Tag Archives: Ramen
In the last few months, there have been a series of big Japanese chains that opened their first US location in New York. Normally, I don’t like to eat at chain restaurants, but it’s a bit of a novelty and Japanese fast food is generally more nourishing and exciting than American fast food.
Wagamama, TsuruTonTan, and Ichiran were the three major Japanese noodle players that have debuted to long lines in New York City. The one that intrigued me most was Ichiran partly because they are located in a big factory in Bushwick but also because they have special solo dining flavor concentration booths.
In the booths, you are completely alone excpet for a button and a curtain. When the button is pushed, the curtain is partially raised and the torso of a waiter appears who will respond to your needs.
The entire experience, including the recommendations on how to be savor the soup is a little precious. As a busy New Yorker who often deals with many people, I did appreciate the opportunity to dine completely alone and not have to deal with anyone else. But I imagine the ramen would taste just as good if I was sitting at a table with a group of people.
You also get to customize your ramen from the firmness of the noodles to the richness of the broth to the amount of added toppings. I went down the menu circling the options the restaurant recommends for first timers.
So my soup ended up on the medium side of just about everything. And it was pretty great. The thin chewy noodles were truly fantastic and the complex super porky tonkotsu broth was indeed worth savoring. The other notable addition, besides some serious garlic, scallions, and a meaty pork chashu, is their signature top secret spicy red sauce.
It was one of the better ramen soups I’ve had recently. Like many, I was dismayed by the prices here (almost double the price of the Japanese locations) and the gimmicky flavor booths are a little too serious. But there’s no denying that this is one seriously good bowl of ramen. Price: $18.90
|374 Johnson Avenue (between Bogart Street and Morgan Avenue),
I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…
|MISS LILY’S 7A|
|109 Avenue A (at East 7th Street),
I have been on somewhat of a ramen kick lately. And no, don’t worry, I’m not quite as poor as I was in college. The ramen I’m talking about has nothing to do with the packaged dried noodles with a strange salty meat seasoning.
This is real deal ramen. And as seems to be the case every winter, New York is being bombarded with Japanese ramen-yas all over the city. Since the weather has mostly been frigid the last few months and I’m just now getting over an unpleasant cold, I’ve consumed my fair share of ramen noodles in hot soup.
One of the newest and most-praised establishments also happened to be my favorite of late. Nakamura is the work of a revered Japanese ramen chef who most recently had a stint at Ramen Lab earlier this year. With Nakamura, in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, he now has his first official New York restaurant. (more…)
I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2015…
Every month Ramen Lab brings in a different ramen chef to hone their craft. I was lucky enough to visit when Chef Luca Catalfamo was doling out bowls of noodle. He’s the chef behind Casa Ramen in Milan. I loved his unique veggie-friendly take on the noodles. The spring buckwheat noodles floated in a beautiful pool of vegetables and a game-changing pumpkin miso broth with a hint of truffle butter. It’s where Japan and Italy happily meet. Price: $15
|70 Kenmare Street (between Mulberry and Mott Street),
Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures.
The only reason Super Bowl Sunday is exciting for me is because all the popular restaurants will be empty and I can get in anywhere I want. I’m not even sure who’s playing the little football game this year.
But I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun. So I attended my own Super Bowl, where I pitted two ramen restaurants on 52nd Street against each other. Who needs football when you can watch the Super Bowl… of Ramen!
It’s a great story. Ivan Orkin is a nice Jewish boy from New York who fell in love with Japanese food, earned a culinary degree, and then became a huge success in Japan re-inventing one of the culture’s most beloved foods: ramen. That’s like if some Japanese guy moved to Texas and opened up BBQ restaurants and the locals actually embraced it. Probably not gonna happen.
But it did happen in Japan. And now Ivan has returned home and brought his inventive and critical takes on ramen dishes. I enjoyed the few dishes I’ve tried at his more casual slurp shop in Gotham West Market. But now that he has a full-fledged restaurant, there’s even more ramen to enjoy.