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YumeWoKatare Ramen - anyone been yet?

kdl Oct 15, 2012 11:41 AM

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. Bob Dobalina RE: lala010addict Oct 15, 2012 12:12 PM

    I guess there is no "vegetarian" broth option?

    12 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina
      lala010addict RE: Bob Dobalina Oct 15, 2012 12:15 PM

      nope. only pork on pork on pork hahahha

      1. re: Bob Dobalina
        granolagurl RE: Bob Dobalina Oct 15, 2012 04:13 PM

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

        1. re: granolagurl
          Boston_Otter RE: granolagurl Oct 15, 2012 04:47 PM

          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
            FinnFPM RE: Boston_Otter Oct 15, 2012 04:51 PM

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

            1. re: Boston_Otter
              granolagurl RE: Boston_Otter Oct 16, 2012 03:08 AM

              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
                Boston_Otter RE: granolagurl Oct 16, 2012 04:31 AM

                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
                  kamiosaki RE: Boston_Otter Oct 18, 2012 05:24 PM

                  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
                    Luther RE: kamiosaki Oct 18, 2012 07:04 PM

                    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
                      kamiosaki RE: Luther Oct 19, 2012 10:16 AM

                      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
                  deglazer RE: granolagurl Oct 16, 2012 05:19 AM

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

            2. re: Bob Dobalina
              tatsu RE: Bob Dobalina Oct 17, 2012 05:46 AM

              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
                Bob Dobalina RE: tatsu Oct 17, 2012 05:53 AM

                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. g
              Gabatta RE: lala010addict Oct 15, 2012 01:15 PM

              Great photos!

              1. m
                mats77 RE: kdl Oct 15, 2012 12:12 PM

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

                1. lala010addict RE: kdl Oct 15, 2012 12:12 PM

                  some pix

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: lala010addict
                    kdl RE: lala010addict Oct 15, 2012 01:19 PM

                    Looks amazing!

                    1. re: lala010addict
                      yumyum RE: lala010addict Oct 15, 2012 05:00 PM

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

                      1. re: yumyum
                        divinebaboon RE: yumyum Oct 16, 2012 05:13 PM

                        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
                        mwk RE: lala010addict Oct 16, 2012 09:54 AM

                        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
                          MC Slim JB RE: mwk Oct 16, 2012 10:00 AM

                          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
                            silent129 RE: mwk Oct 16, 2012 11:36 AM

                            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: silent129
                              TimTamGirl RE: silent129 Oct 16, 2012 12:34 PM

                              And do they do take-away?

                              1. re: TimTamGirl
                                justbeingpolite RE: TimTamGirl Oct 16, 2012 12:38 PM

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

                                1. re: justbeingpolite
                                  azra RE: justbeingpolite Oct 17, 2012 06:40 PM

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

                              2. re: silent129
                                divinebaboon RE: silent129 Oct 16, 2012 05:14 PM

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

                              3. re: mwk
                                grant.cook RE: mwk Oct 17, 2012 11:35 AM

                                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..

                            2. FinnFPM RE: kdl Oct 15, 2012 04:42 PM

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

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: FinnFPM
                                Luther RE: FinnFPM Oct 15, 2012 05:04 PM

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


                              2. divinebaboon RE: kdl Oct 16, 2012 05:26 PM

                                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
                                  Luther RE: divinebaboon Oct 16, 2012 06:17 PM

                                  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
                                    opinionatedchef RE: Luther Oct 16, 2012 07:37 PM

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

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                      divinebaboon RE: opinionatedchef Oct 16, 2012 08:53 PM

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

                                  2. re: divinebaboon
                                    opinionatedchef RE: divinebaboon Oct 16, 2012 07:38 PM

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

                                    1. re: divinebaboon
                                      azra RE: divinebaboon Oct 17, 2012 06:40 PM

                                      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
                                        MC Slim JB RE: azra Oct 17, 2012 07:16 PM

                                        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
                                          rknrll RE: MC Slim JB Oct 18, 2012 05:50 AM

                                          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: https://www.taskrabbit.com/boston/tas...

