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Best ramen right now?

Lau Mar 20, 2013 06:13 AM

Ok I know I'm opening a can of worms here, but what do you think the best ramen in NY is right now?

Ipsedixit asked me this in a thread and I realized I've become kind of jaded about ramen in NY and I've barely been eating it b/c I got disappointed so many times, but I know there are alot of new ramen shops I probably haven't tried, so figured I might as well bring it up and see if there is anything worth trying

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  1. Silverjay Mar 20, 2013 06:40 AM

    Of course there is no such thing as the best. But the ones on my radar that I haven't been to but would like to try are:

    Jin Ramen in Harlem- has gotten some good comments here
    Hide-Chan Ramen in Midtown East- I've heard mixed reports
    Tabata Ramen in Hell's Kitchen- Run by a Burmese guy who spent time in Japan I believe. Have heard mixed reports.
    Dassara and Ganso- Two shops in Brooklyn. Mixed but generally favorable reports for unconventional soups.

    If you haven't done so already, I recommend trying Kuboya in the EV, Totto in Midtown West, and Ramen Yebisu in W'burg...Yuji Ramen was doing a pop-up in W'burg and Smorgusburg for a while, is now doing a pop up a Whole Foods Bowery, and I guess will open a shop soon. He did a pretty interesting abura-soba last year that used fresh uni....There are supposed to be a couple more other shops in EV at some point as well I read.....And of course Ivan will open sometime soon.

    These are the candidates on top of the usual suspects.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay
      Lau Mar 20, 2013 07:29 AM

      ahh thanks...good list

      1. re: Silverjay
        MVNYC Mar 22, 2013 08:40 AM

        Have you tried Yuji? Someone emailed me the serious eatsarticle and it sounded interesting


        1. re: MVNYC
          Silverjay Mar 22, 2013 08:50 AM

          Yeah, I actually commented on that SE thread...I haven't been to this latest incarnation but I ate his ramen a couple of times last year when he did his pop-up stint in W'burg. I had an uni mazemen and another one that I can't remember. The uni one was pretty good and certainly interesting. Nothing mind blowing, but worth a try.

      2. d
        dyrewolf Mar 20, 2013 06:58 AM

        I like both Jin and Tabata and find them better than others since the lines are not so bad (or even any lines) that I can taste the food instead of being starving and wolfing it down. They are both also much more convenient for this UWSer. Minca is quite good but terribly far for me. Totto is, well, Totto... awesome but lines are INSANE. Hide-Chan was my work lunch choice when I worked over there... but I no longer do.

        12 Replies
        1. re: dyrewolf
          Lau Mar 20, 2013 07:29 AM

          haha opposite for me, Jin / Tabata are far from the LES

          1. re: Lau
            dyrewolf Mar 20, 2013 08:33 AM

            Well then, Minca for you my friend.

          2. re: dyrewolf
            ipsedixit Mar 20, 2013 08:25 AM

            How does Jin compare to Totto, which is my go-to place for ramen when in the city.

            If I'm in midtown (London hotel), is it worth the trek to Jin?


            1. re: ipsedixit
              dyrewolf Mar 20, 2013 08:38 AM

              Totto is probably better, Ippudo too.... though not so much... but here's the deal for me... I won't wait 2 hours for noodles except in exceptional circumstances.. so From Midtown West you can be at Jin in 30 min, Tabata in 15 min... it is not such a trek as it is a straight trip on the 1 or a 2/3 to 96 and then the 1 to 125th for Jin... it is literally at the bottom of the steps down from the elevated tracks.

              1. re: dyrewolf
                ipsedixit Mar 20, 2013 09:42 AM

                Got it. Thanks.

                1. re: dyrewolf
                  ipsedixit Mar 20, 2013 06:39 PM

                  Tried Jin tonight.

                  I think if you are a purist regarding tonkotsu ramen, it is better than Totto, but overall I'd prefer Totto (even with the crowds). In fact, in many ways, I prefer the more convivial and sardine-like atmo at Totto.

                  I do, however, like the chicken kara-age at Jin.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    Lau Mar 20, 2013 07:05 PM

                    ah interesting, sounds like its worth trying?

                    1. re: Lau
                      ipsedixit Mar 20, 2013 07:12 PM

                      Outstanding bowl of porky goodness.

                      But for me, it's not worth the trek if I'm in midtown. It's just not good enough for me to go all the way up to Harlem.

                      Plus, I sort of like the crowd at Totto. Maybe it's because I'm an out-of-towner, but it makes me feel kind of happy to be in the midst of a bunch of hungry, ramen-seeking NYers.

