312 Pearl Pkwy., Building 6, tenkoramen.com
It was the dead of summer when Tenko Ramen officially joined the ranks of ramenhood in San Antonio, but noodle seekers didn't seem to mind. As a young pop-up by chef Quealy Watson and business partner Jennifer Dobbertin, Tenko had drawn out noodle nerds far and wide, often lining up for more than an hour for a hot bowl of broth and fixings.
With its opening inside the Pearl’s Bottling Department Food Hall, the first of its kind in the city, in July, Tenko was a siren song for San Antonians hungry for more ramen — regardless of the 100 degree temperatures.
The Tokyo shoyu is a favorite by far with a sweet roasted snapper tare sauce, marinated egg, chewy bamboo shoots, springy noodles and house-made pork chasu. Go ahead and add the fried chicken thigh to round out the dish. Or try the miso tonkotsu, an exploration in richness brought on by the pork chasu and parmesan cheese fat and dotted with crispy garlic.
Summer eaters also found solace from the hot temps in the “snacks” offered by the ramen shop. There’s the house-made kimchi, or beefed up edamame with dunkable miso popcorn butter or Lucas togarashi and the bright sunomono cucumber salad. The karaage fajita nuggets are great, but don’t sleep on the chicken katsu sandwich with pickled kimchi mayo, the best bang for your buck in the Bottling Department.