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Best Ramen - one person a vote

Singar Nov 29, 2006 08:15 AM

Hey everyone.

I have read through all the manhattan ramen posts on this board, and cannot come to any conclusions (not surprisingly). Of course, I intend to judge for myself, but I would like to at least have a few places to start with.

So if it is okay, please simply state where you think in manhattan serves the best ramen, and maybe one line about why it is good / best dish / what you like about it, etc. I will edit this post and keep track of the votes as we go.

Thanks guys!

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  1. j
    JohnnG RE: Singar Nov 29, 2006 06:18 PM

    One vote for Momofuku! Great noodles, amazing pork buns

    1. bigjeff RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 01:06 AM

      out of risk of getting booted, I present one up vote, and one down vote.

      YES - Rai Rai Ken on east 10th for their regular shio ramen, and also, for their cold ramen noodle dish.

      NO - Minca, but only because I find their shoyu (pork) broth to be way too strong and porky and fatty. Their Wahoo is good though.

      1. j
        JoLi RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 02:55 AM

        What's the place called on 47 between 6th and 7th? Went there once with a co-worker and their specialty was ramen, darn good!

        1. g
          gutsofsteel RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 04:33 AM

          Chikubu is by far the best. Fridays only.

          If you do a search for ramen, you will find many discussions on this subject here on CH.

          1. k
            krunkymunky RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 04:29 PM

            JoLi ... i think you're talking about Saporo. yes, it's very good and has my vote. :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: krunkymunky
              JoLi RE: krunkymunky Nov 30, 2006 04:44 PM

              Yes that is correct. I couldn't remember where in the 40s it was.

            2. Woodside Al RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 04:37 PM

              Sapporo is on 49th.

              Definitely Minca as the best ramen-ya. They have the best broth, particularly the pork bone (tonkotsu) ramen. Strange complaint about it above -- it's SUPPOSED to be strong, porky, and fatty.

              I don't know what that is that Momofuku makes, but it certainly isn't authentic Japanese ramen.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Woodside Al
                bigjeff RE: Woodside Al Nov 30, 2006 06:25 PM

                ya it is definitely extremely strong and porky; I prefer the lighter flavor of Rai Rai Ken's or even Menchanko-Tei's in midtown, but that ramen was just way overwhelming for me. I might have just gone overboard with the charshu ramen order, who knows?

                1. re: bigjeff
                  Silverjay RE: bigjeff Nov 30, 2006 07:36 PM

                  In your case bigjeff, it's a preference in dishes, not restaurants. Calling tonkotsu ramen strong and porky is like saying "I like the fried chicken, except I didn't like the skin". It's a preference in dishes, not restaurants... That said, I respectfully disagree with Woodside Al on Minca. I wouldn't even call their broth that strong, nor tasty. Actually, I'm borderline on calling Minca disgusting. I think the recipe has been cobbled together to approximate "authentic" tonkotsu soup.

                  1. re: Silverjay
                    welle RE: Silverjay Nov 30, 2006 08:45 PM

                    Silverjay, can you recommend a place in NYC with a good tonkotsu ramen? TIA.

                    1. re: welle
                      Silverjay RE: welle Dec 1, 2006 04:43 PM

                      Sorry, there's no place right now I personally would go out of my way to slurp at, tonkotsu or otherwise. You can try the Friday special at Chikubu, which has its fans.

                      1. re: Silverjay
                        Ricky RE: Silverjay Dec 1, 2006 06:14 PM

                        Have you tried Rockmeisha, probably the closest thing to real kyushu tonkotsu, and the shio tonkotsu at Santouka.

                        1. re: Ricky
                          Silverjay RE: Ricky Dec 1, 2006 07:03 PM

                          I think we've had this converstation before Ricky. No, I'll check out Rockmeisha- maybe Welle can as well. It's a Kyushu focused restaurant afterall. Santouka, as I've tooted many times, is the only ramen I've had in the area worth any sort of extra energy to visit- though it is as Eric Eto pointed out, "tonkotsu style" not the full on Kyushu thing. But it's a standard high quality Japan chain. I used to visit a branch in Tokyo regularly...OK, I need to stay away from these NYC ramen threads.

                    2. re: Silverjay
                      bigjeff RE: Silverjay Dec 1, 2006 07:40 PM

                      Silverjay, I didn't have the tonkatsu, I had the charshu, which starts with their shoyu ramen and then adds extra pork so it was an extra large helping of extremely rich and fatty pork (which I did enjoy) but again, if ramen is *really* meant to taste like that, then I might not be cut out for it. I've had ramen at a number of places and nothing came close to how strong the flavor was. leaving restaurant, I had this coating in my esophagus that I could not get rid of, and if meant to be true to the dish, then sure, I'll admit, charshu ramen is not for me. there was no balance, no subtlety, just this extreme flavor that overpowered the entire bowl. like I said, I'd prefer the miso based ones over the pork based ones. perhaps the tonkatsu is a different creature?

                      1. re: bigjeff
                        Silverjay RE: bigjeff Dec 1, 2006 08:09 PM

                        Chashu just means sliced pork. It's not a type of ramen. It's a Japanified Chinese word. It's the name of a topping- chashu ramen is like saying pepperoni or mushroom pizza. What counts is the soup, which may have been tonkotsu. Anyhow, just avoid this shop. It sucks...But some tonkotsu ramens, usually mixed with other broths, have lots of subltely and balance. So don't give up on it yet.

                        1. re: Silverjay
                          bigjeff RE: Silverjay Dec 3, 2006 02:03 AM

                          ya, the soup was what they call shoyu (soy sauce flavored and thick broth) so I got the shoyu with extra charshu . . . and if the tonkotsu is the heavy pork-bone based broth, then maybe its the same. and, I'll be checking back in with this thread once the votes are tallied for some more ramen choices; minca is done for me.

                2. k
                  krunkymunky RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 04:39 PM

                  p.s. is momofuku even ramen?

                  1. s
                    spicynuts RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 04:40 PM

                    I vote Rai Rai Ken.

                    Momofuku I enjoy but I wouldn't call it Ramen and it is overpriced

                    1. k
                      Kanger RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 08:51 PM

                      Momofuku, *despite* its inauthenticity and overpricing.

                      1. m
                        millerd RE: Singar Nov 30, 2006 09:07 PM

                        Its not the most traditional, but I do love the mabo ramen at Men Kui Tei

                        1. r
                          Ricky RE: Singar Dec 1, 2006 01:37 AM

                          People who vote for momofuku have never tried $1.29 Chuka Zanmai.

                          1. chowmeow RE: Singar Dec 2, 2006 10:30 PM

                            I vote for Minca. I love their flavorful, rich broth and it compares favorably with good ramen I've had in Japan. I find most other broths here in NYC to be salty and one-dimensional in flavor

                            1. h
                              Happygirl RE: Singar Dec 3, 2006 03:56 AM

                              I vote for Minca. I love their full bodied broth. I do not find it to be salty, or fatty. I do find it to be delicious.

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