Monday, September 26, 2011

Tabata Noodle 09-19-2011

Location: 540 9th Ave.
Time: 12pm
People: Effie, StevenC, and myself

Feelings: Midtown has more ramen shops than East Village at this point. There are high quality artistry ramen shops such as Totto and Hide Chan, but it was definitely always missing a low key spot with a quick bite of solid flavored ramen. Let's be honest, Sapporo does not deserve that much of a long line. This defies the definition of the ramen shop: a quick eatery. In Japan, people would line for hours for a mastery crafted ramen shop or high end places like Ippudo, but otherwise it is supposed to be a place for a quick bite.

Tabata reminds me of a neighborhood ramen shop I grew up going to. No frills, no fuss--but you can expect a good, fast service and satisfactory noodles. I wish the prices were $1-$2 lower, but overall, most dishes were $8.75-$10.75. When we went, they were not accepting credit cards, but they recently started, which is a big plus. Since it is located in outskirts of Midtown West, their clientele seems to be the ill-fitted business shirt types, but the restaurant was spacious enough to prevent you from hearing their conversations.

My tsukemen was chewy, and the dipping sauce was not overly salty. I mostly enjoyed the flavored hanjyuku eggs (half boiled eggs), which was complimented by the sauce. Effie ordered their popular item, Kyushu Ramen, which was a decadent bowl of tonkotsu based ramen. StevenC ordered Stamina Don, a donburi dish known for its strong soy and garlic sauce over pork and eggs. (It's supposed to give you "stamina" from garlic, eggs and pork.) It had an interesting flavor mixture of sweet, salty and spicy, I can assure you this will satisfy your hunger.

Overall, they serve standard ramen and rice dishes including curry. The flavors are just right, but do not expect anything fancy, modern or delicate. It has the similar vibe to Menkui Tei, and while I enjoy the refined mastery flavor of Totto, Tabata brings plebeian's ordinary ramen--the ramen that comforts me and brings me home to the lively neighborhood of Osaka.


kim said...

It's interesting this place isn't opened by Japanese, but we shouldn't discriminate as long as the food is good, right? :)


Yosh. O said...

Exactly! I was so surprised to find that this is run by a Burmese owner, but that doesn't matter at all since the food is good.