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The following is a list of all entries from the Noodles category.

Oodles And Oodles Of Ramen Noodles & A Sake Lesson

courtesy of urbandaddy.com

Good ramen makes me feel fat, simply because it’s a big portion of noodles, vegetables, meat and broth, and I find myself slurping the entire thing down to the very bottom of that massive bowl. That big bowl is always bigger than my head, and ask anyone, my head is abnormally large.

On a chilly evening a friend who not only loves Asian food, but knows quite a lot about it because he travels a lot, suggested that we stop by Sapporo in midtown for their tasty ramen. Never one to turn a new restaurant down, of course I went

We started with cold sake…

Side note about sake: Unless I’m freezing and want to warm up, I always order cold sake over hot sake. The flavors come out beautifully and are actually quite refreshing when you drink it cold. Not to sound cheesy, but the taste really does dance on your tongue. It is also usually a higher grade of sake than the sake that is served hot. One time, while sitting at a Japanese bar with a non-Asian girlfriend, the bartender who I was quite friendly with gave her a big toothy grin when she placed her order and even shook his head slightly. He said to her with a chuckle, “Americans always get the same thing, hot sake, salmon roll and spicy tuna roll.” He wasn’t trying to be mean, but just making an observation out loud. She was mortified, though I didn’t really see why she was, after all, she is American. It wasn’t until then that I began to notice that it was true. The majority of people, who don’t come from Asian families, that I have dined with always ordered hot sake over cold and many of them, after I asked, told me that they had never tried cold sake before. So just remember, the next time you order sake, try a cold one if you never have before. A lot of the time, hot sake is really just a lower grade sake that is heated so that you can’t taste that it’s cheap. Besides, with summer coming up, cold sake will really hit the spot.

After starting on a bottle of sake, we munched on pork gyoza, which are simply pork potstickers or dumplings. Not the best I have ever had, but I would order them again. The meat was flavorful. Though, the skin was a bit soggy and the bottom should have been crispier. And then our ramen came.  I wish I could have said steaming ramen, but it wasn’t.  Not that I minded that it wasn’t burning hot. It was at a temperature so that you could start eating it right away, which was a nice for me. But if you like it boiling, you would need to send it back to get it reheated. It might be strategic to get customers out faster or maybe our waitress just left it sitting out there too long.  I ordered the Shoyu ramen which has a soy sauce based broth, thin wavy noodles, pork slices and a fish cake. The broth was great. Simple and savory, I drank every drop of it. And to me, when it comes to ramen, the broth is very important. The pork was lean, I wish it had more fat like Minca pork slices do, but that’s just a personal preference. The noodles were tasty too, no complaints here. Overall, a tasty place to go for a bowl of ramen. Do I like it better than Minca? No. Would I go back? Definitely.

Note: It’s cash only.

6 out of 10

152 W 49th St, New York NY10019

-Juice

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Looking For A Great Ramen House In NYC?

Minca

Courtesy of newyorkramen.com

Ramen anyone? It’s getting chilly outside. Your nose is getting red…your head’s starting to feel a little numb…you have to shove your hands in your pockets. For me, when I find myself in this position I head to the nearest ramen house. Luckily for me, Minca happened to be the closest one in the area. Tucked away in Alphabet City, this tiny restaurant fills you with warmth the second you open the door. Remember, it’s a ramen house, not a fancy restaurant, so the décor is very simply. Minca has a handful of tables and a few stools by the ramen bar.

That night I happily munched and sipped away at a salt and garlic pork broth with thin noodles, while a girlfriend of mine opted for a spicy miso ramen with pork and chicken broth. Both were delicious and the broths were delicate and filled with a clean flavor lingers on your taste buds. Broth is one of, if not the main focus of a ramen house. Though, that is my guess from my experience and from what I saw from this straight to DVD movie with Brittany Murphy called Ramen Girl. Don’t judge me, I love food and I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, how could I not watch it??

A delightful note about Minca is that while they recommend particular noodles to be matched with certain broths, you are allowed the freedom to mix and match and explore as you wish. Keep in mind that the pork slices in each bowl are suppose to be fatty. In the Asian culture, fat is good…which explains why when I was little, I was massive. Anyway, the pork fat in the meat is kept there because it adds a rich and succulent flavor that cannot be duplicated with just lean meat. The pork is absolutely delicious by the way! It was so tender that it kept falling apart each time I tried to pick it up with my chopsticks. My girlfriend on the other hand is not a fan of fat and generously gave me her pieces. The two bowls added up to about $20 and we were waddling out of there warm, full and happy. I can’t say the same about the play we ended up seeing after our meal, but one of out two ain’t bad!

7 out of 10

-Juice

Minca
536 E 5th St, New York 10009
(Btwn Ave A & Ave B)
(212) 505-8001