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CHIKUBU's friday shoyu ramen for lunch

  • m

i just went again today. open 11am-2pm for lunch near grand central on w44th/madison, CHIKUBU's friday only shoyu roast pork ramen soup lunch special is still stellar as always.

best to sit at the sushi bar. here's a tip: if you take your time, i know that is asking a lot, but if you do and you mush the roast pork in and add the sides it gets even better as you go along.

for $10 this is far and away the best lunch dish in the city if you ask me. if you go prepare to wait on line, but service is speedy and sweet.

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  1. I've never found it to be stellar. I know a lot of people like it, but it's nothing special to me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Peter Cuce

      Peter, what places do you like better?

      1. re: Abbylovi

        None, I guess. But this has all been gone over in that big Japanese noodles thread a couple of months back.

    2. it's totally stellar. the legions of salarymen and gals lined up out the door for lunch must agree. there is no better version either.

      1. I tend to agree. It's probably the best ramen in NYC currently. It is Tokyo style shoyu ramen, and a very well-done version. Very basic, yet well executed. Can't say I've had ramen as good recently, besides the stuff I made from scratch myself.

        1. I think Sapporo is supposed to be the standout ramen place in that area--it's across the street from me (on 49th b/w 6th and 7th) and is consistently packed. I've only tried them once and didn't like them as much as rai rai ken. Ramen makes me wish I liked pork (can't stomach the grease).

          8 Replies
          1. re: erikka

            Pork and grease are not synonymous.

            1. re: erikka

              Sapporo isn't really a standout place. It's just been an average ramen joint for ages. Nothing more, nothing less. It's been that way since this post from several years back.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              And it hasn't gotten any better. It hasn't declined that much either.

              1. re: E Eto

                I remember a NY Times article (which now appears to be under 'select' and unaccessible) ranked Sopporo rather high for a certain style of ramen (can't remember). I prefer my noodles a little more al dente than what they served. Are there better places in the area - something not too pork-y (sorry, I'm hung up on that--pork ramen just doesn't do anything for me)?

                1. re: erikka

                  At ramen shops, you can usually order your noodles, the amount of oil, and things like the amount of garlic or spice used, to your own liking- just ask them.....The best in the area, based on my own tastes and several vocal ramen critics on this board, is the branch of Santouka Ramen in the Mitsuwa supermarketing in Edgewater, NJ. The broth, which is called shio or "salt", is on the light side and is a chicken broth...The state of ramen in this cosmopolitan city is dismal. Most places here serve at the level you get on a train platform in Tokyo. The New York Times won't help you find good ramen in New York because there is none....Is "Aki" still around?

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Santouka uses chicken for their broth, but the base is more pork bone than chicken. Their house ramen is a shio-tonkotsu (meaning pig bone) style. Unfortunately for Erikka, pork or pork bone is far too integral an ingredient to be omitted for ramen. It's like asking for wheat-free pizza. Sure, it might exist, but you'll have to go far out of your way to find it.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      To e eto--

                      what about the soy sauce ramens--those have pork in them as well? There is more than one broth base if I remember correctly (never get the curry--yuck!)

                      I've never been to Santouka, just Sapporo. I have had the pork ramen at Rai Rai Ken on many ocasions and wasn't overwhelmed by the oil or pork. I just don't like getting a bowl with floating hunks of fat in it (like I did at Momofuku).

                    2. re: erikka

                      A place that I like better than Sapporo is Menkuitei Larmen which is on 56th between 5th & 6th Ave, closer to 6th Ave. They have a variety or noodle dishes and a few rice dishes. Gyoza are pretty good too.

                      I like Chikubu's Friday special as well, but it get high points mostly because of a lack of competition.

                2. I've always been pretty partial to Menchanko-Tei ramen... http://www.menchankotei.com/ 2 locations in Manhattan. Very credible, good broth, lots of Japanese at lunchtime.