                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                            opinionatedchef RE: MC Slim JB Oct 18, 2012 07:56 PM

                                            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
                                              cambridgedoctpr RE: opinionatedchef Oct 18, 2012 07:58 PM

                                              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
                                                Boston_Otter RE: opinionatedchef Oct 18, 2012 08:01 PM

                                                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
                                                  grant.cook RE: opinionatedchef Oct 19, 2012 06:16 AM

                                                  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
                                                    opinionatedchef RE: grant.cook Oct 20, 2012 09:32 AM

                                                    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
                                                      Luther RE: opinionatedchef Oct 21, 2012 04:32 AM

                                                      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
                                                        opinionatedchef RE: Luther Oct 21, 2012 06:54 AM

                                                        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 :-}

                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                          Luther RE: opinionatedchef Oct 21, 2012 08:55 AM

                                                          OK... let's see in December...

                                          2. cassis RE: kdl Oct 18, 2012 05:38 AM

                                            My Japanese daughter in law tells me that Yume Wo Katare translates roughly as "Let Dreams Win", great name for a ramen place!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: cassis
                                              Tripeler RE: cassis Oct 18, 2012 07:22 AM

                                              Glad you offered the translation for this fairly clumsy name. In English it sounds fairly nice, though. Looking at the pork, though, I would just call it Treif Supersized.

                                            2. m
                                              mats77 RE: kdl Oct 18, 2012 07:13 AM

                                              Can anyone compare this to the old Ken's Ramen?

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: mats77
                                                Luther RE: mats77 Oct 18, 2012 08:58 AM

                                                Totally different style of ramen. They are similar in that they are both types of Japanese wheat noodles with soup.

                                                1. re: Luther
                                                  opinionatedchef RE: Luther Oct 18, 2012 07:58 PM

                                                  hey luther, with your extensive knowledge, i am surprised you didn't explain the differences.

                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                    Boston_Otter RE: opinionatedchef Oct 18, 2012 08:08 PM

                                                    The style of ramen at Yume is Jiro ramen -- tons of noodles (apparently often made with bread flour) in a thick pork broth that's almost gravy-like with all the fat in it, topped with raw garlic and very fatty pork slices. Very different from the soupy bowls of noodles in miso & kombu broths at places like Sapporo.

                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                      Luther RE: opinionatedchef Oct 18, 2012 08:39 PM


                                                2. g
                                                  grant.cook RE: kdl Oct 20, 2012 07:52 AM

                                                  Drove past a bit after 9 last night and the line was still pretty decent..

                                                  1. MC Slim JB RE: kdl Oct 20, 2012 01:16 PM

                                                    I happened to be in the neighborhood at around 6pm last night and saw a line stretching to the parking lot in front of Dunkin Donuts (a good two-hour wait now that they've reduced the seating capacity to 12). And it was raining steadily. So the strategy of going early to beat the rush may or may not work.

                                                    I also gawked unashamedly through the window. The pictures that lala and divine posted here look like the entry-level, $12 ramen bowl (two pieces of pork), which doesn't seem at all like an eating contest to me.

                                                    The $14 buta ramen bowl (five pieces of pork) is another story: that thing is gigantic, the noodles piled really high, the pork perched precariously atop it. That one looks like a dish I couldn't remotely finish in one sitting. So while it looks like a much better value, remember that you can't take home any leftovers (unless maybe you secreted a gallon Ziplock bag in your jacket), and I think you'd have to be a real trencherman to get through it.


                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                      MC Slim JB RE: MC Slim JB Oct 21, 2012 08:10 AM

                                                      I was fooled: it turns out the buta doesn't have more noodles, only more pork. It does make a much more impressive entrance than the smaller one.


