Tag Archives: ramen

Yama Ramen

I stopped into Yama for their big bowl, which is a tonkotsu pork broth with tons of super tender braised pork belly and pork jowls.

While pricey at $20, it’s very big. The egg was an extra $2.

There’s a sweetness in the broth from the corn, so extra spice is recommended. I really enjoyed this, and will definitely go back (probably for the normal sized bowl, since I couldn’t finish this bucket).

60 W 48th St
New York, NY 10036

Hide Chan

This joint recently opened near work, so I popped in for lunch one day. I ordered the deluxe ramen for $17. It’s a tonkotsu pork bone broth with sliced pork (three pieces), boiled egg (sliced in two), kikurage mushrooms, scallions, onions, bean sprouts and cod roe.


I really liked it. The broth had a thick, rich flavor without being too oily, fatty or salty. All of the toppings and components were well prepared, fresh and nicely cooked.

The noodles are customizable, meaning you can choose wavy or strait, and whether you want them firm or soft. I went with firm and strait, like a Viagra cock.

I’ll definitely be back here again soon. They have some really interesting broth flavors outside of just tonkotsu, and some great looking sides and apps as well.

UPDATE 8/1/17

I went back with my wife and tried two different ramen styles, as well as the fried chicken app. The fried chicken was good. The breading was super light, if even present, and the thigh meat was really tender. I think I liked Zundo-ya’s fried chicken better, though.

Next up, spicy black garlic ramen.

For the first half of the bowl, I liked this better than the deluxe style from my first visit. However, the flavor was aggressive and I preferred the deluxe style while I was slurping the second half. I guess it depends on your taste buds.

Second bowl: veggie ramen.

The soy milk broth is super flavorful, and it inspired me to create a hybrid broth consisting of pork bones cooked in soy milk in order to have an even more milky consistency to the broth. I’ll have to try it at home soon.

314 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019

The Norm at the Brooklyn Museum

The Norm is the restaurant inside the Brooklyn Museum. I was recently invited in to try their burgers and to help promote them on social media.

The space is gorgeous here, and it truly fits with the nice artwork and artifacts on display in the museum.

I browsed the menu while drinking a bloody Mary. This was nice and savory, and had just the right amount of spice to it.

The burgers were delicious. The first one I tried was “The Norman.” Topped with cheddar and bacon, and some house made pickles, lettuce, tomato and onion.

The second one was an interesting Japanese fusion type burger. The patty contained mushrooms as well as beef, and it was glazed with a teriyaki sauce, and topped with caramelized onion,  pickled daikon and carrots.

I also tried the pho flavored ramen. This was an interesting fusion of Vietnamese and Japanese soups. The Sun noodles were perfectly cooked, but the addition of too much fish sauce muddied the flavors that were cooked into the broth with the various cuts of beef.

It definitely smelled like pho though, because of the herbs. The soft boiled egg and flank steak on top were also perfectly cooked, like the noodles.

This ramen was indeed tricky. My wife and I both liked it enough to finish it – even after crushing two burgers with fries – but we were perplexed by the competing flavors within. Not bad by any means, just different.

I think the mushroom burger embodied the same feeling, only we loved that one and the ramen we just liked. I’d definitely go back to try more stuff here. They do a great job, and are definitely thinking outside the box.

at The Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy
Ground Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Aburiya Kinnosuke

I met my wife for a quick lunch near her office and we came here. I had the cold Korean style ramen noodles.

It was pretty good! Refreshing on a hot summer day.

My wife had this tuna saddle, which was massive and delicious.

They offer some nice lunch specials, but I recommend getting there just before noon, because the joint gets really packed out in the lunch rush.

213 E 45th St
New York, NY 10017

The Fat Monk

The Fat Monk has one of the most incredibly ambitious and delicious looking menus I’ve ever seen. Just about every item sounds unique and awesome, and I pretty much got to try them all.

Chef Rob McCue, who has been honing his art for 25 years, elevates American comfort food by using only the finest ingredients sourced via his close relationships with local artisans. He achieves the unexpected through molecular gastronomy, a style of cooking that you don’t often associate with American comfort cuisine.

