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Temari Japanese Cafe, Talbott Shopping Center in Rockville


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I couldn't find a thread on the Temari Cafe, so I did what everyone else does and started my own because I am absolutely in love with this place. In the three years since I've discovered it, I don't think I've EVER had a negative experience here. From the katusdon (that's the pork cutlet, right?) donburi to their miso ramen, I'm rarely dissapointed by anything that they offer.

Just this past weekend, I had the craving for ramen, so I tucked into their tonkatsu ramen after devouring some shumai and a bonito flavored onigiri. The heartiness of the pork broth combined with the egg noodles was perfect for the cold weather, and as always, the shredded pickled ginger, slices of pork cutlet and fish cakes toppings were fantastic. My only complaint was the stinginess of the meat topping (only 3 slices? come on). But other than that, it was the perfect light, yet, satisfying meal for a cold day.

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Oddly enough, three slices is considered quite generous. In NYC, the majority of ramen shops give you about 2 slices of pork on their standard sized ramen. If you get the house special or a larger ramen, it's 3 slices. Does anyone know if that's how ramen is served in Japan?

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The Rockville Pike Lunch Club met here for lunch today.

We had a shared starter of the shumai, which were pretty bad. Clearly frozen, and carelessly prepared. The ones I buy from Maxim and make myself are better.

I had the Tuna Avocado Donburi (tuna sashimi and avocado on sushi rice). It came with a small salad (mostly iceberg lettuce with a very subtle ginger vinaigrette) and miso soup (quite good). The sushi rice could have used a bit more vinegar. The tuna itself was fine, but nothing special. The avocado was an entire half of perfectly ripe, sliced avocado. Went very well with the tuna and rice.

At $17 after tax and tip, it wasn't an incredible bargain, though I'd like to go back again and try the ramen.

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I had the cold ramen noodles with shredded egg, cuke, jellyfish, krab, chicken. Nice but neither expensive or a bargain at $12.50. Very clean flavors and really refreshing. I would stop by if in the neighborhood with a hankering for Japanese food with a real homemade feel. Hard to pass Joe's NH though....

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I would stop by if in the neighborhood with a hankering for Japanese food with a real homemade feel. Hard to pass Joe's NH though....

Yeah, I think that's about right. I wouldn't go there for sushi, though I'd like to try their ramen. But there are so many good asian places within a mile, that it's hard to want to go there often.

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The wife--Japanese--and I have tried Temari Cafe and are unimpressed with their ramen--very bland broth and tough pork with no flavor. The only decent ramen we've sampled in the Eastern U.S. is Santoka Ramen in the food court of the Mitsuwa Japanese grocery store in Edgewater, NJ. Santoka rocks.

Temari's gyoza is downright awful.

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The wife--Japanese--and I have tried Temari Cafe and are unimpressed with the their ramen--very bland broth and tough pork with no flavor. The only decent ramen we've sampled in the Eastern U.S. is Santoka Ramen in the food court of the Mitsuwa Japanese grocery store in Edgewater, NJ. Santoka rocks.

Temari's gyoza is downright awful.

Sadly, I have to agree. I really wanted to like this place a lot, but the only flavors coming thru in my ramen broth was salt and a touch of dishwashing soap. And my cousin's omurice was so greasy that her food kept sliding off her plate as she tried to eat spoonfuls of it, good sport. I'm puzzled as to why there seems to be such a lack of simple homestyle Japanese restaurants in the area, that serve the classics instead of focusing on sushi.

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Azami and I went here for dinner tonight, along with the friend who recommended it. Our friend ordered chirashi-zushi ($16), which came generously topped with slices of avocado, tuna, scallop, and octopus, a couple of shrimp, and quite a lot of gari (pickled ginger). She seemed pleased with it, although I didn't get to try any. Azami enjoyed his hiyashi chukka (~$14), cold noodles topped with egg, ham, sliced pork, nori, shrimp, and krab stick, served with a chilled dipping sauce. I was torn between the grilled hokke (a type of fish from Hokkaido that I love) and the grilled sanma teishoku (saury pike set meal) ($16), but went with the sanma because it's in season. The fish was grilled perfectly -- nicely charred on the outside, still moist and flavorful on the inside -- and was complemented by the accompanying squeeze of lemon and grated daikon. The rest of the set meal consisted of a small brick of firm tofu topped with sliced green onion and katsuobushi, to be eaten with soy sauce; daikon pickles; steamed rice; and a bowl of simple but delicious miso soup.

There was a minor service glitch when the server forgot to bring my beer, which she readily took off the tab. The staff are very friendly and were happy to speak Japanese with us. We would certainly go back, especially on those occasions when we miss Japan, because the cooking was very reminiscent of local places we used to go. The prices are definitely not, though. I think Azami and I both spent at least twice what we would have for the same meals in Kitakami.

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Just had lunch here. There was a scallop sushi special so my friend and I each got a piece just to try. It was fine, but I am spoiled by the dry packed scallops I get from the vendor at my farmers market - they're incredibly light, sweet, and melt in your mouth - so this one paled in comparison. For my lunch, I got a sauteed pork served with rice and miso. The pork had a delicious sauce with it and came with a little shredded cabbage and surprisingly, a little potato salad. Since I try not to eat rice, the potato salad was a pleasant, and tasty surprise. The miso bored me, but I'm not a huge lover of miso soup to start with. Still, I tasted my friend's ramen (I always forget the name of the broth, but it was the pork based one) and found the broth to be really lacking in flavor (my reference point being Ren's in Bethesda). We also missed the option for fatty pork or the marinated egg with a runny yolk that you can get at Ren's - this ramen just comes with a plain hard-boiled egg.

We did see two ladies at the table next to us who ordered the combo of sashimi and either a dish like mine or a donburi (same thing except served over rice, some of the proteins were also different) for $16.95. The sashimi looked really nice - large pieces of tuna, salmon, and one other white fish and then a smaller portion of the items I had. Since I really liked my dish, I would happily order the combo next time.

Both of our dishes were $10.95 I believe and I think the sushi was $1.75/piece.

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I stopped here with a colleague on Sunday, after attending a funeral across the street. My colleague is not the world's most adventurous eater, but she was headed back to the Richmond area and needed something to eat. I had her order the salmon shiroyaki, which my daughter has enjoyed previously, and it was a nice version of that dish. The fish had a salty, crusty exterior to contrast with the fatty salmon flesh. I had a much lighter ume onigiri. Temari is not a destination restaurant, but if you are in the neighborhood and want decent, unpretentious Japanese food, it is a good choice.

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Tried this place yesterday. The tonkotsu ramen broth was pretty boring (miss you, Ren's) but my companion's pork was delicious. We missed the boat though, the clear winners here are the combo specials like the ones our neighbors had. Huge chunks of fresh (looking) sushi, with half-orders of a grill dish. Menu fail by me; I'm on a bad streak.

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