                                                    2. w
                                                      wu12 RE: kdl Oct 20, 2012 05:18 PM

                                                      Went twice already. The noodles are a great texture, good bite to them. Thicker than regular ramen, as others have noted. The broth was too salty opening night, but the second time I went it was just right. The pork was cooked really well -- really tender, and nice fatty cuts. I think it's a slice of belly and a chunk of shoulder. The pork was a little too salty too, though. I think for me it's the pieces of extra pork fat that makes me crave more! Melt-in-your mouth. And where else can you get all-you-can-eat pork fat!. (Wait, don't answer that question.) I was fortunate that my toddler only complained a little, and was appeased with a donut and hot cocoa from Dunkin Donuts while waiting 2+ hours the first night and over an hour the second time. I get totally stuffed to the gills from the regular-sized bowl, so I feel like the price is worth it. And my toddler likes the noodles (the only thing he would eat from the bowl; he's one of those picky toddlers) "better than our noodles at home," haha. Anyway, I totally recommend it, as long as you can eat a lot and aren't vegetarian!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: wu12
                                                        wu12 RE: wu12 Jan 10, 2013 09:50 AM

                                                        By the way, the third time I went the broth had gone from too salty, to just right, to too sweet. Anyone else had that experience? Or maybe they've evened out by now?

                                                      2. FinnFPM RE: kdl Oct 20, 2012 08:00 PM

                                                        Just walked by at 11PM, it's still hopping...

                                                        1. MC Slim JB RE: kdl Oct 20, 2012 10:00 PM

                                                          Yeah, it's just a bowl of ramen, but if you can endure a likely wait on the sidewalk of an hour or two, a sublime experience, the special kind of joy you get from a gifted artist doing one very specific thing extraordinarily well.

                                                          Not sure how soon or often I'll wait 90 minutes again for it, but I'm very glad I tried it. Definitely the highest-craft, most delicious bowl of ramen ($12) I've ever had in the States. I'm no ramen aficionado, but that felt pretty special to me. Wonderful noodles, broth, fatty pork, and so finely balanced as a whole. A major dose of pork fat, but at least in the non-buta portion, no more daunting than getting a Taiwanese pork belly dish. I left nothing in the bowl.

                                                          Hats off to you if you can take on the buta ramen ($14): a much bigger pile of noodles with five huge, thick slices of pork precariously balanced on top of it. (The smaller bowl I ordered, the only other menu option, has only two, and a much smaller portion of the same thick, chewy noodles.) The buta's sheer bulk is terrifying. I watched in awe as a couple of big Japanese sarariman-type dudes in suits utterly destroyed theirs.

                                                          So happy I said "Hai!" to the raw garlic option, one of those doses that delivers something similar to the kind of runner's high that you sometimes get with serious capsicum chili dosing. Haven't felt that peculiar euphoria since a meal at San Francisco's The Stinking Rose a decade ago. But if you're on a date, you'd both better get it: you will reek of it.

                                                          Eminently gratifying, and quite unusual in my experience, to see a boatload of hype lived up to. I had a big grin on my face all the way home.

                                                          Enjoying a Santa Maria al Monte right now. Next time I'll bring a flask of that or some other kind of Fernet for afterward.


                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                            wu12 RE: MC Slim JB Oct 20, 2012 11:28 PM

                                                            I agree about it being the best I've had in the states! Your BYO-alcohol idea reminded me that last time I went someone asked for chili oil. I didn't think the ramen needed anything, and I was afraid the owner would be insulted or something, but instead he just apologized for not having it, and said that the guy could bring his own next time if he wanted.

                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                              MC Slim JB RE: MC Slim JB Oct 21, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                              Correction: I'm told that the buta ramen has the same amount of noodles as the ramen: the only difference is five pieces of pork vs. two. Fooled my eye.

                                                              Now I'm mad I didn't get it; I could totally have eaten three more slices of that pork. Grrr.


                                                            2. Luther RE: kdl Oct 21, 2012 05:05 AM

                                                              We arrived at 5:40 last night and waited until about 8:10 to get seated. Buta-ramen ($14, 5 slices of pork of varying fattiness) was just the right size for a hungry person. Luckily got seated at the bar and got to watch the ramen being assembled which was fun.

