A local restaurant chain that closed five locations during the pandemic is starting to pick up the pieces. The Ramen shop known as “Boxer Ramen” just reopened in a new spot in Portland’s Slabtown last week.
It’s at 1668 NW 23rd Street and is known now as simply “Boxer“, and has doubled it’s menu to serve sushi, sake and cocktails.
Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that I’m sure you’re familiar with because of the instant packages of it you can buy for about a quarter. Instant Ramen was invented by the way in 1958 by Nissin Foods. Instant ramen noodles were exported from Japan starting in 1971, bearing the name “Oodles of Noodles”. A year later, it was re-branded “Nissin Cup Noodles”.
If you haven’t had Ramen in a restaurant, there’s a big difference. Instant Ramen tastes like salt. Ramen in a restaurant has a lot more depth. Chris Thornton at Boxer says they “roll” their Ramen broth for hours. “Rolling” means it’s boiled for a very long time to develop the flavors.
I tried both Ramen and sushi, and can attest to the depth of flavor and the comfort level noodle soup brings!