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Oct 15, 2012 11:41 AM

YumeWoKatare Ramen - anyone been yet?

I've been pining for really good ramen since visiting Japan. YumeWoKatare Ramen (Porter Sq - former Zing Pizza location) just opened and looks promising.

Anyone been yet?

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    1. I guess there is no "vegetarian" broth option?

      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        nope. only pork on pork on pork hahahha

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          yep, i was hoping for a vegetarian option myself-boo!

          1. re: granolagurl

            Given that it's a traditional Japanese ramen-ya that came to town with their imported-from-Japan menu centered completely around a single menu item -- pork ramen -- I don't see why they would be expected to offer a vegetarian option, or how that would even be possible. Should they be expected to offer a kosher option, too?

            1. re: Boston_Otter

              I, personally, am holding out for a buffalo chicken ramen.

              1. re: Boston_Otter

                hi otter. no expectations here. i realize that the desire for a vegetarian ramen option is just a delusional pipe dream but so be it, i can dream!

                1. re: granolagurl

                  There's excellent veggie ramen just a block away in Porter Exchange, actually -- try Sapporo Ramen. They have miso and soy based broths. YumeWoKatare is part of a Japanese 'chain' that only serves a specific style of ramen called Jiro Ramen made with fatty pork broth and pork slices. Awesome veggie food isn't a pipe dream, it's just a matter of looking in the right place.

                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                    Hi Boston_Otter. Can you point me to something on the web that says YumeWoKatare is related to Japan's Jiro? Is that what you meant? Where did you get that info from?

                    1. re: kamiosaki

                      It's not related, it's just the same style. Buta ramen. Thick chewy high-gluten noodles, lots of sliced roasted pork, cabbage/bean sprouts, raw garlic, pork fat, absurd portions. It's closer in aesthetics to Cincinnati chili than it is to most Japanese cuisine.

                      You could make the case that the word "ramen" doesn't accurately describe this dish, here's a site alluding to this idea

                      1. re: Luther

                        Hi Luther. Thanks for the clarification, that's what I thought. I'm the owner of the Ramen Tokyo site you linked to elsewhere in this thread, and a long-time former resident of Tokyo who recently returned home to the US (NJ). I agree (and most ramen eaters in central Japan would too) as you wrote that Ramen Jiro and anything close to it (Jiro-kei) is something a bit different from ramen. Keiko-san from the Yelp thread was kind enough to forward the info on this new shop to my web site address. I read this thread, the Yelp thread (well about 1/2 of it then my eyes started to glaze over), Keiko-san's page and the BunnyandPorkBelly page. One note is that the correct translation of "yume wo(o) katare" is probably "tell your dreams". Another interesting note is that the Japanese version of the "Our shop has the biggest bowls of ramen" sign pictured on the BunnyandPorkBelly page has pork back fat (se-abura) as the second thing that can be supersized, not the broth as written on the English page. Jiros in Japan will generally not allow for supersizing of the broth without extra cost, since the broth amount that they make that morning basically determines the number of bowls that they can sell that day, and they generally size their production line so that they almost always run out and aren't left with extra. So that's a bit confusing as to whether it is an intentional difference or a translation error.

                        As this place matures over the months I think you will really see it get assembly-line, but still expect lines everyday. One of the other things people say about Jiro is that after trying it the first time you sometimes get a bit queasy and you initially say "never again", but then 2-3 days later you need another fix.

                        Funnily enough, a long time coworker/friend of mine in Tokyo is a huge Jiro fan also, we used to go regularly, and as luck would have it he graduated from Tufts, which I think is about a mile from this place. He will get a big kick out of this, and I am already trying to think how I can get up to Boston....

                  2. re: granolagurl

                    Another delusional pipe dream - is there any mention of the sourcing on the pork?

              2. re: Bob Dobalina

                Well I am a vegetarian but I am going to eat this. On their yelp review page, someone did ask for just noodles, and out of courtesy, they dressed up the noodles for him. "There was one brave vegetarian tonight (he later explained he is Muslim). He requested noodles and veggies only. Nishioka-san wasn't about to serve just noodles and veggies so he dressed it up with some soy sauce and a heap of bonito flakes. I also saw them give him some black pepper."

                So bonito of course is fish, but at least they did something. Those noodles look like a meal in and of themselves.

                But I would recommend cheating, I will. Gotta do it.

                1. re: tatsu

                  Definitely agree - just going to wait until there's about a foot of snow on the ground before I call on them. No lines... ;)

              3. The line was about 25 people deep outside when I walked by around 8pm on Saturday so someone should be posting soon.

                    1. re: lala010addict

                      Thanks for the pictures. Looks um... Rustic! With a nice porky sheen to the broth. How are the noodles? Springy? Chewy?

                      1. re: yumyum

                        springy and chewy, al dente, thick. Also it's kinda different from normal ramen noodles. I can't really describe it further, you just gotta wait in line for 1.5 hours and try it yourself.

                      2. re: lala010addict

                        The pictures do look exactly like the bowls of Ramen I had when I was in Kyoto, so that's a good sign.

                        However, it's only open Tuesday-Saturday from 6pm-10pm and there's a two hour wait to get in, and it's Cash Only...are they trying to copy Apple's marketing strategy??

