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Sep 12, 2007 12:43 PM

Best Ramen in NYC?

I'm on a quest for the best ramen shop in new york. there are a lot around these days, but so far none of the one's i've been to can hold a candle to the profoundly wonderful ramen i've had in Japan.

Setagaya was written up as "authentic", but it seemed to me like an overpriced attempt at presenting what Americans imagine ramen is like in Japan - a little fishy and accompanied by edamame. the best ramen i had in japan (sort of thought of there as chinese food) was meaty and accompanied by pork dumplings.
I think the best i've had so far was Ajisen on Mott st. in Chinatown, but the pork slices were a little too thick and dry.
I hear a lot about Momofukuya, but i'm always wary of hype. Any opinions on that?

Any recomendations? Thanks!

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  1. I can't vouch for authenticity, but I get the hand-pulled ramen in soup with roast pork at Mee Noodle on 9th (at 53rd). The pork is good, moist, fatty, and flavorful. The noodles are bouncy and light. The broth is not too salty.

    It's maybe $6 for a huge bowl of it, and if you get takeout the broth comes in its own container, so nothing sogs out. I get it while I do laundry across the street. Cheap and good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: corgette

      I think the OP is looking for a japanese version.

    2. Momofuku is not Japanese-style ramen, it's more of a fusion greenmarket take on it. If you go in expecting even a mediocre but authentic Japanese version, you'll be sorely disappointed, but if you just want a nice semi-Asian-style noodle soup with fresh ingredients, that's Momofuku.

      1. For ramen head my MOST favorite ramen spot:
        Sapporo, 152 W.49th btw. 6& 7th.

        There is a choice of many broths and styles including, miso, shoyu, shio, and vegetable! A typical bowl will come with a slice of roast pork, hard boiled egg, fishcake, bean sprouts, etc. Soup is HOT, rich, and delicious. The noodles are never overcooked, and the ratio of soup to noodles is just right. You will roll out of that place after a bowl of their ramen. Other dishes, such as yakisoba and sukiyaki are just as tasty and satisfying.
        Lunch time is very busy and the service is lightning fast, but towards the later hours you will find it more relxed.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bosun

          I second Sapporo's, it's very good. I don't know if you consider Ramen Santoka any good, I thought it was the delicious...amazing miso broth, there is a branch in the Mitsuwa Market in NJ.

          1. re: moymoy

            I agree with Moymoy. I like Ramen Santoka too!

            1. re: bearmi

              LOL, I wish they would open a Ramen Santoka in NYC!!! I can't believe they haven't. I keep thinking about that miso broth and the berkshire pork.

              Once I had Santoka every other ramen seemed lackluster.

            2. re: moymoy

              we were just there at the mitsuwa market and i had the best buckwheat ramen (or is that buckwheat soba??) at the counter closest to the window. i had it with a great broth and some tempura on top. can someone tell me what kind of broth that is??? i have buckwheat noodles that i brought home but wasn't sure what to buy to make that broth. and i'm looking for whatever it is without msg...and mitsuwa carries a few brands that are sans msg. and if i buy it in a bottle, do you have to water it down a bit? anyway, the type of broth identified would be a great help from all you ramen experts.

          2. No clue what authentic ramen tastes like.

            If you want tender pork, try minca(haven't been back lately. i've noticed the chef used to keep the pork covered probably to prevent drying out or something). Most other places are hit or miss with the pork.

            Menchenko on 55th has tender pork if you order the tsukemen.

            If you like ajisen ramen , you would probably like yakitori taisho ramen. The soup tastes similiar and is topped off with thick slices of dried pork.

            The other usual suspects to try are men kui tei, sapporo, rai rai ken. If you do a search, there are multiple threads on this subject. The conclusion usually ends with, go to mitsuwa market in new jersey and get ramen there.

            Anyway, having not experienced authentic ramen, I find most to be tasty and edible. The only ramen that gets a fail from me, is momofuku. Bland soup , soggy noodles.

            2 Replies
            1. re: randumbposter

              Just to be clear here - the name of the place mentioned above is Menchanko-tei, and it's on 45th, not 55th, between Lexington and 3rd, within walking distance of Grand Central.

              The great thing about Menchanko-tei is that they serve Hiyashi Chuka, a cold summer ramen dish that was one of my favorite dishes when I lived in Japan. It's hard to find here.

              1. re: bpickar

                There are 2 Menchanko-teis. On 45th and 55th.

            2. Hmm. Have you tried Chikubu (only on Fridays). I forget the exact hours. This is the style of pork ramen you want, I think.

              3 Replies
              1. re: cimui

                Chikubu has been closed for a while now, but yeah, that ramen was good.

                For "authentic" ramen, it seems Setagaya, Minca and Rai Rai Ken are the big names. I've only had RRK out of those three, but it was good.

                1. re: janethepain

                  Oh no, that's really sad. I went just a few months ago. It certainly couldn't've gone out of business, could it?

                  1. re: cimui

                    Nope, it definitely wasn't hurting for business. The owners wanted to retire and return to Japan, I believe.