Biwa

Japanese Restaurant and Ramen Restaurant$$$$
Buckman, Portland
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8.6/10
295
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78 Tips and reviews
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  • Chad A.
    The pork in the ramen melts between your teeth. I lived in Japan and the ramen rivals any I had there. The lamb tsukune is peppery, moreish. Unexpected pleasant surprise: oysters with pepper sauce.
  • Ria C.
    Ria CarminOctober 11, 2015
    I've ordered three vegetarian dishes: agedashi tofu, grilled avocado and fried rice. All dishes are pretty small, appetizer size. Grilled avocado was fantastic! Flavorful and creamy.
  • Bin Y.
    Bin YangNovember 20, 2015
    Start off with the special otsumami (3 small appetizers), get some kushiyaki (lamb heart is bomb), then finish with a hefty shoyu ramen bowl with lots of kombu, just the way I like it.
  • Eater
    EaterJanuary 11, 2011
    One part ramen den, one part izakaya, two parts modernista basement bunker, this chef hangout is run by the most improbable Japanese cook in town: a white guy from Michigan. [Eater 38 Member] Read more
  • Joe W.
    Joe WilkinsonApril 7, 2015
    Some of the best ramen I've ever had. Absolutely amazing. Deep fried kimchi is a bit strange, but overall all the food is excellent.
  • Andy M.
    Andy McMillanMarch 9, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Start with tsukemono & kimchi, then follow with the ramen, straight up. As you leave, you may notice you're radiating a warm glow, accompanied by a feeling of complete fulfilment, but that's normal.
  • Bella P.
    Bella PorterJuly 1, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Hands down amazing! You'll never leave unfulfilled. Ramen is delicious but just keep ordering a la carte & enjoy. Very large Saki selection (your service will help you select).
  • Janice M.
    Janice M.August 10, 2013
    Happy hour ramen deal just means you can order more deliciousness. Try a Chuhai cocktail--refreshing, bright flavors like lemon-basil-chia and black pepper-lemon.
  • Mark
    MarkMarch 9, 2014
    Best Japanese food i have ever had. Move away, nobu, sushi yusada, sushi secki, and masa omakase there is a new king in town and its not in ny!
  • Courtney P.
    Courtney P. KranzkeSeptember 18, 2013
    The black pepper soda may sound strange, but it's quite good... Not spicy, as you may think, just a nice pepper flavor with a balanced sweetness. May be good with gin (hint, hint).
  • GNTLMN
    GNTLMNFebruary 19, 2014
    Straight up Japanese, a little sushi -- good traditional ramen and one of the best burgers in town (but only available from 10pm until close).
  • CITY GRIT
    CITY GRITAugust 1, 2014
    The Omakase is a great way to go. If you’re ordering a la carte, don’t miss the agedashi tofu, chicken karaage, and the onigiri!
  • Kayvon T.
    Kayvon TehranianOctober 7, 2013
    No point in ordering when the Omakase will ensure you try everything that needs to be tasted on the menu. Don't just get the ramen! It's the least unique dish on the menu!
  • Val P.
    Val PucilowskiSeptember 11
    Everything was absolutely amazing. Go when you have some time to spare: the pacing of the meal was leisurely.
  • Caleb
    CalebAugust 19, 2010
    Fried kimchi is excellent, as is the lamb genghis kahn. The otomato salad is good, and the hangar steak as well. Onigiri is good but an acquired taste. Kimchi is bitey and pungent but overwhelmingly s
  • Sherry R.
    Sherry RenDecember 31, 2015
    Came for the famous ramen but it is very very salty. I know traditional ramen tends to be salty but it is way over. The egg and chashu are amazing though. Small portion and relative high price.
  • Diogenes B.
    Diogenes BritoNovember 29, 2014
    Pork stew is great, and like nothing you've had before. Meat eaters: don't be afraid of the kimchi karaage, it's damn tasty.
  • Anne Mai B.
    Anne Mai BertelsenAugust 19, 2010
    Everything was great - udon, fried kimchi, genghis khan, hangar steak, cucumber and watermelon salad. I would steer clear of beef ssam - thick, chewy unflavorful beef. Bulgogi would have been better
  • Geoff R.
    Geoff ReinhardtAugust 22, 2014
    Giant bowls of ramen or udon for only $5 during Happy Hour (5-6, 9-10). Best ramen I've had in a while!
  • Jeshka L.
    Jeshka LewisJune 26, 2013
    Plenty of good food. If you are looking for ramen that reminds you of that amazing bowl you had in Tokyo, this isn't the place though.
  • Amanda T.
