Last night’s dinner was not cooked by me! Chef John and I went to one of my favorite ramen noodle joints in NYC, Hide-Chan. Ramen joints are popping up everywhere in NYC, but a lot are mediocre; this one is NOT. It is incredible, and I highly recommend it (my #1 favorite noodle joint is Ippudo, but it inevitably will have a two hour wait). If all you know about ramen is college (or perhaps even current) memories of pouring hot water in a styrofoam bowl, then prepare to have your mind blown!
At Hide-Chan there are only a few menu items, and all soups are made with a pork broth. I ordered the Hakata Kuro Ramen, served with inky ma-yu roasted garlic oil that coated everything black (think squid ink). The incredible smells are oozing out of this bowl which also included green onions, tree ears, seaweed and tender pork slices. I of course added the spicy oil because that is how we roll at NummyNumNum. Everything in this soup works, the textures, flavors, smells all amazingly perfect. Seeing as it is FREEZING here, this was the perfect Wednesday night meal. We also got the pork buns, which are not the best I have had but still does the trick! To be honest, I have never met a pork bun I didn’t like. Roasted pork, soft bun bread and mayo? Seriously you just can’t mess that up. An item I noticed this time around was raw octopus in a spicy wasabi sauce. It was fresh, crunchy, refreshing and a perfect way to start this meal. As always, you have to order a big mug of Kirin because it pairs perfectly with this hearty Japanese comfort food. -ts