Monday, December 19, 2011

Ramen Misoya 12-17-2011

Location:120 2nd Ave.
Time: 12pm
People: RB, CK and myself

Feelings: It is getting to the point when there are more ramen shops than Duane Reade in New York. But if it is miso ramen you crave, Ramen Misoya in East Village is a welcomed addition. Ramen Misoya is a chain from Japan, over 30 franchises including in Taipei and Brazil, but mainly in Chiba and Tokyo regions of Japan.

The space is rather cramped, and it was packed during lunchtime on this brisk Saturday afternoon. Ramen shops are traditionally based around a seated counter and open kitchen--similar to the sushi culture. You observe the masterful craftsmanship of ramen chefs and eagerly wait for the perfect bowl of ramen that warms up your soul. Here, instead of the open kitchen, you can watch the kitchen via closed circuit TV.

There are three types of miso flavors at this ramen shop:

1) Kome miso, red miso popular in Hokkaido
2) Shiro miso, white miso with lighter, sweet flavor from Kyoto
3) Mame miso, reddish brown miso popular in Nagoya.

Being an Osakan, I cannot possibly pass on the neighbor prefecture's famous shiro miso. In Kyoto, shiro miso is widely used for zoni on the New Year, but this is the first time for me to try in a ramen form. My veggie ramen with shiro miso ($11) was a hearty with subtly sweet broth. The tofu soaked up all the umami-centric miso broth, and the rather broad noodles were perfectly chewy. The portion here is certainly for a hungry adult.

RB's cha-shu ramen with kome miso ($13.80) was heavier but delicious nonetheless. The pork seemed a bit on the drier side, but had a nice grilled char on the edges. So what it lacked in moistness, it made up for in flavor. Hokkaido is the largest grower of potatoes in Japan, and this regional inspired ramen had a couple deliciously crispy fried potato slices. It was topped with a generous helping of corn which gave a pleasant sweetness to the heavy broth.

They even offered a seasonal menu called "Konayuki" (snow powder) ramen that consisted of miso, butter and cheese broth for those dairy lovers out there.

Ramen Misoya might not be the best, but it is definitely one of the better choices in the city. Absolutely no frills, no gimmicks here. The service is warm and friendly, and their robust bowl of ramen is just perfect for the chilly winter to come.


Steven C said...

Ah you tried it! good to know- it's one of the better options

Yosh. O said...

yeah this was def a solid experience.