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Old 10-06-2013, 11:06 PM
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Default Ramen

So, over the last few weeks we've been going somewhat ramen-crazy -- we were a pho family, but now we're disciples of the church of ramen. We're lucky to have a sufficiency of good ramen shops here and we've enjoyed many. Tonight, however, a new king was crowned: while the noodles were not the very best (there is a noodle shop named Ryu that has the very best noodles, so much so that I almost exclusively order tsukemen there), the broth was a level above and beyond what we've yet experienced. The place specialized in tonkatsu broth, the pork-bone soup that is likely the most popular form of ramen the world over. I had the shoyu tonkatsu (soy flavoured), while she had the shio (sea-salt) flavoured version. What makes this place truly special is that more than the standard slices of pork and pork belly one finds in ramen shops, they feature pork-jowl. Yes, it is basically Japanese guanciale soup. Succulent and divine, the tender pork cheek is cooked sous-vide until it is a perfect, gelatinous, barely coherent mass. This is then sliced to order and sauteed quickly, before being fanned on a small plate with scallions and served beside your bowl of broth. Exquisite. The best ramen experience we've had yet, in our admittedly early days of ramen consumption.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:04 AM
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This is me becoming greener than green with envy, that sounds so mind blowingly awesome
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:14 AM
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i have no first hand experience with real ramen, my sole experience consisting of packaged food.

kinda i hate you a little right now, chim.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:17 AM
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The place I went to was called Santouka, part of a famous international chain of ramen shops. Why, there's at least one in New Jersey, right by NYC. I can heartily recommend Santouka. As for the silky, springy noodles of Ryu... Well, all I can say is that if you come up for a visit, I will happily take you there to eat.

Additionally, I have tracked down a few recipes and sourced some ingredients, and I will now be bending my efforts towards making authentic tonkatsu ramen broth, populated with home-made ramen noodles.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:48 PM
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There is only one noodle house close to were we live. Their menu is small and prices very steep. So I'm envious. There is however a good market nearby where we can get ingredients and they have an enormous selection ramen. True, rue their dry, instant noodles but yum. The last ones we tried were Kimchee flavored. I have never tried kimchee but I'm looking forward to doing so.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:35 PM
silverwhisper silverwhisper is offline
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that's odd, kimchee is a korean dish. however, given the history of japanese imperialism, i suppose that shouldn't be terribly surprising.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:01 PM
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Truly, I am a swine... I went today to Kinton Ramen for lunch (I think I might have to skip dinner). Kinton does exclusively tonkatsu broth, although in shoyu, shio, miso, and spicy miso variations. Also, they use a very select pork for their ramen -- today I had the shio tonkatsu, rich broth (they make it in mild, regular and rich, capturing it at different stages in the simmer), with extra pork belly and extra noodles. Soooooooo good. The broth was not quite as good as it was last night, nor was the pork belly as special as the jowl, but a magnificent meal nonetheless. I also ended up with a button and my photo on the wall, for finishing my bowl: I am officially a Kinton Bowler.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:57 PM
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So, this rather interesting place has opened up near us. The name of it is Pho Viet Nam.

They serve Vietnamese Noodle Soup, according to a friend of mine who goes there regularly.

But they also serve soul food.....


So, here is one menu on their website: Pho Viet Nam.

If you click on the Soul Food link at the top of the page, you get this menu.

Notice that the name changes at the the top of the menu.

I haven't decided if this is two different restaurants sharing the same building or if this is really one restaurant space but two restaurants operate out of the same kitchen. Or what the hell is actually going on.

But a picture of the Pho on my friend MB facebook page looked good enough that I am tempted to go try the Pho.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:48 AM
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So, thus far, we have enjoyed Kinton Ramen a few times, Santouka (Which I loved, but she found the noodles sufficiently sub-par that we have not returned -- I agree that the noodles weren't stellar, but I found the broth and pork to be divine), Kenzo a few times, and Ryu. We've still been unable to get into Sansotei (largely because we've always gone spur-of-the-moment and the lines tend to be long; with Kenzo a block away, why wait?). We ate at Ryu again last night and thus far, we agree that it's our favourite place. The broth is excellent, the noodles are peerless (lovely noodles with a firm but pillowy bounce to them, good tooth without struggle) and the service is quite lovely, with the restaurant itself decorated in a charming manner. All that and inexpensive, too. So far, Ryu wins. I do miss the pork jowl at Santouka, however.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:16 AM
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Some ramen resources I've come across in my preparations to embark upon making ramen at home, from scratch.

A video on making ramen noodles.

A rye-flour variation.

A tonkotsu broth resource.
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