Written by Micah Xu, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Junior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)
If you’ve ever been searching for a restaurant that combines authentic Japanese cuisine with a small, comfortable environment and has the atmosphere of a big city food joint, Umaido is the place to go. Umaido is a small ramen shop located in Suwanee on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, and it is a cut above due to its focus on one thing: ramen.
Unlike some other Japanese noodle shops, Umaido’s menu is fairly small and refined, which helps when trying to choose what you would like to eat. The people working there focus on ramen and other signature dishes, such as takoyaki, a Japanese octopus fritter, and karaage, Japanese fried chicken. It is hard to go wrong with the food there because of how small the menu is. The food is specialized and well-developed, such that everything on the menu has earned its place in a way.
The ramen itself is also incredible, with several types of soup bases to choose from and adjustments to how hard you want your noodles—each bowl is personalized to fit the person who orders it.
The noodles also come in three types: normal, green and red. Green noodles are enriched with green vegetables, such as spinach, that give them a faint vegetal flavor and a beautiful green color. Red noodles are the same way, except with spicy peppers instead of green vegetables that give the noodles a spicy kick that cuts through the richness of the broth and other ingredients.
There is also a myriad of toppings that serve as company to the bowl of ramen, including but not limited to charsiu, which is pork belly, wood ear mushrooms and seaweed.
The atmosphere is also impeccable, with drawings of various anime and manga characters painted across the wall made by other guests. The place feels “lived-in” and comfortable in a sense, like finding a small shop in a big city.
Overall, Umaido has a specialized menu that focuses on ramen and accompaniments to ramen and has an atmosphere similar to that of a hidden gem in a big city.