E and I are ramen addicts. There really is no way around admitting that. We have a problem. Ever since our trip to Japan we cannot seem to get enough of that broth, those slurping noodles and delicious veggies. We have been trying a new place every weekend. This past weekend we were able to hit two heavy ramen hitters in New York City, Momofuku Noodle Bar and Ippudo. Both were delicious but there were definite differences.
I was pretty excited to double down on RAMEN. Who wouldn’t be?!
MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR: Unfortunately the Noodle Bar does not take reservations. That really is the only negative here. We were able to put our names on the list and wander for a bit. When we came back we were at the top of the list and were seated at the bar shortly thereafter. E and I ordered the vegetarian Hozon Ramen with scallions, chickpeas and kale. It had such a great depth of flavor. Absolutely delicious. Not too salty. The chickpeas were crunchy, not soggy. There was just the right amount of noodles to broth. No need for kae-dama, otherwise known as an additional noodle helping. We shared one bowl of ramen in addition to an appetizer. And we treated ourselves to a Momofuku Milk Bar cookie for dessert. It was a perfect lunch.
IPPUDO EAST: Ippudo opened this location in 2008. It was its first US location. It was so popular that in 2013 they opened a West location as well. As with the Noodle Bar, Ippudo does not accept reservations. For dinner we were a party of 5. We were able to put our names in and walk to a nearby bar. Before we even had our first drink in our hand the hostess called and said our table was ready. We were shocked! Ippudo was hopping! I ordered the Wasabi Shoyu Vegetarian Ramen with a poached egg. I broke the yolk and mixed it in with everything else. The broth was really flavorful, there were lots of noodles, some fried tofu, seaweed sheets and sliced scallions. While everything was very tasty I think the broth to filling ratio was a little off. I wish there was more broth! There was no need for kae-dama here either. This ramen was more filling then the Hozon at Momofuku. While I would definitely go back to Ippudo, I don’t think I would go for lunch. It is very much a dinner time ramen. There was nothing light about it.
Below you will see a poll. Please vote on your favorite ramen place in NYC and add any names not already there! We can’t wait to try all of your favorites.