And the unexpected delights are not limited to the food here, either. The cocktails are equally as exciting. Cory Goldstein, founder of Muddling Memories, put together an amazing cocktail menu.

We tried a whole bunch, but the standouts for me were the “Emma Stone’s a Ginger” (bourbon, peach, Lapsang Souchong tea, molasses, ginger beer, cookie “snack back”), “Say a Dirty Word” (barrel aged gin, vodka, house dirty brine, white pepper, chili oil, Boursin cheese stuffed olives), and “Paul Bunyan’s Flask” (rye, pine infused maple, Oloroso sherry, Bergamot bitters, apple wood smoke) cocktails. In fact, that’s the order in which I would recommend drinking them, the Emma to start the meal, the Dirty with your main course, and the Flask – which is a treat to see being served – with dessert.

Their PR person contacted me, and we arranged to bring in a crew of savage meat eating wackos to get down on all the tasty shit and post some pics of their joint on Instagram. So here’s what we had:


Oyster Escargot: Yeah – I know. Making you think a little, right? Oysters served with a parsley and pernod crust. Lovely.

Kale Caesar: Ours was more arugula and mixed greens than kale, which I was actually happy about. Kale is a bit woody for my liking. All that said, I didn’t even eat any salad. I had my sights set on tons of other delicious stuff.

Crispy Duck Wings: Crisp on the outside, super tender and fall-off-the-bone on the inside. Really amazing Thai/Viet flavor combo too from the sweet and tangy fish sauce glaze and scallions.

Double Cut Slab Bacon: This delicious shit tasted like spiral ham, but more bacony, if that makes any sense.

Deviled Eggs: That’s a “chicken-fried” oyster on top. The balance of textures here is what really sets this deviled egg apart from all the rest. It was a nice crisp against a velvety smooth egg.

Dungeness Crab Tater Tots: If these were around when I was a kid, I may have never found French fries. They’re like part carb cake, part tot. Really genius.

Shells & Cheese: Really nicely executed adult mac and cheese right here. Smoked bacon and fontina cheese make it decadent, but it’s not too rich to the point where you don’t want to touch your main courses after.

Scotch Egg: Perfection. Just really nicely done. Crispy outside, perfect slightly yolky egg inside. Again, great texture contrast.

Foie Gras Bratwurst: The ultimate mash-up of cheap eats and decadent eats, this is a bratwurst served in a hot dog style potato bun with foie gras, crispy onions and truffle mustard on top. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Delicious.


Schweinshaxe: Good luck trying to pronounce that shit, but I think it kinda sounds like you’re saying “swine shank” with your hand in your mouth, which makes sense considering what this is. Successfully speaking the name of this item is one thing, but I know you’ll succeed wildly at eating it. It’s a pork shank with a crispy-as-fuck skin on the outside and juicy-as-fuck meat on the inside. It’s served with spaetzle and cabbage.

Not a Ramen: This is an American fusion version of ramen. The broth is a beef bone consomme, and it’s served with a soft duck egg, a hunk of tender short rib, marrow and egg noodles. Obscenely good.

Duck Burger: This is actually quite lean, so if you’re trying to be mindful of fat intake, this might be the way to go for you. It still had a robust duck essence without being overly gamey. It’s topped with melted Emmenthaler cheese and shallot confit, and served with house cut fries.

Monk Burger:  This was my favorite between the two burgers; a house blend patty topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, shaved red onion and house pickles, served with smoked ketchup and fries.

Fried Chicken Sandwich: I actually didn’t get to try this, but take a look at that amazing batter on the chicken! The chicken itself is breast meat, but it has been pickle-brined. Very inventive!

Bone In Rib Eye: Here we go! This baby was cooked to a perfect medium rare through both the eye and the cap. It also had a pretty decent char-crust on the outside. It was seasoned nicely with flake salt and pepper, and served with roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic and seared exotic mushrooms (my guess is Hen of the Woods). 8/10.


