I travel for work. I eat for fun.

Posts tagged noodles

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Hell’s Chicken, NYC

Korean cooking finally comes to Hell’s Kitchen…


I actually read about this place while I was in Japan, and as fried chicken and Buffalo wings are my favorite foods, I knew I had to try it!

Located right next to The Pony Bar, which specializes in American craft beer, it appears Hell’s Chicken is pulling inspiration from their neighbor as they have a wonderful selection of not-so-common beers in cans and bottles. I started with an ice cold Anderson Valley Gose…


While we came for the chicken, we also decided to try a few of their Korean appetizers while we waited.

Japchae noodles…


And kimchi jeon pancake…


To be honest, neither of these dishes were anything to write home about. A bit bland, actually. I expected bolder flavors and these seemed toned down on the taste department.

But their chicken….

Their chicken is excellent!

We started with Hell’s Chicken’s plain fried chicken. And it was perfectly fried! The breading was light and oh so crispy and the meat was tender and juicy. Some of the best I’ve had in NYC! Get some gochujang on the side as well!


We then moved into their spicy soy garlic chicken…


Equally delicious! Just the right amount of heat to amplify the garlic, and not overly sauced so the chicken stayed crisp. Beats Bon Chon or Kyon Chon any day!

A nice, new international addition to the ever-expanding list of eateries in our neighborhood!


641 10th Ave.

New York, NY 10036


Filed under NYC Manhattan Hell's Kitchen Korean fried chicken jap chae kimchi pajeon pancake beer noodles

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Nissin’s New JACK! Instant Yakisoba Noodles

New from Nissin, the makers of Cup Noodle…

Gekikara (Super Spicy) Yakisoba!


Made with a triple threat of habanero peppers, wasabi and Japanese hot mustard!


Add water and let sit for three minutes…


Then let the burn begin!


I have to say, this was no joke! Usually, a lot of these “gekikara” flavored foods are promoted as spicy, but the flavors are really toned down. In this case, it’s not just a marketing hook. I love spicy food and can handle heat, but this yakisoba really packed a punch! And you can taste each of the three main spices they hype on the package. Impressive!!


If I was living in Japan, there would definitely be a few of these in my pantry!

Filed under Japan instant noodles Cup Noodle yakisoba wasabi mustard habanero

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Lao Da Fang, Shanghai, China

This post was formerly titled “My First Breakfast in Shanghai” when I didn’t know the name of this place, but fjy24 has kindly translated the sign for me…


I hate eating inside hotels, preferring to go out and try local establishments when I have the chance. So I went down to the lobby and asked the concierge if he could recommend a good local place for breakfast. He of course tried to persuade me to eat at the buffet there in the Hyatt. He explained they have a great Chinese station if it was local food I was looking for.

"Would you eat there?", I asked.

"No.", he replied.

"Where do you eat breakfast around here?"

"Sometimes at a small place around the corner."

"I want to eat there."

"But they don’t have an English menu."

"That’s OK. Can you draw me a map?"

And he did.

So I went.

While the restaurant was bigger than I expected and looked kind of like a local chain, there was only one guy taking orders and another guy cooking alone in a small kitchen in the back…


They actually did have a short English menu, but it made no sense, with translations like “Three String Ginger” and “Pork in Grass”. So I relied on my limited knowledge of Chinese characters to order, recognizing things like “meat” and “noodles” and pointing. Here’s what I got…

The xiao long bao were easy as I could order by just saying the name…


Then I got what I thought would be wontons and egg noodles in soup. I got the wonton part right…


When I tried to order noodles to put in with the wontons, they brought me a whole other bowl of soup…


It turned out to be beef and glass noodles with tofu in a tamarind broth…


Not what I wanted, but it was good, so I happily ate it.

I also liked how the noodles absorbed the color of the broth the longer they sat…


It was a fantastic first meal in China for me. Just what I needed to get the trip started. And it only costs me $4.50 for the whole meal!

The place is located one block directly behind the Hyatt on the Bund. I’ll try and get the actual name of the joint and address later this week.

After leaving, while taking the picture of the establishment at the top of this post, I noticed a small take-out place attached to it, one that sold steamed buns. More on that later…

Another update with the following insight from dcboy1990: “FYI, shanghainese only eat wontons on their own, and without noodles. That’s probably why it didn’t come with noodles.” Good to know!

Filed under Shanghai China breakfast wonton xiao long bao noodles beef

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China Eastern Inflight Meal

They still serve meals in economy class on most flights in Asia! Here’s a look at what I was served on my China Eastern flight from Kansai to Shanghai…


I put aside my inner Andrew Zimmern and only tried the dishes I could clearly identify, ones that weren’t gooey or gummy, so enjoyed the braised fish wrapped in konbu to start…


Then I sampled the noodles with pork and shrimp…


For plane food, this was better than many meals I’ve had after business class upgrades!

Filed under China Kobe flight meal China Eastern pork noodles fish

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Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen, NYC

Earlier this week, I saw Matt Gross (@worldmattworld) from tweet from a joint called Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen. As I knew their midtown offices were close to ours, I googled the restuarant in hopes we had a new ramen joint in the neighborhood. And lo and behold, we did… only three blocks away from Marvel!

As I had no lunch plans that afternoon, we went to check it out. Here’s a look…


It’s a very small place, with only seven tables, and the take-out business was quite brisk as we sat there…


I decided to try the two things the places is named for, their steamed buns and ramen… not the kung fu!

