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Jan 25, 2008 08:14 AM

Sapporo W 49th Special Ramen Soup?

Ok, here is the truth. If I was told to order my 'last meal' it would be the Special Ramen Soup (#5) at Sapporo on W 49th in NYC. I'm sorry, but there is nothing (nothing) I would rather eat than this. The most flavorful broth ever, wonderful HOT noodles, crunchy sprouts, pork, spinach, etc. etc. I only get to midtown about once a week, but I will literally do an hour on the treadmill in advance to justify a bowl of this soup. And being a singleton, I sit at the counter and watch what is probably a better show than most of what's on Bway today (is there anything more entertaining than watching the guy on the end screaming out the orders and the cooks going nose to nose with 3' high flames? And about $10 with a $2 tip!

Does anyone else feel this way about this place/the soup? Am I just a Ramen novice and missing out on much better fare elsewhere?

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  1. I just had the special ramen soup last week and I thought it was only OK, although I am not a ramen expert, so don't know where else would be better. we just went there bec. it was midway bet. us and knew that it would be a quick lunch.

    1. I like the sapporo special cause it's big, inexpensive and filling.

      The soup is ok. They are fairly inconsistent too. Sometimes i get soggy noodles. Sometimes the pork is really hard and dry etc...

      I'm not a ramen expert either but that's the feeling I get from eating there.

      I like menchanko tei a bunch of blocks up from sapporo better, 55th street between 6th and 5th. I enjoy the hakata ramen and the tsukemen with pork n miso.

      5 Replies
      1. re: randumbposter

        Thanks for the tip. I always go pretty early (before noon) and, at that time at least, it is very consistent (maybe everything is fresher). I might try menchanko next time - only a five minute walk from sapporo.

        1. re: bnemes3343

          the best thing at sapporo is pork chahan (fried rice) and gyoza...both are awesome

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Rand and MissN, visited the Menchanko web site and their ramen soup looks awesome (and .20 less!). Am going on Tuesday. If this is even better than Saporo I will be forever in your debt...

            1. re: bnemes3343

              If you can, try the hakata ramen. It's ramen in pork bone soup that's been simmered until it's milky white. I don't think Sapporo offers it either. It's really delicious!

        2. I just had the special today, and I do agree with you that it rocks. I've been eating at this place for nearly 20 years, and I'm amazed at how it manages to keep its prices down w/o raising its menu prices too high. It deserves props for its longevity and loyal customers. I crave the special just about every month. And you're right about the show at the counter...it's fun and fascinating. I saw so many different dishes today that I wish I knew what they all were. Menchanko tei is good too--it's got a calmer atmosphere.

          3 Replies
          1. re: gloriousfood

            Lots of Ramen discussion on this board...imo Sapporo is average - Ramen Setagaya, Rai Rai Ken and Momofuku all superior in my book...

            1. re: Scotty100

              I've not been to Setagaya yet, but I do respectfully disagree on RRK and Momofuku.

              What would you recommend at Setagaya?

              1. re: gloriousfood

                You really can't go wrong at Setagaya. The menu is extremely limited.

                That said, I personally recommend the Tsukemen (dipping one) and a side of the egg. It's a little more flavourful to me.

          2. In my opinion, Sapporo and RRK are average. Menchanko Tei is good. Minca Noodle Factory is good too - haven't been there in a long while, tho. Setagaya rocks. And ramen at Momofuku is kinda crappy... like overcooked and soggy. I noticed most of customers there were ordering non-noodle items from the menu.

            5 Replies
            1. re: MooShu

              My last couple of Setagaya visits have been pretty disappointing. The broth wasn't as good as the first visits, and the pork was dry both times.

              1. re: Peter Cuce

                I work for a Japanese company, and more than one person has told me they didn't think much of Setagaya. Minca downtown has gotten some thumbs up though

                1. re: JSHAFT78

                  I haven't been to Setagaya since the first month it opened. It's a very ambitious type of ramen to undertake and it really requires a level a diligence and skill that has to be constantly applied to make it successful- not to mention that they need to maintain access to the same type and level of ingredients. Perhaps the crowds and their own success have hindered them. I don't know. It's disappointing if they can't maintain their A-game.

                  Minca is horrible. Ippudo is coming soon. Hopefully Sapporo and Setagaya can step up, lest we suffer from tonkotsu hegemony.

                    1. re: eatfood

                      Stopped by the other day. They've got help wanted signs up in Japanese, but I couldn't see inside the shop. Place will seat 80-85 persons according to an article I read in a Japanese paper. Shop hours will be 11am-2am. They're saying January.....um, probably not. Soon hopefully though.

            2. Rai Rai Ken - East 10th St between 2nd and 1st.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SunnysideUp

                I don't like Rai Rai Ken much at all.