                                                              On the right side of the bar is a group photo taken outside a Ramen Jiro shop, not sure which one or who from that crew is now working at YWK.

                                                              Compared to Jiro the YWK product is more different than I expected. It's a strong shoyu flavor, with very clear and strong pork flavor as the second element. The broth is thick but not as starchy as I expected, and without the raw garlic option (ninniku) there isn't any significant garlic flavor to the soup. You can ask for extra vegetables but without that you don't get a ton. The pork is really well-cooked and super soft, definitely the star of the show. The noodles are thicker than most ramen but not quite as plump as I expected- they are a bit flattened in shape, very yellow, and quite robust.

                                                              If you love shoyu ramen and can get in line before 5:15 (necessary to avoid a 2 hr+ wait) you shouldn't miss it!

                                                              1. MC Slim JB RE: kdl Oct 21, 2012 08:08 AM

                                                                I'm thinking of renting one of those "dreams" wall spaces there. It will read: "My dream is that you will eat your ramen and GTFO: no dawdling!"


                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                  divinebaboon RE: MC Slim JB Oct 21, 2012 10:35 PM

                                                                  That is actually a really good idea. People here need to do it as the Japanese do, eat it quick and get out, no waiting for friends. It will be good for everybody involved imo.

                                                                  1. re: divinebaboon
                                                                    FinnFPM RE: divinebaboon Oct 22, 2012 06:12 AM

                                                                    I'd support the movement. I'm an extremely fast eater. I do not enjoy waiting for the plate-pokers.

                                                                    1. re: FinnFPM
                                                                      Bob Dobalina RE: FinnFPM Oct 22, 2012 07:07 AM

                                                                      This raises an interesting question in general - when is it appropriate to linger at a restaurant and when is it appropriate for staff and/or waiting diners to step in and ask people to move along?

                                                                      I had this experience a while back at Bondir, which is also a small room. "My" table for a 9:15 reservation was lingering, so that by 9:45, we were still waiting while the four diners talked and talked - nothing on the table, I think maybe only waters at this point.

                                                                      While I was peeved, the staff had to necessarily play it politely on both sides. I was going to offer to buy the lingerers a drink if they would be so polite as to continue their conversation in the waiting area (normally, such an offer is for the bar, but Bondir does not have one.) Another table opened up before 10, and we got things on the road.

                                                                      10 pm is not all that late, but I think it was a school night, and this is not NYC.

                                                                      So what's the proper diner and restaurant etiquette for this sort of thing?

                                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                                        Msample RE: Bob Dobalina Oct 22, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                                        Bob, there are endless threads on that subject on the General discussion forum. In short, its all over the place. If an establishment has a bar area, they may have the option to suggest to "campers" ( those that linger excessively ) that they take their coffee/dessert in the bar area, perhaps comped in order to encourage them to vacate the table. But many places, especially popular ones, may not have a bar or just be plain too small to offer this sort of thing - which appears to be the case here.

                                                                        While some diners are aware of the need to turn tables, others feel its their god given right to stay as long as they want and will raise holy hell if they feel they are getting the rush from the staff.

                                                                        Bob, your idea of offering a drink is a nice one, that politely tells the table that someone is waiting.

                                                                        For later reservations, its tricky to know why it may not be ready when you arrive. In your case, you could clearly see the campers. In others those, it may be cascade effect from earlier tables that pushes everything back.

                                                                        Its a tricky situation that more often than not puts the staff in the middle.

                                                                        1. re: Msample
                                                                          Bob Dobalina RE: Msample Oct 22, 2012 07:31 AM

                                                                          Thanks, Msample - I hope this is actually viewed as a Boston-based discussion, because I think the sense of etiquette in our region is somewhat different than other areas.

