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Jan 20, 2014 07:03 PM

Yume Wo Katare Style Ramen in NYC

I'm just curious if the Kyoto style of ramen served at Yume Wo Katare, in Cambridge, MA, is served anywhere in NYC. I was at Totto Ramen the other day and saw they offer a Niku Ramen (にんにく肉ラーメン).

I did not order this, so I don't know as to whether the broth and noodles match what YWK is serving, but the toppings seem to be identical - a variety of pork meats, garlic, onion, bean sprouts and scallions.

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  1. I just read about that place and it appears they do what is called "Jiro style" ramen. This is thick noodles, clearish soup, and a shitload of garlic and pork. It's a small chain of places from Tokyo (the original shop is in Mita). There's no place in NYC that does this that I know of....No idea where the "Kyoto style" thing is coming from as Kyoto is known for thick chicken broth.

    19 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay

      I ate at YMK earlier this month and when I asked, one of the employees told me that their style of ramen hails from Kyoto.

      As for how YMK serves their bowls, it's not only a shitload of garlic, pork, pork fat, bean sprouts and scallions, but noodles too. There's a sign in their shop that says how their ramen contains twice the noodles of typical bowls. They also serve large bowls to begin with.

      It's not bad ramen at all, but it's really a lot to finish. The pork is extra fatty as well, but the broth is flavorful and not sickeningly rich, tho oily and fatty. The noodles are well cooked, tho more like udon or thick spaghetti.

      In the shop, those who finish get a "Perfect!" and from there it goes down to Very Good Job!, Good Job! and Next Time!

      1. re: willscarlett

        Maybe the guy who runs the shop is from Kyoto, but that sounds like a Jiro clone. They probably ask you if you want garlic and if you want pork fat and if you want vegetable, etc. Right? That style went mainstream in Japan and ramen guidebooks now have "Jiro style" sections that list shops that do this style.

        1. re: Silverjay

          They ask you in Japanese if you want garlic. If you don't get it, then they'll ask you in English. It comes with pork fat, bean sprouts, scallions, etc. You also choose how many slices of pork - two or five. You can also request extra veggies, pork fat, etc. There's also a sign in the store, tho kind of hidden, which says you can request fewer noodles.

          If you go to Totto Ramen's website and look at the photo of their Niku Ramen, the toppings look exactly like Jiro style.

          All I can say is I thought Ippudo bowls were big until I ate here. Needless to say, I got a next time :)

          1. re: willscarlett

            It says garlic meat ramen. Totto is a paitan shop, jiro kei shops are usually shoyu tonkotsu.

            1. re: Shirang

              Totto is chicken paitan, which is a very light tasting broth. Last I was there on Friday, noodles totally overlooked!

              1. re: willscarlett

                Totto's chicken paitan ramen is probably what I would call "Kyoto style". More so than any of the other shops I can think of in NY.

            2. re: willscarlett

              Total Jiro copycat. But he's obviously not the first....People still line up at Jiro branches in Tokyo and some of them are ranked high in the RamenDatabase rankings.

              1. re: Silverjay

                The lines at YMK are very long. I waited in 17 degree weather for around 90 minutes. Others waited longer. In any event, he's the only Jiro shop in the greater Boston area. Reviews are mixed tho - people either love it or hate it.

                1. re: willscarlett

                  Haha. That's hardcore....I prefer a more complex soup myself but there's a place in the world for that type of bowl...and it's usually after a night of a shitload of beers.

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Haha! I have waited longer for Ippudo, granted it wasn't as cold and Ippudo lets more people wait inside. YMK lets six wait inside at a time since it's a small shop. The rest freeze, or sweat.

        2. re: Silverjay

          Kambi and Minca had jiro kei ramen on their menus at one point.

          1. re: Shirang

            Did you try? I had their Rokurinsha style gyokai-tonkotsu tsukemen imitation a couple years ago and it was lousy.

            1. re: Silverjay

              I saw it on the windows advertised last year. Their tsukemen was pretty awful a few years ago, recently I went to Minca in November and the tsukemen improved, not salty water broth I had last time and was decent at best. The tsukemen at the new Rai Rai Ken isnt bad. Have you guys been to Zen 6, their Champon is leagues above Ringer Hut not saying much but its pretty good. Speaking of Rokurinsha, just snuck back 3 packages of their nama ramen kits.

              1. re: Shirang

                Was at the old Rai Rai Ken in 2010. It was my first ramen experience and has led to sever others, but don't remember it well enough to say how it compares. Haven't been to Zen 6 but it's on my list. What is Ringer Hut?

                I recently had the Seafood Ramen at Zutto and it was really good. Made with lobster broth.

                1. re: Shirang

                  What is tsukemen? I'm still learning the nuances of ramen...

                  Had Ivan Ramen the other day, the Fully Loaded Shio Ramen. I really liked, tho it's pricy for what it is. Perfect noodles tho.

                  1. re: willscarlett

                    Tsukemen are dipping noodles, where the broth is served separate from the noodles. They tend to be richer soups. There was a kind of tsukemen boom a few years ago that still goes strong. I haven't had any outstanding version here in NYC though.

                  2. re: Shirang

                    I've never even heard of Zen 6. Thanks for the heads up. Haven't actually set foot in a Ringer Hut (chain of Nagasaki style champon restaurants in Japan)...How are the Rokurinsha kits? I meant to get some myself. We bought some from Rock N'Roll, a shop we have some connection to.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      The kits are very good, comes with powdered katsuo, nori, a vacuum bag of broth, menma, chashu, only thing missing is the owari tsuyu, egg, chili oil, and negi. I tried the Rock N Roll kit, but I never set foot in the actual shop so I cant compare.

                2. re: Shirang

                  I was there in October or November and don't remember seeing that on the menu. Was it still there?

              2. I looked up photos of Yume Wo Katare and I think I'm in love. I wish we had Jiro style ramen here.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Humbucker

                  If you ever go for a bowl of Jiro ramen, don't eat for the entire day leading up to your meal and preferably eat it for dinner. The amount of noodles they put in a bowl, at least at YMK, are a gargantuan amount. It was like a magician's hat - the more noodles I ate, the more I kept finding!

                2. Here's what I was served at YMK. This was their Buta Ramen, which has five slices of pretty fatty pork on top. The other option has the same amount of noodles, broth and toppings, but only two slices of pork. There is that mostly hidden sign by the cashier that says you can request less noodles, as their bowls contain twice the amount of noodles that other ramen joints serve.

                  While in line, someone told me to prepare for a big bowl, but I really didn't understand how big it was until I was served.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: willscarlett

                    Doesn't look particularly large. Check out photos of the Tokyo branches. They pile on the moyashi and cabbage and stack the pork in such a way that makes bowls look like Mt. Fuji.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      I also thought it didn't look that large until I dug up the mountain of noodles underneath everything, especially since the noodles are thicker and wavier.

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        I did look at some pictures using Google and found photos of bowls that make YMK's look small

                    2. Nope. You won't find it anywhere else in the US, except one place in LA that seems weak judging by the pictures.

                      (as others have said, it's Jiro Ramen that originated in Tokyo; nothing to do with Kyoto. The only relation the food at Yume has to Kyoto is that the owner comes from there)