I started with their “House Special” ramen…


Made with well-marbled beef, shrimp, bok choy, scallions and cilantro, this was really more of a Vietnamese pho than a typical ramen broth. There was nothing Japanese about it, which is what we have come to expect when we see the word “ramen”…


But once I got past the misnomer, I enjoyed an extremely tasty bowl of noodles and soup that did not skimp on the beef and shrimp…


The noodles are hand-pulled in house, I was told, and I found them supple and chewy, pairing perfectly with the bold, beefy broth…


Then out came the xiao long bao, or steamed buns, or soup dumplings, which unfortunately left a little to be desired. Three of them were perfect, the skin staying strong and holding the soup inside when they were lifted and dipped. But the other three fell apart on the slightest of contact, leaking all their gelatinous goodness back into the steamer. I also wish they’d had ginger and vinegar as condiments on the tables rather than sriracha…


But all in all, I had a wonderful lunch at Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen and I’ll be going back soon enough with more friends in tow to taste more of their menu…



811 8th Ave., between 48th and 48th Sts.

NY, NY 10020


Filed under NYC midtown lunch ramen pho noodles

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Afuri Ramen, Tokyo

I’ve been to Afuri Ramen before, having visited their Ebisu branch, but when I saw they’d also opened up a shop in Nishi-Azabu near my hotel, I just had to drop in for a bowl…



Your trip to noodle nirvana is only the push of a button away…


Pick a seat and hand over your ticket…


Choose your soup…


One’s a chicken-based stock made with fish and konbu, the other is a tanmei soup prepared with “chicken oil”.

Once you decide, here’s where the magic happens…

As usual, I went with their popular Yuzu Shio Ramen as I like the balance achieved with the citrus and the chicken fat…


I moved the seaweed for you for a better look at the whole bowl…


Close up…

However, this time I opted out of their thicker noodles and went for the thinner and harder ones…

I actually liked the taste and texture better!

Now with six shops in Tokyo and more on the way, Afuri is one of the city’s fastest growing chains. And after you try their unique ramen, it’s clear why!


1-8-10 Azabu-Juban

Minato-ku, Tokyo

+81-3 3585 1156

Filed under Tokyo Japan Afuri ramen noodles chicken yuzu shio

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RAMEN.Co by Keizo Shimamoto Coming to NYC

I first met Keizo Shimamoto in 2012 when he was running Bassanova Ramen in Tokyo. It was there at that small shop that I fell in love with his green curry ramen and wonderful tonkotsu ramen. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I heard he was coming to NYC to help open Bassanova here. But things took a turn for Keizo, in the right direction as it turns out, when he developed the now infamous Ramen Burger that was all the rage in culinary circles last year.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Keizo is going back to his ramen roots and opening RAMEN.Co downtown in the Financial District later this year!



The shop will be located at 100 Maiden Lane, with an opening date yet to be announced.

Keizo has been hard at work, getting ready to get back in the game, slowly perfecting his craft and posting pics from his test kitchen on social media. While nothing has been confirmed yet, here’s a look at what you might see on his upcoming menu…

One dish Keizo says he’s been trying to painstakingly recreate is a version of a Tonkotsu Shoyu soup he had in Wakayama during his epic ramen tour of Japan…


Keizo thinks he’s finally satisfied with the flavor he’s cooked up. He hopes that when he debuts this ramen in New York, it “will represent the vision and spirit of what ramen means to me and how I can do my part to make it better.”…


Looks like a beef based bowl could also be on the menu…



And while there’s no official word on whether Keizo’s ramen burgers will make their way into the shop, he recently teased a Spam & Egg Ramen Burger…


For updates and more information on Ramen.Co, you can follow Keizo’s blog, Go Ramen, or follow him on Twitter at @goramen.

All pics courtesy of Keizo Shimamoto

Filed under NYC ramen noodles beef tonkotsu ramen burger spam

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Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, NYC

What more can be said about Ivan Orkin and his ramen at this point?

Every media outlet from Bon Appetit to the New York Times to Martha Stewart has covered the ramen maestro’s triumphant return to the Big Apple.

I’ve eaten at Ivan Ramen in Tokyo, followed him around to various NYC pop-ups since last year, and even got a tour of his new Clinton St. space, hopefully opening next month. But given my busy schedule, and aversion to long lines, I’d never eaten at Slurp Shop, which opened in the Gotham West Market last year.

Until this past weekend.

And I loved it!

It truly is East meets West. Japan meets America. Tokyo meets New York. Noodles meet schmaltz.

To me, Slurp Shop is everything that Ivan has been working towards finally come to life.

He nails it. And here’s a look…

Love the artwork that adorns the bar…

Ivan’s classic shio ramen…

With pork chashu and egg…

He uses custom rye noodles…

The smoked whitefish donburi…

This was my favorite dish…

White fish, salmon roe, cucumber, scallion and dashi over rice…

The show-cooked pork donburi with roast tomatoes and a plum/wasabi/honey sauce. This turned out to be Mutsumi’s favorite…

A salad of scallion, raw & pickled cucumbers and shiso vinaigrette…

For drinks, we started with an Ivan Palmer, made with yuzu lemonade…

But David Poran, Ivan’s partner, kindly brought us over a Cel-Rey, explaining it was specifically put on the menu as it complimented the food. And he was right!

Say “Ah”! Which is exactly how I felt after our meal…

In Japan, slurping indicates you’re enjoying your meal. And from the sounds around me at Ivan’s Slurp Shop, I’m thrilled to see it’s becoming customary here in New York as well!


600 11th Ave., between 44th and 45th Sts.

Inside Gotham West Market

NY, NY 10036


Filed under NYC ramen noodles Ivan Ramen whitefish donburi pork