I am so happy that I finally got my Ramen Tour schedule. I can’t wait to eat at 8 of NYC’s top ramen restaurants. I look forward to comparing them and hope you tune in to see our thoughts on the food!
Check out the schedule:
- 4/5/2016 at Ippudo @ 65 Fourth Avenue (Between 9th and 10th Street), New York, NY 10003
- 4/12/2016 at Momofuku @ 171 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003
- 4/19/2016 at Totto Ramen @ 464 W 51st St
- 5/10/2016 at Takashi @ 456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
- 5/16/2016 at Minca Ramen Factory @ 536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009 Phone: (212) 505-8001 / Kambi Ramen House @ 351 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003 Phone: 212.228.1366
- 5/24/2016 at Mu Ramen @ 12-09 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101
- 5/31/2016 at Mei Jin Ramen @ 1574 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028
- 6/7/2016 at Ivan Ramen @ 25 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002
I. Stop # 1 – Ippudo
So I liked Ippudo. I’ve been to the one in London as well and they are the same, no difference. I didn’t LOVE Ippudo. It could be that I compare Ippudo with the place I went to in Japan on Ramen Street, which I feel like no one can compare. However, Japan ramen restaurants aside, the broth was pretty good. They had the pork bone broth which is similar to the Japan ramen restaurant but not as rich. If they cooked the pork bone a little longer, the broth would be just as rich and delicious. I ordered the Akamaru Modern ramen and Hakata Tonpu Yaki which is their famous pork belly in a bun. Now, the ramen was great, but the pork belly in a bun is ok. The pork was dry. If the pork wasn’t dry, it would be a perfect pork belly bun! All in all, this was a good experience. Would I go back? probably. I spent about $20 for everything, now that is awesome! Stay tuned for our Stop # 2 at Ivan Ramen!
II. Stop # 2 – Momofuku
So originally I was supposed to go to Ivan Ramen but due to scheduling and such we decided to go to Momofuku instead thinking that Momofuku gets packed faster so we better be done with it first. Upon arrival at around 6:45pm ish.. they seated us immediately (busy but no line yet). We sat down, but I have to say it’s really hard to get in and out in that restaurant. You share a long table with other guests and sometimes you have to stop eating and get up to let others in, that is a bit annoying but I am willing to endure that for a good bowl of ramen. We got the menu and checked out what to get. I decided to go with the Momofuku Ramen and an order of pork bun. The pork bun arrived first and it was delicious!!!!! So good that I place 2 more orders of Pork Bun to go. My ramen finally came and it was ok. The smokiness of it is too strong for me. I feel like I’m smoking while eating ramen. Has anyone ever done that before? Eat and smoke at the same time.. grosss… The noodle was a bit to al dente but that is only a preference. I prefer my noodles soft. The egg is poached as opposed to the perfectly cooked hard boiled egg. The soup is pork bone soup but smokey. I usually finish the whole bowl but I couldn’t do it with this one. Just too much smoke. Then at the end we ordered birthday truffles and some people say they are sooo good… it’s just cookie dough. So no, it’s not that good. If you want to call it truffle, then make some kind of truffles. Maybe it’s just that batch… but seriously I can spoon out a round cookie dough and would taste the same. So the best thing out of this experience is the pork bun. I wouldn’t go back to this place unless it’s to eat the buns! =0) Our next tour will be at Totto. I am excited because I know Totto is awesome and won’t disappoint!
III. Stop # 3 – Totto (Midtown East)
As soon as I walk into the restaurant, this amazing delicious smell overcame me. It made my stomach growl. I was hungry and excited to eat. The place is small with limited seating, so go early. I went at around 6pm and it was the perfect time because it wasn’t as crowded. We left around 7:30pm and that was when the line started forming. First some tips: this place is cash only and no containers to take out, so if you want to take out, you bring your own container. Also no delivery… blehhhh and of course like most restaurants, the entire party must be present to be seated. So onto what I ordered: again, I ordered the same dishes I ordered at the other two ramen restaurants, pork bun and ramen. The ramen I got was Chicken Paitan with pork and I added hard-boiled egg, cabbage and bean sprouts. They put the bean sprouts and cabbage in raw so the hot soup cooks them. It was the perfect combination and the raw veggies didn’t get too soggy and had the perfect crunch to it! The soup….. OMG…. others may beg to differ but this was the best soup I’ve had thus far. It’s chicken broth but almost like the pork bone broth I had in Japan. It is thick and savory. I would kill for some of the soup right now. =) The egg was perfectly cooked so I am happy about that because that is very important! The pork bun was soooooooo good!!! Again some may beg to differ as they prefer the pork bun from momofuku but I prefer this one because it came with Japanese mayo and lettuce. I don’t know why but lettuce and mayo is a perfect combo. This was soooo delicious and this one was cheaper (I don’t think price really matters in how good the pork bun is but again some would beg to differ on that). All in all, Totto is my favorite thus far!!!!! Stay tune for next week’s Ivan Ramen. =0)
IV. Stop #4 – Takashi
So to my great disappointment, Takashi only serves Ramen on Fridays and Saturdays after midnight. CRAZY! WHYYYYY?????? However, I am glad I decided to stay to have their BBQ. It was amazing and if you like to experiment with food, this would be the place to go. Please see my Takashi review here. I hope to go back there one day around Midnight to try their ramen. This is making me want to go there even more! =0)
V. Stop #5 – Minca / Kambi
So I decided to instead of going to Minca, we are going to Kambi. It was more convenient to go to Kambi. Besides, Minca and Kambi both have the same menu, same owner, just different name. The Ramen is soooo good. I have to say out of all the other places, Kambi is my favorite bar none. Reason being, that the soup is so thick and savory. Just writing about it make me want more. I may go after work today to have some LOL. I ordered the Pork Broth ONLY with Shoyu (soy sauce added) with thick noodle. The egg though was well done, not the “perfectly” cooked egg which is slightly drippy. I liked this well done egg as well, just a different style of cooking. All in all, this is the best ramen restaurant from all the others. The only thing was I wanted a pork bun, and they didn’t have any =( Tip: This place is cash only and no cash machine on site when I went, so bring cash!
Kambi Ramen House
351 East 14th Street
New York, NY, 10003
VI. Stop #6 – Mu Ramen
Mu ramen was very cute however, tough to get to. We sat at the bar section and watched the chef cook. He was very meticulous. Everytime he was done cooking, he cleaned his cooking area. I like that because then I know this is a trusted place to eat and not have to worry about cleanliness. The ramen itself was very good. I love that the broth was thick and have very strong flavor. The only thing is, you have to take the 7 train there and then walk a few blocks. Is it worth it? I don’t know because there are ramen restaurants in the city and easier to get to and just as good. Stay tuned for pics!
VII. Stop #7 – Mei Jin Ramen
I was on the Upper East side so I thought it would be nice to stop by Mei Jin Ramen to see what the ranting and raving was all about. The place is a nice sized restaurant. The wait staff isn’t as friendly but no biggie. Normally I would order the pork broth ramen if it is on the menu, but since they do not have pork broth, I ordered the miso beef broth ramen. WOW, the broth is delicious! Now you know most important is the broth in a ramen, then comes the noodle then the condiments in ramen. I am gonna have to say this is right up there with Ippudo and Totto! Stay tuned for pics!
Don’t forget to come back to this post the day after each date above to see my review on that ramen restaurant! If you have questions, please feel free to post them in the comment area and I’ll be more than happy to respond! BTW the featured picture on this blog is Ippudo London.
The Style Gourmande