My wife and I have seen this place in passing for many months now, and we were always curious about it. Tonight I gave it a try. I knew right away it probably wasn’t a real-deal Japanese ramen place (Kung Fu is Chinese, not Japanese), so I was sort of expecting the worst. It turned out to be pretty freaking tasty though. It’s definitely NOT ramen. The flavor of the broth/soup I had was more like a mix between Vietnamese pho and standard Chinese noodle soup.
I ordered the house special “ramen,” which was a clear-ish broth with sliced beef, shrimp, a hard boiled egg, baby bok choy, cilantro and hazelnuts. I ordered it spicy, which meant it came with a blob of the house spicy sauce (the red stuff in the middle of the pic below), which was really tasty. A little bit of that shit goes a long way. I pulled more than half out just because I didn’t want my nose running and my upper lip sweating into my bowl. It’s also more like a hybrid between standard Chinese hot pepper (like the dry chili pepper flakes you get with oil when you order noodles) and Japanese spicy paste for ramen.
I am definitely going back here to try the other items. This soup was really fantastic. The beef was packed with flavor and very tender; even those ripples of fatty tendon stuff were like butter. I’m actually curious as to what cut of beef it is. The shrimp were not boiled to shit either, like I expected. They were cooked relatively nicely. And the egg was the best tasting hard boiled egg I’ve ever eaten. Not even kidding. The seasonings penetrated deep into the center. Maybe they boil them in broth or soak them in broth after they’re cooked? Whatever they’re doing, it’s fucking working!
One thing to beware of: the not-so-sneaky service charge. They added 15% to my bill without asking.
I thought that was shitty, and, in fact, I was prepared to leave them a bigger tip! I had it in my head that I was going to just leave $15. Oh well. Their loss. I handed the waiter a $20, and when he retuned my change to me I just left the $0.92 remainder. Still a pretty good tip!
UPDATE!!! I tried the fried ramen, which is essentially just like a lo mien dish with all the same components from the soup. It was tasty and not too greasy, but I like the soup version better.
The soup dumplings were excellent – I could eat these all fuckin’ day. Give them a few minutes to cool down so you don’t burn the fuck out of your mouth. I like to plop one into a soy sauce bath before eating. It helps cool them down, and gives it some earthy flavor.
On another visit I tried the roast duck “ramen.” It was the same tasty broth but floated with some hacked up pieces of roast duck. For the most part, the duck was not really edible. Too much bone and rubbery fat, and not enough edible meat.
Stick with the beef “ramen” at this joint and you will be as happy as a pig in shit. This other item we tried was the cold ramen. Essentially this is lo mein style noodles that are cooked really nice to al dente (and probably hand made), then dressed with a peanut-flavored sauce and topped with cucumbers, tomato and shrimp. I’ve had better, but this was pretty tasty.
KUNG FU LITTLE STEAMED BUNS
811 8th Ave
New York, NY 10019