                                                                2. FinnFPM RE: kdl Nov 2, 2012 05:27 PM

                                                                  I headed over to Porter Square today and sidled up to the restaurant at 5:20. I was fifth in line, after a group of four Japenese girls. My fiancee showed up at 5:35, and we were seated at 5:45. Service was great and very friendly; everyone seemed to be in good spirits on a rainy Friday.

                                                                  I polished off my buta with aplomb; I'm a very impatient eater, so the only problem I have with a place like this is that the food is served very fresh and very hot, which tends to result in me scalding my tongue on it. Tonight was no different. I slurped down my broth, my fiancee decided she was done (she did not finish; the richness of even the regular bowl may vanquish the less-determined), and we GTFO'd at about 6:15, while the four Japanese girls were still chatting and picking at their bowls. I'm a very fast eater; she usually isn't, but the atmosphere does seem to encourage a high turnover, and the fattiness of the dish is such, I suppose, that when you are done, you know it. Everything was pretty much as-described, though it was a bit less garlicky than some people have made it out to be. Maybe next time I will ask for extra. It's a fun experience! I hope to be able to get the little slurp-spray broth stains out of my shirt.

                                                                  As we left,the line was already down the block, to the corner of the Dunkin' Donuts. If you can afford to get there between 5:00 and 5:30, that is definitely the way to go. Have a friend hold your spot for you.

                                                                  I had designs on popping into DooWee & Rice to investigate, but those were vetoed in favor of a pilgrimage to Kickass Cupcakes. Ah well.

                                                                  1. e
                                                                    Edokko RE: kdl Dec 30, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                                    This is ramen to kick ass, but I don't mean it in an entirely complimentary way. You get a serious dose of fat, salt, and umami in the pork and broth. A tad too much salt for my taste, but the over-the-top "goodness" in there is all good. I understand that this is Jiro style, but I prefer the orthodox yellow noodles redolent with kansui to the outsize pale noodles (almost like Korean udong) that they use. The bean sprouts and cabbage topping tend to get lost in the bang of the raw minced garlic and kotteri broth--I miss the more classic toppings like shinachiku, runny-yolk boiled egg, and fresh-chopped scallion to balance the extreme pork vibe in the bowl.

                                                                    Overall, though, as someone who grew up in Tokyo, I'm just happy that we can actually talk about having different styles of ramen in Boston. Is it too much to ask for Toyama Black ramen next?

                                                                    BTW, I was very disappointed with Uni Sashimi Bar's midnight ramen. The wait staff got our bun orders wrong, the broth was luke warm(!), and the noodles entirely lacked koshi (i.e., they were all limp). Inexcusable, really, for a ramen joint.

                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Edokko
                                                                      Luther RE: Edokko Dec 31, 2012 04:09 AM

                                                                      Overall the ramen landscape in Boston is still really disappointing, it shouldn't be so hard to put out a decent bowl that is made with some dedication and soul. I'm sure this will offend someone but it's not like we're talking about pizza here- it's not the world's greatest technical challenge to make a consistent, delicious, quality bowl of noodles.

                                                                      Maybe some day we can approach something like what's going on in Hong Kong- a ridiculous explosion of ramen places, multiple new ones opening every week, a mixture of food-court places and tiny stalls and Ippudo-level high-profile velvet rope type promotions. It's a trend, yes, but it actually has serious variety and quality to back it up, unlike the "trend" of ramen in Boston which consists of a handful of overpriced gimmicks... and YWK, which I agree is satisfyingly honest in its kick ass attitude but on the merits of its food not really optimal as a sole source of noodles.

                                                                      1. re: Luther
                                                                        RockinChef RE: Luther Dec 31, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                        For any Ramen afficionado, the first issue of Lucky Peach magazine (if you can score one) is a veritable foodie bible for all things ramen. It is published by McSweeney's and is well worth the 28 bucks for a subscription. The first issue came out in the summer of 2011, and has a fantastic "Specifist's Guide to the Regional Ramen of Japan starting on page 40. Great stuff. Apologies if everyone is already hip to this. Cheers.

