Lettuce with Supreme Soya Sauce ($5.65) is very tasty. Baby lettuce leaves are blanched and drizzled with soy sauce that’s brimming with umami and finished with crispy fried garlic. I could eat two plates of this on my own.
Seasoned Bamboo Shoots ($3.95) are always welcoming, especially when eaten with noodles.
I was slightly disappointed with Long Jing Tea Lava Egg ($1.90) as the Dragon Well (Long Jing) tea flavor was not pronounced, but at least the jammy eggs were the perfect consistency.
Le Shrimp offers up a solid bowl of noodles which, thanks to the restructuring of its recipe, can now be enjoyed by everyone!
Le Shrimp Ramen
Collage Food Hall
at South Coast Plaza
Costa Mesa, CA 92626