Ramen Ramen Everywhere, and Not a Chair to Spare
- opinionatedchef Feb 7, 2014 10:39 PM
NEW Ramen Spots:
Eater(E) is reporting that a number of non-ramen local restnts are now doing 'Ramen Nights'. Can anyone remember when some previous 'hot dish' started to get widespread 'Special Night' treatment like this? Maybe in the early 20th c., Spaghetti w/ Meatballs crept into the American culture this way ?
East by Northeast will do Ramen Wednesdays; Sweet Cheeks will do Ramen Mondays; backbar has switched to doing it all night M and T, (and still just 4-6 PM the rest of the week.).
And then there's this from E, for those of us anxious to follow a Ken's Ramen connection:
< In other ramen news, several readers report that Ken's Ramen has soft-opened out in Providence. The owner is apparently a friend of the Ken from the shuttered Ken's Ramen in Allston, and the Providence spot is intended to be "a fusion of Totto ramen NYC x Tsujita LA x Ivan Ramen Tokyo x [the Allston] Ken's Ramen." >
(Can some afficionado translate this plse?!)
We ate ramen at backbar when they had just started doing it, but we both found it odd in flavors. I don't know if they're still fiddling with it or if they settled on a non-changing version>> has anyone had it lately?
I am super psyched about Philip Tang's offering; it will include ankemono butter!! Since learning about monkfish liver just a few yrs ago, it has become one of my fav sushi bar dishes, and Philip has done some neat things with it in the past.
Sorry, not really a reply, but couldn't resist quoting a jingle from 44 years ago:
"Sapporo Sapporo Sapporo Ichiban
Sapporo Ichiban zoltsan no Haneda
Sapporo Sapporo Sapporo Ichiban
Sapporo Ichiban! Miso rah , , , a . . . men!"
Again, forgive me.
Yep, looking forward to trying ExNE's version, too.
I can't tell you what the Providence Ken's Ramen will be like based on that description, but I can tell you:
Totto's specialty is chicken paitan ramen: a rich chicken-based broth, egg noodles or wavy noodles, and slices of char sui pork, topped with miso or rayu. Pai Men Miyake in Portland, ME does a similar version.
Tsujita is most famous for its tsukemen: room-temperature, chewy noodles served plain: you dip them into the accompanying highly-reduced broth. I hear Snappy Ramen offers a version of this, but I haven't been by yet.
Ivan is the least traditional, more fusion-y and experimental. Sample: chili eggplant mazemen, in a shallow amount of oily broth based on long-cooked eggplant in soffritto, topped with powdered chipotles.
Ken's I remember fondly as doing what at the time was Boston's best ramen (I liked his salt broth), pretty traditional, simple, and lovingly prepared in a mostly one-man operation, but I wonder how it would stand up to today's competition.
The East x NE offering sounds very promising.
Sweet Cheeks seems a bit of a head scratcher and a stretch. You would think they'd want to get more consistent with their current menu offerings, of which there are more misses than hits, before trying to branch out.
Ken's Ramen, 69 Washington St, Providence, RI. Here's the menu, which shows dishes similar to the ones I talked about above, plus pork buns and other goodies: http://www.kenramenpvd.com/#!menu/cfpj
Still appears to be in soft-opening mode. They have a Facebook page, too: https://www.facebook.com/KENSRAMENPVD
Full license, too.