    Amanda TecsonOctober 18, 2011
    Go for the grilled items. The pork belly and the mushrooms were amazing. It was the WORST ramen I've ever had. The broth was so bland. No flavor. The cocktails were pretty tasty. I suggest drinking.
  • Avi F.
    Avi FlamholzOctober 5, 2013
    Ramen is excellent, but is the least excellent thing on the menu. Get all the other things!
  • Jonathan Z.
    Jonathan ZemelOctober 14, 2013
    We changed the whole trip plan to come here for the beef tartare. It was better than advertised. Do the beef tartare.
  • Peter Y.
    Peter YangNovember 13, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    One of the better options for ramen in Portland. Also, try the pork belly stew or crab fried rice.
  • Charm B. T.
    Charm B. TrippinJanuary 16, 2013
    If you love SALT or not quite fermented 'pickled' things, go here! Drinks & the free popcorn were the most palatable.
  • Brook S.
    Brook Shelley1 week ago
    Feels uninspired right now. I had maybe 5 different dishes + oysters, and nothing really clicked. Skewers are missed. So is excitement.
  • kevlyn m.
    kevlyn mathewsMarch 26, 2014
    The Tri Trip Steak was excellent & I loved the house made grapefruit soda.
  • Dustin T.
    Dustin TsengJuly 6, 2013
    The special today, fried chicken skin, was awesome. Fried kimchi is too salty for my taste.
  • Diana M.
    Diana MaesSeptember 21, 2014
    This place is worth skipping. Ramen broth and egg were super salty. And the bibimbap was too salty to even finish eating. Can't offer towels to clean your hands for a high price tag on mediocre food.
  • Amber C.
    Amber C.November 4, 2015
    Everything is good here. You've been warned. Also: you're eating in a former Goth Club!
  • Caitlin
    CaitlinDecember 12, 2011
    Awesome all around. Fried kimchi is good, but I much preferred the traditional kimchi.
  • Katya D.
    Katya DavidsonNovember 27, 2014
    Been here 100+ times
    The rotating seasonal menu and awesome specials keep things interesting.
  • Brook S.
    Brook Shelley1 week ago
    There is 0 ramen here now. But why wouldn't you just go to Noraneko? Parasol has soba and udon
    Upvoted 1 week ago
  • Robert S.
    Robert SandlerJune 22, 2015
    The chef's tasting menu. Delicious. With the booze pairing, you will never be fuller or drunker.
  • Christopher C.
    Christopher ConwayJuly 27, 2015
    Got the omakase with drink pairing. Expensive but worth it.
  • Kristin L.
    Kristin LasitaJanuary 24
    I did a 1-2 punch of sashimi and ramen. Would eat again. Nice atmosphere.
  • Xanthe T.
    Xanthe TravlosNovember 29, 2014
    Ramen was delicious and the shiitake mushrooms were incredible.
  • Falcon Darkstar M.
    Awesome Japanese barbecue gastropub. Go here.
  • Lydia K.
    Lydia KJuly 8, 2013
    The gyoza are so good, you'll want to dance on a table as you eat them.
  • Olivia B.
    Olivia BlackNovember 25, 2015
    Little spendy, little loud, but on point and delish.
  • Guillermo A.
    Ambience and great fresh food!
  • Chet M.
    Chet ManciniApril 24, 2015
    Ramen happy hour before 6 and after 9. $5 for a tasty bowl.
  • Poppy
    PoppyJanuary 27
    Disappointing salty Ramen and Kara age. But tax to cover health care of employees is a wonderful idea.
  • Jeff S.
    Jeff SmithJuly 24, 2014
    Ask for some pork shoulder with your ramen. It's a religious experience!
  • Ryan F.
    Ryan FishMarch 6, 2013
    Rude hostess the first time, so i try coming again and they are closed but didn't bother to mention that on their website. Don't bother with Biwa; go anywhere else.
  • Jason G.
    Jason GoldbergFebruary 1, 2010
    mmm... Japanese fried chicken... Kara-age. Forget your old favorites, let your server recommend some great Sake's to try.
  • Soxinly
    SoxinlySeptember 7, 2010
    Vinegar pickled mackerel is delicious! Good ramen noodle, too!
  • Karen H.
    Karen HMarch 26
    All sorts of Asian bites excellently prepared
  • WhyGo Travel
    WhyGo TravelDecember 8, 2011
    Biwa's udon is fantastic and cheap. Read more
  • Ricky E.
    Ricky EngelbergMarch 22, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    The Pork Bara can't be beat. Crab soup is always a winner as well.
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