Brussels Sprouts with Bacon: The bacon in this was thick cut style, and the smokey, sweet, meat flavor really permeated into the sprouts. Nice execution.

Seared Exotic Mushrooms: These also came with the steak, and were absolutely delicious. Earthy and savory.

House Cut Fries: The fries are pretty great! Usually I see thick fries like this and I’m immediately turned off. These were perfectly fried to a beautiful golden crisp, however, and nicely seasoned.

Also worth mentioning here is the homemade Irish Soda Bread that comes to the table at the beginning of the meal. Really good stuff.

You see how much shit I tried here?!?!? Well, I actually want to go back and try even more stuff. As I said, the menu is bonkers. Give this place a try. You won’t be disappointed.

949 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10025

Roki Le Izakaya

Japanese Brasserie ROKI Le Izakaya held a soft opening this past weekend. The menu features some really great stuff.

We tried pretty much everything that you see on the menu above, except for the veggie ramen. It sounds pretty good, though, and I’d like to go back and get it soon.

Canape are small bites of proteins set atop a bed of fried sticky rice. Each one is like an amuse, or hors. I tried three: uni (sea urchin), kani (crab) and ahi poke (dressed tuna). All were excellent, especially when eaten with the shiso leaf, but my favorite was the uni.

The quinoa salad with crab meat was the only menu item that seemed a bit out of place. It had a cumin spice to it, and it felt more middle eastern than Japanese. It was still very good, however.

Next up was the amberjack carpaccio. This was so clean and flavorful. t was perfectly dressed. I could eat this all night!

The duck chasiu was intense! And when the waiter came over with shaved foie gras on top, I knew I was in heaven.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

Shrimp gyoza were next. These were tasty and perfectly cooked.

A big crowd pleaser, though, was the pork buns item.

They were decadent and so tender. I mean look at that meat!

The star of the night, for me, was the ramen. I typically don’t get down on shoyu broths. I prefer a tonkotsu (which they will have on their full menu – this was just a soft open with a limited menu selection). But this shoyu broth was deep and rich! I loved it.

The toppings were also really fun. Fried lotus root, bamboo shoots, arugula, fresh pepper, fried crispy baby shrimp and char siu pork. Oh and of course, that perfect egg…

I can use a bowl right now, actually, as I sit here writing this review.

The roasted white sesame seed ice cream was awesome! It was just right for dessert – not too sweet at all. It was coated with a nice crisp, and then topped with a sesame and honey cracker. And drizzle that thick sauce on top to bring it home!!!

I will definitely be back here soon. This was a fantastic meal!

12 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010

Mr. Taka

Mr. Taka is easily one of the best bowls of tonkotsu I’ve had in NYC. The thick, rich pork broth manages to be full of porky flavor without going overboard with the salt content or overpowering you with too much garlic. It’s velvety smooth – no off-putting textures, which can sometimes happen with thickened broths.


The meat quality is awesome. Super soft with a good char on the outside of each slab. It falls apart between your chopsticks. So good. I recommend getting an additional slab, since your bowl will only come with one if you don’t.


The noodles are the straight kind, not wavy, and if you order the spicy version you get a soft boiled egg and a normal sized blob of spicy paste that won’t overrun the entire eating experience with heat.


I highly recommend this joint for all your slurping needs. It really is as close to perfect as you’re going to get.

170 Allen St
New York, NY 10002

Jin Ramen (UWS)

My wife and I popped in here for a Sunday lunch when the line for Jacob’s Pickles was wrapped down Amsterdam and we had absolutely zero desire to wait it out. We’d been to the Harlem Jin location in the past and liked it, so we knew we’d most likely enjoy the UWS location as well.

I was in the mood for cold ramen, since it was pretty hot outside. They offered two styles, but I ended up going with a nice cold salmon and roe soba noodle dish instead.


This shit was delicious, and so beautiful.


Top quality sushi grade salmon, tasty, briny roe (I think it was trout roe as opposed to salmon roe), and fresh microgreens topped the perfectly cooked cold soba noodles. It came with a cup of sauce to either dip or pour on top, as well as a mixed greens side salad.

