Biwa

Japanese Restaurant and Ramen Restaurant$$$$
Buckman, Portland
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8.8/10
266
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72 Tips and reviews
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  • kimchi
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  • omakase
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  • 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.
  • Brook S.
    Brook ShelleyAugust 19, 2014
    All the yakimono was amazing, and the pork belly was particularly succulent. Try some chuhai and the Yorkie cocktail- you won't regret it. The only mistep for me was the overly beet-flavored ochazuke.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Andy M.
    Andy McMillanMarch 9, 2013
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Bella P.
    Bella PorterJuly 1, 2015
    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).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jana S.
    Jana SanaeMay 25, 2013
    I wanted to like this place. The fava beans were boring and the mushrooms were something a five yr old could have made. I think this place is overrated
  • 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.
  • Poppy
    PoppyJanuary 27
    Disappointing salty Ramen and Kara age. But tax to cover health care of employees is a wonderful idea.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • littleneek
    littleneekApril 29, 2011
    Many of the dishes here were too salty for our taste. I haven't had ramen here but many of my Japanese friends said it was so-so.
  • 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.
  • Peter Y.
    Peter YangNovember 13, 2012
    One of the better options for ramen in Portland. Also, try the pork belly stew or crab fried rice.
  • Dustin T.
    Dustin TsengJuly 6, 2013
    The special today, fried chicken skin, was awesome. Fried kimchi is too salty for my taste.
  • Avi F.
    Avi FlamholzOctober 5, 2013
    Ramen is excellent, but is the least excellent thing on the menu. Get all the other things!
  • Caitlin
    CaitlinDecember 12, 2011
    Awesome all around. Fried kimchi is good, but I much preferred the traditional kimchi.
  • kevlyn m.
    kevlyn mathewsMarch 26, 2014
    The Tri Trip Steak was excellent & I loved the house made grapefruit soda.
  • Katya D.
    Katya DavidsonNovember 27, 2014
    The rotating seasonal menu and awesome specials keep things interesting.
  • Robert S.
    Robert SandlerJune 22, 2015
    The chef's tasting menu. Delicious. With the booze pairing, you will never be fuller or drunker.
  • Kristin L.
    Kristin LasitaJanuary 24
    I did a 1-2 punch of sashimi and ramen. Would eat again. Nice atmosphere.
  • Benton B.
    Benton BarnettJune 30, 2009
    Fantastic happy hour food specials at the bar. $2 hanger steak, $3 Sopporo.
  • Amber C.
    Amber C.November 4, 2015
    Everything is good here. You've been warned. Also: you're eating in a former Goth Club!
  • Ricky E.
    Ricky EngelbergMarch 22, 2010
    The Pork Bara can't be beat. Crab soup is always a winner as well.
  • Soxinly
    SoxinlySeptember 7, 2010
    Vinegar pickled mackerel is delicious! Good ramen noodle, too!
  • Christopher C.
    Christopher ConwayJuly 27, 2015
    Got the omakase with drink pairing. Expensive but worth it.
  • Olivia B.
    Olivia BlackNovember 25, 2015
    Little spendy, little loud, but on point and delish.
  • Xanthe T.
    Xanthe TravlosNovember 29, 2014
    Ramen was delicious and the shiitake mushrooms were incredible.
  • Lydia K.
    Lydia KJuly 8, 2013
    The gyoza are so good, you'll want to dance on a table as you eat them.
  • Jeff S.
    Jeff SmithJuly 24, 2014
    Ask for some pork shoulder with your ramen. It's a religious experience!
  • Chet M.
    Chet ManciniApril 24, 2015
    Ramen happy hour before 6 and after 9. $5 for a tasty bowl.
  • PDX P.
    PDX PipelineDecember 3, 2011
    Do not recommend the Black sesame gelato dessert.
  • Nathan G.
    Nathan GarvieSeptember 21, 2013
    If you want mediocre ramen made exclusively by white people, this is your jam.
  • H. C.
    Pretty good gyoza. Sorry there's no pic, I ate them too fast.
  • WhyGo Travel
    WhyGo TravelDecember 8, 2011
    Biwa's udon is fantastic and cheap. Read more
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