Perhaps there is some obscure meaning to the word token that I don’t know about, but I’m at a loss as to why someone would name a restaurant Token Ramen. But that’s what has taken over the Mills Park space that was previously occupied by Too Much Sauce. But now that I think about it, I don’t know why anyone would name a place Too Much Sauce, either, so let’s just move beyond the name.
Token Ramen, which shares the address with Kung Fu Tea, is a quick-serve concept out of Largo. The Orlando store is its 10th, with all others within the Sunshine State. Another Orlando location is planned for Lake Nona.
It’s a bright and tidy space with ample seating for dining in. Customers follow an aisle from the front door to a counter where orders are taken and paid for. There is a bar with seating around the corner from the ordering counter with a view of the kitchen. I assume this is for tea drinkers; it was unoccupied during my visit.
While I waited for the customer ahead of me to order, I looked over the menu board above the kitchen window. When it was my turn to order, I was greeted warmly by the young woman at the register.
I selected the Spicy Curry Ramen from the list of signature dishes and the steak hibachi entree. I also got an order of harumaki, or Japanese spring rolls.
If you choose to dine in, your food will be served in conventional bowls or on plates. Takeout orders are neatly packaged.
The curry ramen had the distinct umami taste that characterizes Japanese curries. It was not, however, particularly spicy despite its designation. The pork broth was pleasantly unctuous. Other ingredients included kernels of corn, a seasoned hard boiled egg, kikurage mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and wispy bits of pork chashu that seemed to dissolve in the liquid. Overall quite pleasant.
(I took my leftovers home and found that the broth when chilled turned to a solid with a telltale orange layer of fat on top, which explains the wonderful mouthfeel.)
The steak hibachi dinner proved to be a good value – $13.95 compared to the ramen’s $15.95 – with an ample serving of beef bits, fried rice, vegetables and miso soup. The rice desperately needed some soy sauce and the veggies were fairly lifeless. The miso soup was like all other miso soups, so take what you will with that assessment. The meat was filling.
The Japanese spring rolls were a total disappointment. They were greasy, and the filling was flavorless. Not worth the calories, and certainly not worth the $4.50 charge.
Token Ramen is at 1500 N. Mills Ave., Orlando (map). It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-286-2000.