So for a while I’ve been on this ‘journey’ to find the best ramen in New York City. It has gotten pretty popular over the past few years and there are shops popping up everywhere. In college everyone was like ‘boo… ramen noodle diet’ because college budgets were pretty rough. Well, I grew up with instant ramen always available in my home, so I thought the ramen noodle diet was great (still do). Now that I’ve graduated, and can afford going out to eat, might as well see what the city has to offer. Plus, I love noodles… just as much as rice, maybe even more. I’ll debate to myself later.
Thanks to my handy dandy daily Tasting Table e-mails, they highlighted Mr. Taka Ramen in the lower east side, specifically, their Avocado-Miso Ramen. Me, being a lover of avocado and ramen decided to try and check it out with my friend, who is on the same mission that I am (food besties are the best besties). My usual go to for a bowl of noodles is to look for the word ‘spicy’ because it’s just that more delicious. Low and behold they have a spicy vegetarian one! Winner-winner! Lets give this a shot, and try something new.
I ordered this bowl with the addition of chashu pork, which the waiter thought was weird, but whatever; I want what I want. Quite the colorful bowl at first glance, and a nice size as well. It’s equivalent to the size of a bowl of pho. The noodles are thicker than usual but still delicious. The broth: divine. I usually go for the meat-based broths because I think they taste better, but they did a fantastic job at flavoring this vegetarian broth. It wasn’t heavy and quite refreshing to eat. I couldn’t even tell that there was milk in the broth. Toppings include grilled veggies & tofu (a little too much char for my liking on the tofu), avocado, and spicy chili oil. There’s mushrooms in my bowl because my friend didn’t want hers.
For the die-hard meat lovers out there, here is the Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen, which is much more traditional. Visually just as pleasing as the other bowl. Comes with not only 1 but 2 kinds of pork! Unfortunately I only tasted the broth, so I can only comment on that: it was savory and delicious. I can only imagine how the rest of it tasted.
So far on my ramen journy, Mr. Taka Ramen has definitely made it to the top of my list along with my other favorites (HanJan, Ippudo & Ivan). I personally feel like this place has enough variety on their menu for everyone, but not too many options that you’re overwhelmed. The waiters are also kind enough to ask what you’re usually into, to help pick a dish to order (such great food analyst/waiters out there). I will definitely come back to this place, and probably try all of their bowls. Also, someone at the table next to us ordered wings and they looked so good, so I must try it in the future. I’m a sucker for wings too.
Stay warm this winter with noodle soups everyone!