                        1. re: mwk

                          The limited, dinner-only hours are a big drawback to me. I'm hopeful they'll expand them at some point. There's almost nothing I'm willing to wait in line two hours for.


                          1. re: mwk

                            For those who have been so far, what have the line dynamics been like? If one arrives just before 6 is it still a ~2 hour wait?

                              1. re: TimTamGirl

                                From what I've read, not of the Ramen. You can order the pork to take out.

                                1. re: justbeingpolite

                                  Confirmed -- no ramen takeout and they won't pack your leftovers. Didn't ask about pork.

                              2. re: silent129

                                If you start waiting at 5:30, you will get your ramen at around 6:30.

                              3. re: mwk

                                Well, those limited hours doom it for me.. 6-10pm is spent dealing with feeding a toddler, playing with a toddler, and getting said toddler to bed. My food cravings have to get satisfied by grabbing lunch while running errands or familiy takeout..

                            1. This is a rookie question for sure, but are these wheat noodles, or buckwheat or what?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: FinnFPM

                                Wheat, just like all other ramen. The product is Jiro-style.


                              2. I went today. If you guys are thinking about going, it is best if you are one of the first 16 people in line because you get served pretty fast. (Since there are only 16 seats in the joint). After the first 16, you gotta wait until a seat becomes available, and people here eat uber slowly(can't blame them). Also, order a normal size bowl unless you can really eat. One bowl of normal ramen from other joints rarely fills me up but this beast has 2x the noodles and so much more fat that I could barely finish. Ohhh man the fat....if I come here more than once a month I'm gonna get heart attack for sure. Honestly though, Yume Wo Heartattack is probably the best kind of heart attack.

                                15 Replies
                                1. re: divinebaboon

                                  In Japan with this style of ramen you can ask for "kotteri" meaning they throw extra liquid pork fat on there. It's even more unnecessary than the ninniku option.

                                  1. re: Luther

                                    Does all that pork fat make the ninniku option more or less unnecessary than the seppuku option?

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                      All dat pork fat on top, aka Saebura, is actually pretty amazing. We should start calling it the "Saebura Seppuku."

                                  2. re: divinebaboon

                                    db, the pile of 'bits' on top, is that pork fat?

                                    1. re: divinebaboon

                                      They've had to reduce their seating to 12. Don't know when I'll try it because there were about 20 ppl in line today at 5:45pm, and over 30 ppl in line about a half hour later. Also, they stagger the seating, so they don't just let the first 12 ppl in at 6pm.

                                      1. re: azra

                                        Gotta believe there's a business opportunity there for unemployed teens: line stand-in! "Sell you my seat for a double sawbuck! Time is money!" I wonder if I can expense that.


                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                          A little extreme, and there isn't a category for "standing in line" but I imagine you could get someone to bid on that job here:

                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                            Seriously, mc, when you stop and think about it, can you figure out WHY the owner of this place would want to go to all the trouble it takes to open a food business 1/2way around the globe (and if he does have multiple Japan locations, he must have some finances) and choose to open one that only has 12-15 seats and sells a low priced food?this makes NO sense to me. I just don't get it.

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                              maybe he thinks that he has a chain in the making? Ray Kroc did a lot better than Thomas Keller or Jean-Georges Von Gerichten financially.

                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                I dunno, $12 for a bowl of noodles in pork broth is on the pricier end of ramen.

                                                Methinks he's going for the tiny/packed/hole-in-the-wall style of a typical Japanese ramen-ya.

                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                  Who knows how involved the main owner is - he might have a good partner and is just licensing the format/recipe. He picked a good city to start in, judging from the death of ramen variety as compared to NY or SF.

                                                  And he could do well - 14 seats, turn them 10 times over 4 hours, $2250 a night.. could be over $500k a year. And if they were to open for lunch eventually? Not sure of what the cost side would take away and leave for the bottom line, but if he can pack a place and sell soup for $12-$14 a bowl, that's a good start..

                                                  1. re: grant.cook

                                                    to respond in kind, i think 24 minutes is way too brief a table turning time for ramen at dinner.i could go into the likely cost/profit exercise but i think it's pointless. fast food and pizza is what makes mcmansions for food bus owners (this is really a topic for a diff thread.)

                                                    It just doesn't make sense to me. Wish the owner, who piped in, above, would respond; that would be so interesting!

                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                      I waited about 130 minutes last night. This worked out to almost exactly 23 minutes to turn around each of the people ahead of me in line. This was a lot slower than it could have been but it's not the restaurant's fault. Honestly I think there is a strong cultural element in how fast you can turn a spot. At a ramen-ya in Japan it doesn't matter if you came in a group, you buy a ticket and sit as an individual and you eat your noodles and then you get up and leave. At YWK they seat you as a group and it appeared that most groups lingered until everyone in the party was done, and then left, so on a Saturday night you're going to have social groups of 2-4 that will get slowed down by their slowest eater. The noodles are turned out as quickly as possible, that part isn't lagging. I will wait to return until the buzz has subsided a bit and it's expected to wait <20 min.

                                                      1. re: Luther

                                                        luther, i don't expect you to remember this request, but then again, you have some major brain skills so...When you find the wait decreased to 20 minutes (in some distant galaxy.....) would you plse post it here, so we can partake of the Paradise? thx so much.....if you remember :-}