The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Forks Down: Aoyama Ramen

A review on the new Shawnee location of local ramen shop: Aoyama Ramen
Bowl of classic Tonkatsu Ramen Feb. 12th at Aoyama Ramen. Photo by Finn Bedell

Aoyama Ramen is a generally highly rated ramen shop/restaurant in Olathe, coming to an average of 4.6/5 stars based on platforms Facebook, GrubHub, Postmates, UberEats, DoorDash and Yelp. A new location recently opened up in Shawnee, KS off of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Pflumm. 


On a snow day a few weeks ago, while bobbing around FatBee Boba and Savers to thrift with some friends, I came across this new store, with little to no prior knowledge about it. There it sat, a small corner store with an LED sign that read, “Aoyama Ramen,” with an open sign right under it. I saw quite a few people walk in and out, for what I could assume were delivery drivers for various services. 


On Friday, February 23rd, I decided to finally stop there to try out what they had to offer. 


The atmosphere was cozy but still professional, being minimalist with photos of the menu items on their red brick walls. A very adorable painted mural is on the first wall you see when you walk in; a cartoon-y Godzilla sitting down and eating a bowl of ramen. You wait to be seated, which for us was probably less than ten seconds, and we were quickly handed menus, chopsticks, napkins and water, without asking for it. 

The wait staff was incredibly kind, very quick and efficient at their jobs, and our orders were taken without much time to wait. 


Like any ramen shop, they had a few options of different pork bone broth ramen, as well as a few spicy options, including their spice level. Aside from ramen, they had some rice bowl options. For appetizers, they had the choices of onigiri, gyoza and pork buns. For dessert, they serve ice cream mochi. 


I chose to order the spicy tuna onigiri and the original, number one ramen item on their menu: the Tonkotsu Classic Ramen, which has a 15-hour pork bone broth, two eggs, two pieces of pork, bean sprouts, scallions and nori. 

At first glance alone, this ramen was beautifully displayed. In a traditional yet simple ramen bowl, the eggs were aesthetically placed and when you think of a classic ramen spread, this is definitely what comes to mind. It came out in a very timely manner and was still piping hot despite it being the dinner rush, with every seat in the place being full. 

This may be a review on a ramen shop, and going into it, I knew what I was getting myself into, however, trying to be as unbiased as I can be; I am not a huge ramen fan. That being said, any ramen lover would enjoy the ramen I ordered. My favorite was most certainly the broth. It was warm and creamy, with such an intense and pleasant pork flavor. The noodles themselves were cooked well, none of the vegetables were browning, and overall it was pretty standard. This ramen was truly nothing special, and if we’re really getting into it, the pork had a good flavor but was slightly gummy, and the eggs, while being cooked to perfection, tasted over-seasoned with soy.

With the ratings of the Olathe location, my expectations were high, but were slightly brought down by its casual mediocrity. It wasn’t bad at all, just “okay.” The spicy tuna onigiri was enjoyable, the sticky rice was perfect and it had a nice flavor as well. My friends who got the Beef Sukiyaki Don, and they both could not finish their bowls, sharing a dislike for the sweet onions the entree held, but that sounds more like a preference thing than anything else. 


Overall, if you’re bored and craving a nicely priced, casual setting and good serviced ramen, I would definitely say go here. This probably won’t be my last time attending this shop, because there are many options I hadn’t tried and I don’t want to judge the whole place based on one and a half dishes. 


In my opinion, this shop gets a ⅘ for great atmosphere, service, price and variety. I would definitely check this place out for yourself if you have the time to with some buddies after school someday.

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