                                                                        1. re: RockinChef
                                                                          rebeccact RE: RockinChef Dec 31, 2012 12:06 PM

                                                                          That now goes for $150+ on Amazon/eBay. If anyone can get it for $28, good for them! :)

                                                                          1. re: rebeccact
                                                                            T.Clark RE: rebeccact Dec 31, 2012 06:34 PM

                                                                            Really? I got two, one still in the wrapper.

                                                                            1. re: T.Clark
                                                                              tatsu RE: T.Clark Jan 1, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                                              Wanna sell one?

                                                                              1. re: tatsu
                                                                                rebeccact RE: tatsu Jan 1, 2013 02:50 PM

                                                                                I foresee a bidding war.

                                                                                1. re: tatsu
                                                                                  T.Clark RE: tatsu Apr 6, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                                                  Bit slow on the reply but I gave the used one away, I think I'll keep the one in a wrapper. Personally I would think #2 would be worth as much due to the page with stickers which is kinda cool. The magazine itself is so outta the box and the receipes I've tried have been really good.....fried chicken, ramen, tacos, Peking duck all spot on.

                                                                              2. re: rebeccact
                                                                                Luther RE: rebeccact Dec 31, 2012 07:04 PM

                                                                                Wow! I'll leave mine on the shelf...

                                                                                1. re: rebeccact
                                                                                  grant.cook RE: rebeccact Jan 1, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                  Wow.. guess I was lucky to notice on the magazine rack a year or so ago when it came out..

                                                                            2. re: Edokko
                                                                              Boston_Otter RE: Edokko Dec 31, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                              I've found it kind of interesting contrasting the Chowhound posts with the Yelp (etc) reviews. There's a ton of people saying "Wow, this is the best ramen ever. Except that it's so massive and fatty and heavy and scaldingly hot, and I'm expected to eat it as fast as I can because of the line, and if I leave any in my bowl the cooks scowl at me like I did something wrong. And now I feel really sick."

                                                                              1. re: Boston_Otter
                                                                                RockinChef RE: Boston_Otter Dec 31, 2012 02:16 PM

                                                                                There is always the option of a Momofuku pilgrimage to NYC. Agree with Luther.....that the ramen landscape in Boston is disappointing....

                                                                                1. re: Boston_Otter
                                                                                  Bob Dobalina RE: Boston_Otter Jan 2, 2013 04:32 AM

                                                                                  I plan on bringing my own tupperware container.

                                                                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                                                    Boston_Otter RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 2, 2013 05:37 AM

                                                                                    I've been tempted. Let us know how that goes down :)

                                                                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                                                      Prav RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 2, 2013 06:27 AM

                                                                                      I too have been tempted by this - a scenario that could turn Seinfeldian real quick.

                                                                                      1. re: Prav
                                                                                        Bob Dobalina RE: Prav Jan 2, 2013 06:36 AM

                                                                                        It sounds so rich that I cannot imagine eating an entire bowl myself. My DW certainly will not eat an entire bowl. And it gets another seat open faster. Everyone wins! (with best Seinfeld voice)

                                                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                                                          MC Slim JB RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 2, 2013 06:53 AM

                                                                                          With a skipping-lunch strategy, I was able to knock back both the smaller and larger bowls here, and I'm not a huge eater. It is a lot of pork fat to assimilate in one sitting, but no worse than your typical Taiwanese braised pork-belly dish.


                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                                            VivreManger RE: MC Slim JB Jan 11, 2013 05:42 AM

                                                                                            Anything to prevent bringing a quart-size plastic container to take out the leftover pork, ramen, & broth?

                                                                                            How big is the portion, something like 1 to 2 quarts? The difference between regular and large is only in the amount of pork, not ramen or broth?

                                                                                            Do they frisk the patrons on entry or exit and confiscate contraband tupperware?

