HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


ramen-setagaya or ippudo?

  • j

which has better ramen and broth? also, there will be four of us? are there tables in setagaya or only counter seating. thanks for your help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ramen - Setegaya, by a little
    Broth - Ippudo, by a lot.

    Overall winner: Ippudo, their "Akamaru Modern" ramen is unlike anything Setagaya has to offer. The broth is just gorgeous, and for good reason it's the most popular choice at Ippudo. Don't worry, the ramen is good, but setagaya's in my mind is a little better. But tiny matters, I would go to Ippudo in a heartbeat over Setagaya for the Akamaru Modern.

    1. Ippudo by a landslide.

        1. I like both, but as others have said, the "Akamaru Modern" at Ippudo is really fantastic. I think the pork is better at Ippudo as well.

          1. I'm far from a ramen expert (as I grew up with Sapporo Ichiban). But I believe Setayaga specializes in shio ramen and Ippudo specializes in tonkotsu. So you're kind of talking apples and oranges here. But if there are four of you guys, you will definitely be more comfortable at Ippudo. I'm also a fan of the Akamaru Modern as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              I was impressed with Ippudo and it's more of a restaurant than Setagaya is. The thing is, I'm not a fan of the tonkotsu style broth. It's "oppressively porky" in my mind. It's the same style that Minca serves and I personally just don't like the style.

              I find myself more often in Setagaya and Rai Rai Ken, but objectively speaking Ippudo's Akamaru ramen is worth a visit. It's very intense. Very porky.

              If you're looking more for a lighter broth, then Setagaya is your better option. There are little table-ettes in addition to the counter seating. But it's not a hang-out place. it's eat-and-go, at Setagaya.

              1. I have to put in my vote for Setagaya, although I'm starting to realize I generally prefer shio broths (esp ones that hint of the sea, as Setagaya's does). I found Setagaya's broth more complex, and the ramen had a better chew and a slight roughness and irregularity that I preferred. I had the Akamaru Modern at Ippudo, and found it interesting, but thought the noodles seemed softer and had a slippier mouthfeel. Also, I find I burn out quickly on tonkotsu broths, while good shio broths seem to evolve as I work my way through the bowl. I was actually so convinced by this thread that Ippudo was the superior one that I almost didn't go to Setagaya - luckily CH buddy Porthos bullied me into going anyway.

                Just for comparison to the Santouka chain (I go to one of the SoCal branches whenever I visit my parents), Setagaya's broth has less of an ocean-y presence, and the charsiu (at either Ippudo or Setagaya, actually) can't touch the mindblowingly fantastic stuff at Santouka. However, Setagaya's did come with a really delicious, wobbly, halfway between soft- and hard-boiled egg, flavored with the most intriguing hint of sherry. That egg alone makes Setagaya worth the trip.

                1. Knowing that Setagaya specializes in Shoyu I've never been there, I just like the pork broth better. that being said I think the broth at Ippudo was among the best I've had here. I really like the pork at Ippudo too - the problem with too many ramen places is that the pork belly fat and meat are not "unified" enough if you will. In a lot of them you just get a clear layer of meat with a a strip of fat. The ippudo pork belly has a nice texture all the way through where its all smooth, you don't have the juxtoposition of fat to meat which i don't really like (mostly b/c i don't like feeling like i'm eating a chunk of fat). also, i'm not sure if other places do this, but at ippudo u can get a second helping of noodles which is the only way i can feel full after a bowl of ramen. If anywhere else does this i've never seen it placed prominently on the menu.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Renguin

                    Setagaya specializes in shio ramen, not shoyu. And Ippudo's charshu is not made from pork belly. That's why you don't get the layering. It's probably a portion of pork shoulder. Most authentic Japanese ramen places do not really use pork belly because the fat liquefies too quickly. The places I've had it, the meat was marinated and refrigerated close till serving to maintain its' solidity. The Santouka branches in Japan used to serve this. I can't remember though, if the Mitsuwa branch in NJ does as well...

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      The good news for you Setagaya fans is there is never a wait and they are open late. Ippudo for dinner is always at least a 40 minute wait. For me the side orders make ippudo more attractive. The noodles are high quality, the broth is heavier and one can possibly not consume as much. Setagaya's is ligher. But Ippudo in general is a better experience atmosphere wise

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        Is that the same thing different spelling or an entirely different type of broth. the place I go for lunch a lot (menchanko tei) call their soy sauce broth "Shoyu". I assumed they were the same thing but I guess not?

                        1. re: Renguin

                          Shoyu means soy sauce and shio means salt. I guess they may serve shoyu now, but their feature broth is shio...The last time I was at Setagaya, the Korean chefs were doing sudoku puzzles behind the counter.

                        2. re: Silverjay

                          The spicy bean curd pot thing, OH MY. One of five best things eaten in NY this year

                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                            I love it. Silverjay is on a row here. Now that we've cleared up that Shoyu does NOT equal Shio. Next we'll have to try not to see a bunch of numbers when eating a bowl of soon dubu :)