Whether I like it or not (and I’m leaning more towards the “not” side of the scale), it seems like summer is unofficially over. Just today I checked the weather forecast for NYC, and we’re looking at 5 straight days of rain. Bummer. While my umbrella and I played a losing battle of chicken against the weather on my walk home, I only wanted one thing – a toasty bowl of noodle soup (“Mmmmm, noodle soup” – brownie points to whoever came name that quote!). Well, I suck at planning such things ahead because I had a cold gazpacho at home waiting for me. Smooth move. BUT, this weather reminded me of a recent trip I made to Ichiraku Ramen Bar in the East Village.
It was a dreary rainy afternoon when I pulled up a chair to my window-side seat…
Ichiraku’s menu was quite extensive, with a myraid of ramen options to choose from:
The spicy pork bun was well executed, with a warm soft bun, fresh veggies and perfectly season pork – the spiciness manifested more as a mouthfeel than a flavor. Delicious!
For my ramen selection, I went with the shoyu ramen per the waitress’ suggestion - soy sauce flavored broth with grilled pork, bamboo shoots, boiled egg, seaweed, scallion, onion and ramen noodles.
The broth was flavorful without being too heavy; the pork slices were just the right amount of fattiness, and the egg was perfect – firm white, medium-cooked yolk. The noodles were chewy and satisfying, and the seaweed and scallions completed this savory bowl.
I give Ichiraku a solid 2-apple rating – perfectly acceptable ramen and a fair price. While it doesn’t compare to my old favorite Ippudo, Ichiraku is a great option if you don’t feel like waiting for an hour!
A consistent ramen choice in the East Village.
Ichiraku Ramen Bar
141 1st Ave. (btw St. Marks/9th St)
Have you had ramen before? What are your favorite toppings?