EATAKU

I travel for work. I eat for fun.

Posts tagged noodles

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Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen, NYC

Earlier this week, I saw Matt Gross (@worldmattworld) from bonappetit.com 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…

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

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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…

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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”…

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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…

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

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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…

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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…

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KUNG FU LITTTLE STEAM BUNS RAMEN

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

NY, NY 10020

917-388-2555

http://www.nykungfuramen.com

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…

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

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Pick a seat and hand over your ticket…

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Choose your soup…

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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…

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

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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!

AFURI

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!

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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…

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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.”…

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

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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…

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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!

IVAN RAMEN SLURP SHOP

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

Inside Gotham West Market

NY, NY 10036

212-582-7948

http://www.ivanramen.com/en/ivan-ramen-slurp-shop/

Filed under NYC ramen noodles Ivan Ramen whitefish donburi pork

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Gogyo Ramen, Tokyo

Sometimes I think the Japan Times follows me around when I’m in Tokyo and eats where I eat. :)

It turns out we’ve coincidentally been dining at a lot of the same places recently.

Robbie recently posted this article about Gogyo Ramen in Nishi-Azabu, which made me realize that while I tweeted and talked about Gogyo, I never posted about the joint. Well, here you go…

The gyoza were wonderful…

Their famous kogashi, or “burnt/burned” ramen…

Once you drop in, you can immediately see the charred lard in all its glory…

It’s like deglazing a frying pan to get the good bits… it adds flavor and crunch! :)

Gogyo also uses a thicker style of noodle…

If both Eataku and the Japan Times recommend Gogyo, how can you go wrong? :)

GOGYO RAMEN

1-4-36 Nishi-Azabu

Minato-ku, Tokyo

+81-3-5775-5566

www.ramendining-gogyo.com

Filed under Tokyo Japan ramen noodles kogashi gyoza miso

169 notes

Tsujita Annex Ramen, Los Angeles

I often get asked where my favorite ramen joints are, not just in Japan, but also in cities around the States. In the past, when it came to Los Angeles, I never really had an answer. Until now…

I was in LA last year and got the chance to hang out with Zack Brooks from Food is the New Rock and Midtown Lunch. Knowing of my passion for ramen, Zack was kind enough to take me to a couple of his favorite noodle spots. And for me, Tsujita Annex hit the spot!!

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Tsujta Annex is not a huge place, and given its new-found popularity, there tend to be long lines. But rather than have you stand and wait, they’ve set up umbrellas and chairs in the parking lot where you can chill and wait and check out the menu…

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Inside, there are 10 seats around the counter and two small tables to the left as you enter…

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Annex has everything you need to make your slurping simple, including English explanations…

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Here’s how they explain their ramen…

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A lot of people think that Tsujita Annex is paying homage to Jiro Ramen in Tokyo, but I have been told that’s not the case. I know which “well-established Ramen Noodle restaurant” they are referring to, but I’ve been asked not to mention the name here. Sorry! But I can tell you it’s in the “Jiro-kei” family. Which you can kind of tell already just by looking at their ramen…

It is amazing! Koteri tonkotsu soup so thick you can stand your spoon up in it! Cabbage and moyashi bean sprouts. and that thick cut char siu pork! Oh, the pork…

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Even the noodles are a little thicker here, a little firmer, to stand up to the powerful porkiness of the soup…

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The above noodles are from their tsukemen, which we also had…

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Now THAT’S a dipping sauce!

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This man made my afternoon!

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If food is the new rock, Tsujita Annex is my new jam!

TSUJITA ANNEX LA

2050 Sawtelle Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90025

310-231-0222

http://tsujita-la.com/annex.html

Filed under LA CA Los Angeles California ramen tonkotsu pork noodles

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Papapapapine Ramen, Tokyo

As the name implies, here at Papapapapine, you will find what is possibly one of the strangest bowls of ramen you will ever eat… pineapple ramen!

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Papapapapine is a small six-seat joint in Nishi-Ogikubo…

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Run by this man, Kurata-san, who loves both ramen and pineapple and now makes his living combining the two in one bowl…

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The place is appropriately decorated…

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The base of Kurata-san’s ramen is a light shio, or salt, soup. He infuses it with pineapple for a fruity and refreshing sweet and sour combination. He offers his pineapple ramen both hot and cold, and we tried a bowl of each. The hot ramen comes with nice pieces of roast char siu pork…

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The cold bowl comes with a more simply prepared piece of pork, almost like baked ham…

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Both come topped with chunks of pineapple and strands of togarashi…

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Complimented by plenty of diced scallion and a blend of spice, I found Papapapapine’s ramen a lot easier to swallow than I expected. I actually quite enjoyed it!

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Just like my friend Keizo, who combined his love of ramen and pineapple into the hit Ramen Burger, Kurata-san is finding similar success in Japan, with his ramen now available in instant form at convenience stores around Japan…

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We find pineapple in our Chinese food and also put it on pizza, so why not ramen?!

PAPAPAPAPINE RAMEN

3-12-1 Nishi-Ogikubo

Nisshin Ogi Plaza 108

Suginami-ku, Tokyo

Japan

+81-3-3247-2181

http://www.papapapapine.com

Filed under Tokyo Japan pineapple ramen noodles

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I have never hidden my love for Japanese ramen chain Tenkaipin, so imagine my surprise, and joy, when I discovered they’d start selling chips that taste like noodles in their tonkotsu soup!

Now I’m a little biased, but I have to say, they do a pretty good job of capturing that creamy, porky ramen flavor.

And I appreciate how the chips are designed to make it look like they’re strips of ramen noodles stuck together.

The one problem I did have with these though is that they’re VERY crisp, which makes they lacking in crunch. You have to bite down pretty hard to crack one and that still leaves you with tough-to-chew bits in your mouth.

Worth checking out though…

Filed under Japan chips Tenkaipin ramen noodles tonkotsu soup