Ramen at Misoya (Before I Head Out to Chicago)
A few days ago, I had a very filling lunch at Misoya Ramen with a friend. I’ve read around Chowhound that this ramen newcomer might be comparable to my favorite ramen restaurant Ippudo. Since I love to eat a soul warming bowl of ramen during the chilly Monday we had here, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea before I head out to my vacation to Chicago.
This small, narrow restaurant was already packed with diners slurping their fairly large bowls of ramen. This sparked hopes that it’s actually pretty darn good. Interior wise, it’s pretty simple and almost austere if it wasn’t for the two large posters talking about its franchise in Japan (this is the first U.S. outpost; third location overall).
After looking through their menu, we’ve found out about its lunch specials. You have a choice of three different miso-based broth ramen for $10 or $11 and you have a choice of 4-piece gyozas, chicken karage or stir fried rice. A great bargain for lunch. My friend and I ordered Kome Miso and Mame Ramen and each of us had our own plate of chicken karage.My friend’s Kome Miso ($10) had great depth of flavor and though it was sharply salty from the miso but it wasn’t unpalatable. I liked the (unorthodox) use of corn kernels as it brought some bursts of sweetness and crunchiness. There were some large wedges of roast potatoes, fresh bamboo shoots, minced pork cooked in a thick brown sauce and finely chopped scallions. The latter ingredients I didn’t try from the friend’s bowl but was told it worked.
My bowl of Mame Miso ($11) had a rich dark brown broth topped with a large, crisp fried, panko encrusted shrimp and the same latter accoutrements (sans the potatoes) as the bowl of Kome Miso. It tasted much sweeter than my friend’s bowl of Kome Miso and it had incredible depth of flavors that made it so enjoyable to slurp through. The ramen itself were large wavy noodles that were soft yet had some springy chew.
The plate of five or so small pieces of chicken karaage, which were essentially fried chicken thigh meat coated in a fine breadcrumb lightly sauced in sweet hoisin sauce. Though it’s not the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, the hoisin sauce was an interesting touch and the chicken was moist. My little tiff was the breadcrumb coating, as I was hoping to see the coarse panko crumbs like my shrimp for my ramen.
Overall, this is a great place to have an inexpensive, very filling, and tasty lunch. (I seriously didn’t bother to eat dinner.) Not necessarily a ramen destination but it’s a good backup if Ippudo is completely packed and you don’t have the patience to wait an hour (or more) for a table to get your fill of noodles.
129 Second Ave
New York, NY 10003
Telephone: (212) 677-4825
No Official Website