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Ramen Setagaya coming to Flushing

Polecat Apr 10, 2009 05:41 AM

I rubbed my eyes, opened and closed them a few times, but it wouldn't go away, so this wasn't insomniac deliria. The sign in the window said "Ramen Setagaya", and was accompanied by two photos of the trademark shio ramen. No opening date posted. Corner of Prince Street and 37th Avenue, same side of street as Green Papaya Thai, Canton Gourmet, etc, but a block or so closer to Northern.

As a frequent visitor to Japan, and a ramen lover, I was very pleased with Setagaya's product when they first set up shop in the EV a few years back. Haven't been back in a few years, and have heard the reports of declining quality.

As a Queens resident, I'll keep my hopes up for its' own sake, until I have reason not to. We're pretty much ramen-deprived in this borough.
P.

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    kathryn RE: Polecat Apr 10, 2009 10:09 AM

    Wow, they really are taking over. There is now one on 1st Ave and 9th, one on St Marks between 2rd and 3rd, and another on University Place and 11th.

    1. bigjeff RE: Polecat Jun 22, 2009 07:35 AM

      just saw the new Ramen Setagaya; so crazy! It had a buncha people inside, and on the same block, there are some sleek new storefronts, a toy store with a bubble tea parlor on the first floor, and some other restaurant as well. This is frontier land on Prince Street!

      4 Replies
      1. re: bigjeff
        Polecat RE: bigjeff Jun 22, 2009 07:58 AM

        We hit Setagaya this past Saturday. Our expectations, given the recent reports concerning the Manhattan locations, weren't high; at the same time, we were hoping for something at least halfway decent. This is, after all, our first official Japanese ramen-ya in Queens (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

        I've gone on record as being a fan of the 1st Avenue NYC flagship. When they opened, they served up some solid ramen. The wife and I were really psyched to finally have some of the good stuff on these shores. What we had this past Saturday, however, at the new Flushig branch, was a pale replica. My wife had the Shio ramen - the broth was pretty much tasteless. I was jonesing for the Tsukemen, which was served up with a lukewarm and incredibly greasy broth, which turned cold within minutes. This is a kind of bush league oversight, as I see it.

        This is also a strange kind of set-up for a ramen shop. The ceilings, for one, are incredibly high, accomodating a second floor. Not that I hold this against them - it's just not the cramped quarters one is used to while slurping ramen. Then again, it's very open and spacious.

        None of the above-mentioned is irreversible, however, and it's hard for me to vow not to return to Queens' lone ramen shop. That said, I'll wait a while to give them a second chance. Perhaps until winter, which is the best time of year for ramen anyway.
        P.

        1. re: Polecat
          bigjeff RE: Polecat Jun 22, 2009 08:38 AM

          ya I didn't like the past couple slurps I've had at setagaya (st marks and original). there is a "ramen-ya" at the food court in Queens Crossing (Ajisen, which also has a spot in manhattan's chinatown). The fact that it's in a food court at a fancy mall automatically negates it; the fact that it is part of a bad chain also negates it but, I haven't eaten there so I dunno. it would be interesting to knock Ajisen because it is a chinese-owned chain (I saw on another thread that apparently is a taiwanese-owned chain in japan; how murky is the world of globalized cuisines!) but speaking to authenticity issues (like the tree in the forest), does a chinese-owned restaurant for a cuisine (wafu-chuka, chinese-style food in japan, of which ramen is its most famous food) mean that it is like the true-true "mother" of that style of food? doubtful, but, kinda funny.

          anyway, will try the place out although I don't want to ruin my delicious ramen streak (ippudo ippudo all day, athough I will hit Terakawa this week).

          1. re: bigjeff
            bigjeff RE: bigjeff Jun 22, 2009 08:39 AM

            more info on Ajisen:

            http://www.ramenramenramen.net/2008/1...

            1. re: bigjeff
              Polecat RE: bigjeff Jun 22, 2009 09:13 AM

              We tried Ajisen on Mott some time ago - it was years back, before ramen started taking over the east village and manhattan at large - and we weren't all that impressed.

              But then, if they got to Queens first, so be it. Didn't know they pitched camp at the Queens Mall. Suffice to say I'll be heading to Manhattan for ramen. Or, better yet, Japan. Saturday's tsukemen served to remind me how much I miss my current favorite ramen-ya, Santoya.
              P.

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