I love soup. I like my grandmother’s bouillon and pastina. I like the Kale and Mushroom varietals at Hale and Hearty when its cold out and I’m trying to be healthy. I like deep, rich bowls of clam chowder, frothy with bacon, especially when I’m in Cape Cod on the fourth of July. I like French onion soup with an abundance of melted cheese, particularly at greasy spoons where it is served in the small brown and beige bowl that seems to have been created solely for this purpose. I like the escarole and cannellini bean soup my father makes, acidic and spicy.
But nothing will ever truly compare to my deep rooted, bend over backwards for, unconditional love of ramen. I love piling just the right amount of noodle onto the soup ladle and slurping it up all at once. I love when its spicy and fragrant, and you can tell just by walking past a store-front that inside is a golden bowl of heaven just waiting to be conquered.
The bonito flakes ultimately overpower everything about these meatballs. Skip it.
King Trumpet “Noodles”
King trumpet mushrooms are carved into long, thin “noodles” in the vain of papardelle and bathed in a dashi broth and a shiso salsa verde. The mushroom “noodles” tend to be a bit floppy, which isn’t the biggest contrast to ramen, and gets old after a few bites. This wasn’t our favorite thing on the menu, but it was definitely an ambitious endeavor.
Tokyo Shoyu Ramen
Tonkatsu will always be my number one choice when it’s on a menu, but some ramen masters abstain from the porky broth and veer towards the chicken noodle soup esque bowls. Head chef Ivan Orkin is one of those people, and I applaud him, because his chicken/soy/dashi Shoyu broth is flavorful and broad with a delectable pork chasu floater and an egg, my favorite ramen topper. The complexity of the broth is visible in its color, but its deeply satisfying even without the pork funk I love in other bowls.
Spicy Red Chili Ramen
This is a five alarm, have tissues handy, chase each bite with a beer kind of ramen your friends warned you about. Your stomach may or may not hate you the next day, but it will be totally worth it. Fire engine red in color and muddied by a smashed egg and minced pork, this is our favorite masochistic food to eat.