My wife went with a Kakuni ramen dish, which featured Filipino style braised pork belly and a poached egg.


That’s a huge block of pork belly! The broth was tasty without being too salty, which was nice even on a hot day (I tasted some after it had cooled down a bit). The egg was perfectly poached and the noodles were perfectly cooked.

We also tried some refreshing Japanese cocktails and pork buns.


The pork buns were excellent, with the exception that I dislike scallions that are shredded long ways instead of sliced on the bias. I found myself picking them off the bun.


Note the scallions on my wife’s Kakuni ramen were sliced the way that I prefer.

462 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024


Every so often you find a joint that blows all of your expectations for a particular dish out of the water. Zundo-ya is one of those places.


The folks at Tabelog just held a small tasting event at Zundo-ya’s first US location, nestled in the crux between Union Square and the East Village – literally right around the corner from Ippudo. While Ippudo is great, and may be the spot that’s on more peoples’ ramen radar, Zundo-ya is where all those people should actually be going instead. I’m dead serious. This is my new favorite ramen spot.


Zundo-ya has about 20 locations in Japan, but what makes them stand out here in the crowded NYC ramenscape is the concept of bowl customization. Very few places feature anything that has been truly customized by the diner outside of toppings and add-ons. Here, you can also designate how intense or rich you’d like your broth (thickness, pork fat flavor, etc) and which kind of noodle you prefer (thin, straight; thick, wavy). While many joints may occasionally allow you to swap out a noodle style from what’s listed on the menu, that first metric – broth intensity/richness – is absolutely key for true ramen aficionados.


All too often I order a bowl of tonkotsu ramen and what comes to the table is a watered down, thin, weak-flavored bowl of dish water. That’s pure crap, especially these days, when we seem to be regularly paying upwards of $15 for a bowl. That problem is solved here. Simply order your broth rich or super rich.


I went all-in, with the Zenbunose ramen, which is a tonkotsu ramen with all of the available toppings.


I ordered this thing super rich, and with thick wavy noodles.


While $18 is a bit steep for ramen, I feel this bowl is truly satisfying and fulfilling. It comes with an extra helping of super tender roasted and caramelized chashu pork, a full and deliciously cured soft boiled egg, scallions, bean sprouts, garlic chips, dried seaweed and a blob of spicy paste. The base level version of this, without all the extras, is just $13. That’s not bad at all.


The broth was thick, almost to the level of a velvety chowder or cream-based soup in texture. The fat and salt content wasn’t overwhelming, but it was most certainly present, which is exactly what I want from my ramen. This stuff’ll make you sweat, and it’ll make your heart rate spike, but it is so worth it. The noodles were perfectly cooked and had a good stretch/snap to them as well.

I cooled off with these two excellent Kagua beers. One was darker, less filtered and had a slightly hoppy flavor (the red label), while the other was light, easy to drink and a little less cloudy (white label).


Not only is the ramen great, but this joint also serves up some fantastic sides and salads. This first one comes with bits of pork and cured egg on the edge of the bowl. Really nice touch, and a smart use of ingredients that overlap with the contents of the ramen.


The spicy fried shrimp salad was highly addictive too. The shrimp were nicely cooked with a light and crunchy batter.


And take a look at these buns! These are the very delicious spicy ra-yu pork belly buns, but they also offer a sweeter teriyaki style as well (also good). I’m usually not psyched about bun items in general, but these were pretty good because there was enough meat stuffed inside to balance out the bun with a good ratio.


The stand out starter for me, though, was the karaage; crispy fried chicken. This chicken is so tender that it’ll make you want to stab someone. And what happens when you dip these babies into the little blob of spicy mayo and dry seasonings that come with an order or karaage? Nothing short of an intense flavor explosion in your pie-hole of a mouth.


We even tried a little bit of dessert. This was ice cream with a soft mochi-like rice cake. The ice cream tasted like a really good Carvel soft serve vanilla, which is high compliments since that is my favorite thing on the planet for dessert.


