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Mar 26, 2013 09:36 PM

Anyone tried Yuji Ramen pop up at Whole Foods?

Does anyone have an opinion on Yuji Ramen's pop up at Whole Foods Bowery? I was thinking of swinging down there late afternoon and I was wondering if it is generally crowded during the day. All of the dinners are sold out. The servings look a little scant for $9 in a disposable bowl, but it is Whole Foods (don't get me started).

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  1. I went to Yuji Ramen for lunch during the work week. It wasn't really crowded at that time. The ramen servings are pretty tiny, maybe I eat a lot, but I found the sizing to be more comparable to an appetizer serving. I'm sure you heard that Yuji is known for its mazemen style of ramen, which is different from the soup, broth-based ramen that we're typically accustomed to. My salmon cheese mazemen ramen tasted like a really good bowl of fettuccini.


    1. I was there in the afternoon on a Sunday. Wasn't crowded at all. I got the bacon and egg mazeman and it definitely looked a little small for $9. But it was so rich I'm glad they didn't serve me more. It reminded me more of carbonara than anything Japanese. Highly recommended.

      1. I finally made it today. Only a couple of other people at the counter at 5:30 as the chefs prepared for dinner. The smoked fish mazeman was delicious and very rich. I sprung for the $12 special: nice cold barley tea, pickles (delicious, lightly pickled and fresh) and the noodles. With tax and tip it came to $15 for a meal served in a cardboard bowl in a food court. If I didn't hate Whole Foods I wouldn't bring it up, but I can't walk in that place without feeling rooked.
        On the upside, the meal was delicious, the ingredients all high quality, and the chef friendly and happy to answer questions.

        1. my wife and i took seats at the counter, looked at the menu, looked at the dishes next to us, and went to Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken.

          5 Replies
            1. re: coasts

              wow -- what shifted your tides?

              my huzbo and I went with great anticipation about a month ago and got most of the menu (it's tiny). nothing harkened us to return. I don't remember the specifics, just being underwhelmed.

              last year tho we got the ramen with squid ink at smorgasburg and remember it to be wonderful, so I think there's hope.

              1. re: chompchomp

                nothing enticed us to stay - the price, the size, the paper plates, the menu choices, and the dishes we saw others eating. i don't mind overpaying for something great and i'm not opposed to paper plates or even tiny portions, but the combination of all these factors drew us away.

                1. re: chompchomp

                  No Problem with Whole Foods for me. I think Yuji Ramen is terrific. I can see why some folks might have problem with price per portion size. But Yuji Ramen has been my excuse to visit/shop at Whole Foods. It's rich enough that the portion is acceptable. And as a heavy snack (vs a meal), it's just about perfect as a splurge.

                  It seems at smorgasbord (and at his previous pop up resto) Yuji experimented a little more and with more decadent ingredients. But the stuff at the Whole Foods pop up is terrific.

                2. re: coasts

                  If you can stand being at Whole Foods (I know, some people love it) I recommend Yuji's food, plus he's friendly and passionate about his work. After going for lunch I tried the reservation-only tasting menu and enjoyed it thoroughly. I like Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, but the atmosphere there is even more like a food court in a mall than Whole Foods.