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        Lau Mar 20, 2013 07:21 PM

                        yah id have to think of a reason to go all the way up there, midtown east i can do since its close to my office or generally fairly easy to get to from the LES, but treking to midtown west or harlem is really far from the LES where i live

                    2. re: ipsedixit
                      plf515 Mar 21, 2013 04:27 AM

                      The chicken kara age is excellent at Jin, I agree. I think it's even better with the cartilage (when they have it) "Nankotsu Kara Age"

                      1. re: plf515
                        ipsedixit Mar 21, 2013 07:59 AM

                        That's what I had the other nights. It's like extra crunch fried chicken.

                        1. re: plf515
                          Tommy D. Mar 22, 2013 07:24 AM

                          I enjoyed the spicy tonkotsu ramen, steamed pork buns and karaage at Jin.

                2. f
                  fooder Mar 20, 2013 08:51 AM

                  Totto. Tastes like happiness.

                  Lunch ramen set at Tsushima. Wed and Fri I think

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: fooder
                    Lau Mar 20, 2013 09:14 AM

                    oh you've eaten at Tsushima? ive always wondered if that was good or not

                    1. re: Lau
                      fooder Mar 20, 2013 11:12 AM

                      It got a bit of attention for its lunch ramen set for a while, doing it only 1 day of the week and only about 30 orders. It was shio ramen with a whole scallop in it. Now they do Wed and Fri, one shio one shoyu (I forget which day is which). The shoyu was ok last time I had it. If the shio is still the same I remember it being very good.

                      I prefer the noodles there, which are the springy type. I'm not a fan of the Ippudo type of noodles (which work best with rich tonkotsu), and when I go to Totto I ask for wavy noodles (the ones that come with the miso ramen) for my paiten ramen.

                      It could also be that I was just anxious to find a replacement for Chikubu's Friday ramen lunch, which regularly resulted in a line out the door. I miss Chikubu.

                      1. re: fooder
                        Lau Mar 20, 2013 11:16 AM

                        ahh ok interesting, you're the only person aside from yelp reviews that ive talked to that has actually eaten the ramen there

                        1. re: Lau
                          fooder Mar 20, 2013 11:26 AM

                          Well if you do try it let me know what you think. The shio is definitely superior to the shoyu from what I remember. And it's a pretty good deal, esp for the area. The ramen itself is like $9.50 with the set being $13.50 (includes a mini rice bowl), and I think it's a $1 off if you get there between 11:30-12.

                  2. b
                    Beloved1 Mar 21, 2013 04:42 AM

                    Has anyone tried the ramen at Hanjan? I believe you can only get it after 10PM and I'm wondering if its worth it......

                    1. f
                      foodwhisperer Mar 21, 2013 05:45 AM

                      Ippudo recently was a total disappointment. I avoid Totto's lines and frequent Misoya. I like their soy based Hokkaido style ramen. It's consistently good. For me it's the best, because of its consistency and convenience.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: foodwhisperer
                        Silverjay Mar 22, 2013 09:04 AM

                        I don't mind Misoya and have eaten there more than some of these other places. But I just don't find it, for lack of a better word, artisanal, in any way. I don't think they are going for that there anyway, so that's fine. But I prefer the more interesting soup at Yebisu, which is less about scoops of miso and more about an interesting back broth.

                      2. s
                        silencespeak Mar 21, 2013 12:03 PM

                        Ivan Ramen isn't open yet, though it has a TON of hype (Ivan has two very successful Ramen shops in Tokyo). It'll open in the Lower East Side in May.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: silencespeak
                          Lau Mar 21, 2013 12:15 PM

                          yah im familar with Ivan Ramen...looking forward to that

                        2. s
                          sushiman Mar 22, 2013 08:55 AM

                          Vote up for Yebisu in Williamsburg. I liked it.

                          1. treestonerivershrub Mar 23, 2013 09:09 PM


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: treestonerivershrub
                              Peter Cuce Mar 24, 2013 06:00 AM

                              Not a chance.

                            2. p
                              pravit Mar 24, 2013 03:10 PM

                              There is a new ramen restaurant on 6th street between 1st and 2nd ave where all the Indian restaurants are - it's called "Zen 6." I tried it for the first time last week and thought their Hakata Tonkotsu ramen was very solid - I liked it better than Minca and Misoya, but I'm partial to tonkotsu ramen. I've tried Minca a few times and I find their broth too "heavy", for lack of a better word.

                              1. c
                                chiba Mar 24, 2013 03:32 PM

                                Ippudo is consistently excellent. Arrive before 11:45 at lunch and walk right in...

                                Anyone have an opinion about Naruto on the UES?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chiba
                                  small h Mar 24, 2013 04:07 PM

                                  I think it's on par with Sapporo in Midtown: a decent neighborhood place. I go there when I'm in the neighborhood, but wouldn't make a special trip.

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