Snappy Ramen Davis Square
Anyone been? Just walked by and the ramen is between $10-14. They have a handwritten ramen menu and have renovated to take out the sushi bar, and are back to a communal table for seating (which is where they started when they first opened, then they had a flirtation with 2 and 4 tops for a while). Specifically, I'm interested in how their ramen compares with Yume Wo Katare, which I'll never stand in line for but have been following from afar would love to try. Also, the host mentioned that they will still have limited sushi on the menu til the end of the month then they're transitioning to ramen only.
I haven't been, but I would think it wouldn't really compare to Yume Wo Katare, since that is jiro-style ramen and this (I'm assuming) is not.
I wrote this earlier:
Since then I went back once more for the spicy miso. Didn't wow me much but the pork had improved a lot - very tender this time. I'll go back to try the tsukemen sometime - they didn't offer it yet when I last went.
It's a diff beast from Yume Wo Katare. More comparable to Sapporo, Pikaichi, Inaka. If you're around Davis Sq, I'd suggest Snappy for tonkotsu, Sapporo for shoyu, and YWK for jiro - it just depends on what you're in the mood for. (And how hungry you are: Snappy's portions are closer to Sapporo, not YWK.)
"the host mentioned that they will still have limited sushi on the menu til the end of the month then they're transitioning to ramen only."
That's very disappointing. When I stopped in, the host told me they were going to be adding the "old favorites" from the sushi menu over the next month until they had a full sushi menu and a full ramen menu. I think this is a very poor decision on the part of the owner.
I went for lunch today. My last visit was several weeks ago and things have changed a lot. Sushi and related items have disappeared entirely; there are more ramen dishes; they also serve bao. See my pics of the new menu; they don't have one online yet.
The tsukemen comes with dipping soup/sauce with anchovies, quite salty but tasty esp. with the soft egg. The pork belly is a side order for $3, two quite large tender chunks. Warning: make sure you're hungry if you're gonna order the extra serving of noodles - it's not just a little bit extra, it's a whole other bowlful.
I talked to Yuji the chef afterwards. He seems to be in a consultant role; see biz card below. I asked about the two "assari" and "kotteri" types of ramen they serve. They seem to be those Japanese words without good equivalents. Yuji explained it as "light" and "filling" but said it's about the feeling in your mouth not your stomach. He stressed that the menu is still in flux and said they'll be adjusting it as time goes on and they get more feedback and understanding of the customers' prefs.
Went for dinner with my family tonight. Ordered the Kyoto and Dashi Ramens, a Tsukemen, and three kinds of buns--teriyaki chicken, pork sausage, and lobster. As another post noted, they have two kinds of broth--assari and kotteri, which I would loosely translate as light and rich. There is also a dimension associated with mouth feel, as in thin and thick. All three bowls we ordered was of the latter kind. They are not kidding about the "kotteri"--it is quite fatty. I'm all for fat, but these broths lacked depth and complexity, and was pretty low on the umami scale. The dipping sauce on the Tsukemen was the best of the lot--it had a darker kick to it that meshed well with the tender pork belly (added extra) and the onsen (poached) egg. To me the broth is the most important component of ramen, so overall this was a bit of a let down. Maybe the spicy miso would have been a better choice for the kotteri broth.
The noodles were average. The ramens came with the thin, pale, straight kind that you often see with tonkotsu, and the tsukemen's was also thin but kinkier and yellower. Topping choices were a mix of orthodox (egg, scallions) and more "eclectic" (arugula). I'm a crotchety old Tokyo guy so I miss old faves like shinachiku, nori, and naruto kamaboko.
I'm not a fan of these open-faced steamed buns that pack a lot of lettuce and sauce as if it were a wrap or sandwich (which is what we got). The bun bottom was soggy from all the extra liquid. And I want buns my served steaming hot!
On the plus side, if you are in a hurry there is no line--we went around 6 pm on Friday and the place was near empty.
I liked the old Sapporo better before they changed their menu a few years ago. But, yes, I would go for Sapporo over Snappy at this point. If it was a shorter drive I'd go to Pikaichi. Yume Wo Katare, although a completely different style of ramen, is the closest to something you would find in Japan. The worst ramen I've had in Boston was at Uni's Midnight.