I’m really excited about this place. And so is Tabelog. And Zundo-ya is excited that us blogger fools are excited as well; so much so that they’re giving out free gyoza (fried dumplings) to anyone who comes in between now and August 15th, 2016 and mentions “Tabelog” when ordering. Do it. I know I’ll definitely be back, especially given the fact that, unlike so many other NYC ramen joints, this place actually has elbow room and a comfortable amount of dining space.

84 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003

Momosan Ramen & Sake

Momosan is Iron Chef Morimoto’s newest joint that specializes in ramen and sake. It’s a smallish-sized joint that seats 66 people and has lots of bar seating.


Speaking of the bar, they have some really interesting beers and sakes. I tried two great beers: a hazelnut Morimoto bottle and a soba ale draft, both by Rogue.



My wife went with a really good sake that the bartender recommended (Suehiro was the brand), It was just the right balance of sweetness, served in an overflowing shot within a wooden box.


So not only does this place have great ramen, as you will see below, but they also have really good and unique apps and entrees. The executive chef is Korean, so there are some Korean-inspired items on the menu like various kimchis and bibimbap-like dishes. We started with the pork jowl and tofu kimchi.


As you can see, it’s sitting on a nice pillow of silken tofu, which you will definitely need a spoon to pick up, as the chopsticks cut right through it.


The next two dishes were the clear stand-outs of the three. Crispy pig ears and braised pig feet. They may sound disgusting to the average person, but let me assure you they were absolutely incredible. First the ears: these were like crispy pig fries. They had just the right amount of crunch on the outside and tenderness on the inside to make you not even know you were eating meat. But so packed with flavor. I could eat a bucket of these without blinking.



These came with a spiced mayo for dipping, but I recommend dipping them in this hard to find chili garlic paste as well (it’s on the tables and the bar here). It had an almost mustard-like flavor profile to it, even though the ingredients are pretty simple – chilies, garlic, water and vinegar.


Now the pig’s feet. Amazing. You get two parts here. One is the gelatinous hoof-like part – which is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, like pork jelly – and the other is braised and crisped meat.

Hoof part:


Braised and crisped part:



It’s nice to eat a little together at the same time to mix up the textures. I think this might have been my favorite of the three, but it was very difficult to make that call up against the ears. So when you go, just man-up and order them both.

Okay, so now for the ramen. I tried the tonkotsu with an added slab of miso-braised pork belly on top.





The broth was very flavorful with a nice layer of fat on top, paying homage to the real-deal Japanese versions of this style. I was distinctly able to taste the use of kelp in the broth, which was nice and refreshing. The egg was perfect, but the $4 added slab of pork belly was a bit small (though incredibly delicious).


My wife tried the tantan, which is a spicy coconut curry broth with pork and saffron. The deep red color is absolutely stunning.



I liked it very much. The sweetness of the coconut cut the spice of the curry really well. When I come back, I will be getting a bowl of this for myself, for sure.

The ramen all come in two sizes, and if you are really torn between choosing, then get two small bowls.

The tsukemen, however, does not come in two sizes. Tsukemen is concentrated ramen broth with a bowl of dry noodles and meat that you dip into the concentrated broth before eating. My buddy ordered this. He’s pretty reserved and particular when it comes to judging noodle shops, but he really did like this one a lot, and Morimoto kept coming to our table to check on him and what he thought when he got wind that there was a true tsukemen aficionado in the house who had not been impressed by any other NYC ramen shops’ offerings to date.

Below is a shot of the tsukemen noodle bowl. You’ll notice a lime wedge in there. The chef recommends eating the first half without the lime, and then using the lime to punch up the second half. I think it’s a smart move because the citrus acts to cut through the fatty layer that forms over your mouth and tastebuds from eating the first half. The lime essentially cleanses the palette so you can taste all that goodness again on the second half of the bowl, only this time with some added citrus kick. Delicious.


I think that about covers it. Great first few days for this new opening, and I am excited to go back in for their lunch specials, which will consist of a small ramen and an app or rice “don” item for just $16.

342 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10016