The first post will be Yuji Ramen. It was #1 on my list of places to eat and it was the first place I hit up!! *omg*omg*omg*so excited* :P
Yuji Ramen (inside Whole Foods)
95 E Houston St. 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10002
I've been following them on Facebook ever since the page was created in Feb 2012!! I wanted to go last year when I was in NYC but never had time. At that time, it seemed like they were just pop-ups so it was hard to pinpoint their location. But this time around, I found out that they set up shop on the 2nd floor of the Whole Foods at Bowery and Houston St. Awesome!! I HAVE to go!
So I met up with a friend of mine for lunch on Friday. I was super psyched and hoped I didn't hype it up too much. They have a counter set up so we sat down and browsed at the limited menu. They only had a few options listed. (Which actually made it easy for me so I don't feel like I can't decide!) They are known for their Mazemen - a new style of ramen without broth. Noodles are served with tare (sauce), flavored oil and a variety of toppings. The noodles tend to be thicker than normal ramen and have amazing texture. I LOVE chewy noodles!!
You can see them prepping the noodles behind the counter, with large pots and pans on the stoves, just like a normal ramen shop you'd go to in Japan. The ladies were very friendly too. And I liked the casualness of the location inside Whole Foods.
My friend got the Salmon & Cheese Mazemen (cured salmon, cheese, lemon) $9~
Salmon and cheese on ramen? It sounded interesting and a little scary. haha. But it was so good. I'm not a fan of smoked salmon but it was still good. The salmon was super tender with just a kiss of smokiness. The cheese was actually a cheese sauce that coated the noodles and made it rich and creamy. The bowls are not cheap, and is quite small, but surprisingly filling. I really enjoyed this.
I got the Bacon & Egg Mazemen (smoky bacon, poached egg, kale) $9~
It also had bonito flakes on top which I love. It was FANTABULOUS! The egg was poached to perfection, super soft and runny. I burst the yolk and mixed everything together. The noodles were chewy but not hard, just the right texture. And even without broth, the whole dish had so much flavor. The bacon was thick cut and smoky. The kale added freshness and texture. I'd say it's in the top 5 of the best ramen I've had to date. I do have to say that I typically prefer dry noodles to noodle soup, so this is TOTALLY up my alley.
The portions were pretty small vs the price (after tax was almost $11 a bowl), but they filled us up without pushing us over the edge. And you know what this means! Leaves room for dessert! hehe.
I got to check my top destination of the list and it exceeded my expectations. What a great start to this trip! And I WILL go back whenever I'm in NYC. I just hope that they stay in that location or open up a permanent location in the future. :)
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~