                                                                                            1. re: VivreManger
                                                                                              Prav RE: VivreManger Jan 11, 2013 05:54 AM

                                                                                              This is beginning to sound like fodder for a Portlandia episode. :)

                                                                                              1. re: VivreManger
                                                                                                grant.cook RE: VivreManger Jan 11, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                                                                I think the only difference is 3 slices of pork or 5.

                                                                                                I think ramen, like hot chicken wings, doesn't really carry out well.. do your best to eat what you can, get full, and then head out..

                                                                                                You can buy stand-alone pork there, I recall hearing..

                                                                                                1. re: VivreManger
                                                                                                  MC Slim JB RE: VivreManger Jan 11, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                                                                  I considered bringing a quart-sized Ziplock. On my second visit, I brought a flask of Fernet.

                                                                                                  The portion is a big bowl (I can't estimate the volume -- maybe the chopsticks in one of my attached photos here will give you some sense of scale) mostly of noodles; the "broth" is fairly scant and heavy with emulsified pork fat. The two portions are identical, except the buta has five big slices of pork to the regular's two.

                                                                                                  The only thing sold to-go is the same rolled pork roast they slice up for the ramen: weighs about a pound, costs $15.


                                                                                    2. MC Slim JB RE: kdl Dec 31, 2012 03:56 PM

                                                                                      The ramen at Strip-T's is worth checking out.


                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                                        opinionatedchef RE: MC Slim JB Jan 11, 2013 10:20 PM

                                                                                        fyi, they only run it occasionally as a special.

                                                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                          MC Slim JB RE: opinionatedchef Jan 12, 2013 05:24 AM

                                                                                          Yes, and then, mostly at lunch.


                                                                                      2. g
                                                                                        gimlis1mum RE: kdl Jan 1, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                        Anyone who's been here, also been to Pai Men Miyake in Portland, ME? We were at Pai Men last week and I'd be interested to know how the two bowls compare.

                                                                                        1. e
                                                                                          Edokko RE: kdl Jan 10, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                          BTW, the original Yume Wo Katare in Kyoto is currently ranked 682nd in Japan with a score of 64.707 (out of 100) in the on-line Ramen Database. In contrast, the original Ramen Jiro chain appears multiple times in the top ten rankings, with the Hibarigaoka branch at #11 with a score of 96.051.


                                                                                          1. p
                                                                                            Parsnipity RE: kdl Jan 11, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                            And how's the line these days? And what's the possibility of sharing a bowl with a child? Rookie question, but I assume there's no "kid" portion?

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Parsnipity
                                                                                              grant.cook RE: Parsnipity Jan 11, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                              How old is the kid?

                                                                                              Tough to burn a seat for someone who isn't eating, but hopefully he/she is cute enough to win over the staff..

                                                                                              1. re: Parsnipity
                                                                                                ac106 RE: Parsnipity Jan 11, 2013 12:24 PM

                                                                                                20-25 min wait thurs at 530

                                                                                                Sign says its ok to share a bowl with a kid under 12

                                                                                                1. re: ac106
                                                                                                  Parsnipity RE: ac106 Jan 13, 2013 07:11 PM

                                                                                                  Thanks! I think we can make that work one of these days. And yes, she's a cute toddler so we should be all set.

                                                                                                  1. re: Parsnipity
                                                                                                    cambridgedoctpr RE: Parsnipity Jan 13, 2013 07:31 PM

                                                                                                    so what do people think, better than the ramen at Uni?

                                                                                                    I am not likely to stand in line to eat; not my style

                                                                                              2. l
                                                                                                l0b0SKI RE: kdl Jan 11, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                                                                As a cook who always had a long line at my station I saw that line and said "aww, hell no I refuse to wait in line that long"

                                                                                                1. l
                                                                                                  lossless RE: kdl Sep 3, 2013 03:29 PM

                                                                                                  Yume Wo Katare is open again since 8/30. I passed by on the way to lunch at Rod Dee, and they had this little poster of the September schedule.

                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                    grant.cook RE: kdl Oct 13, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                                                    Drove past there yesterday, maybe 5ish? Line was huge.. glad there are more options opening..

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