Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dining In: NYC 2011 - Japanese Food Excursions

The Husband and I had our first amazing bowl of ramen at Samurai Noodle in the International District in Seattle. That was when we realized that similar to our unending search for the perfect pizza, we would be embarking on the unending search for the perfect ramen.

Naturally, we sought to continue this search in NYC. First, we and several (very patient) friends waited almost 2-3 hours for a table at Ippudo, one of the more famous ramen joints in NYC. We figured if we made the trip all the way out here we would need to give this place a try.
 Pork Belly Bun
 Akamaru Modern Ramen
Overall thoughts on Ippudo are that I am very glad we tried it, but I will not be returning again. The ramen is quite over-priced at $15 a bowl and while the flavors are quite amazing, they don't justify the price or the insanely long wait. Further, the pork belly bun is simply what I grew up eating at home with my momma's cooking. So while I am glad we tried it to see what the hype was about, I will likely head over to Totto Ramen on our next trip to NYC. 

The second location for our ramen search was at Mitsua, which is a Japanese supermarket in Fort Lee, NJ. Once entering the store, we saw a long line for a ramen stall in which they claimed to have flown in a ramen chef from Japan for "this weekend only." We of course bought into the marketing and had to try it.
Shio Ramen
Super clean, yet flavorful broth. Chewy noodles and great meat and egg pairings. I actually enjoyed this more than my bowl of ramen at Ippudo. 
Tonkatsu Ramen
From another ramen stall inside Mitsua. Compared to the shio ramen this broth was super enriched with fat and meaty flavor. The pork belly was a plus! 
Finally, The Husband chose over $30 worth of sashimi, which we devoured in less than 30 minutes. It was one of the most satisfying meals that we had on this trip. Fresh sashimi is nearly impossible to find in our area so we had to get our fill. 
Our ramen adventures will continue on as we try new places. I'd love to hear from you about the ramen places that you have enjoyed in different cities so we can start compiling a growing list of places to test out. 

Have a enjoyable Wednesday! 

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