More "Ramen Setagaya" coming soon...
The latest edition of the Japanese weekly "Japion" has an ad by Setagaya that says they will be opening a second East Village shop and a Flushing shop soon.
Yup on the St Marks shop:
The location of a former frozen yogurt spot (which didn't have a chance the second Pinkberry finally opened, Red Mango was the death knell).
It doesn't seem like a good idea to me to open another Setagaya with so many ramen shops in the area. Setagaya, Setagaya #2, Momofuku, Minca, Menkuitei, Ippudo, Rai Rai Ken, Kambi, Sapporo East...
been reading too much chopsticks (free japanese advertorial rag) so I ended up ordering the gyolou ramen at the second setagaya (only offered at the st marks one, not the original 1st ave branch); disappointing. yummy chewy noodles in a decent broth, served with minced raw garlic; only other accompaniments were bean sprouts and regular cabbage, and 3-4 slices of pork (the fatty spirals, not grilled/bbq). had to order the zara-deluxe to get something close to their shio (an app. sampler I guess, but more like regular toppings for a regular ramen for $7, a small pile of the bamboo salad, a salt-egg (yum) and grilled pork rounds). so, paying $18 for basically plain ol ramen was really bad and disappointing. shoulda got the shio or the shou-yu. ah well.
luckily, followed it up with a real noodle soup the next day featuring bamboo: World of Taste's duck and bamboo shoot noodle soup, $6.50 for the most wondrous vietnamese soup I've ever had: huge pieces of duck leg, bamboo, served w/ the usual pho vegetation and herbals, in a wonderfully bamboo-flavored broth. comes with rice noodles but I ordered with the skinny yellow noodles; so delicious and also comes with a delightly spicy and strong tasting ginger sauce (make sure to ask for it).
Pho Saigon No. 1
2614 Jerome Ave, Bronx, NY 10468
Went last night to check out the new location. They still have a limited menu - Shio Ramen and Shio Cha-Syu-men. They also have cold noodles and curry rice.
Given it was freezing last night, we both went with the Shio Ramen. The broth had a wonderful pork flavor and was quite salty. I personally love everything salty (I DID grow up in the South!), though I know some people tend to criticize Setagaya for over-salting: Not I. I would have preferred more bamboo though - I need to remember to order extra next time. I was aslo suprised to find regular ramen noodles instead of the varying length noodles they are known for.
All around, a yummy warm treat for a very cold evening. We also walked around the corner to Num Pang (the new sandwich shop from the owners of Kampuchea) to share a sandwich, but sadly it was closed. They said they were overwhelmed in the first couple of days and had closed down to prep, and would be open the following day. It smelled really good inside and we watched them making lots of little meatballs. Can't wait to try this place!