Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Hide-Chan Ramen

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen
I recently had another one of those life-changing moments where I put something in my mouth and almost fainted from the deliciousness (the last time this happened was at La BoquerĂ­a in Barcelona - I know, I still have to write about that, I'm so behind!). I kept sighing, "Oh, my God..." and my eyes rolled back in my head and thankfully I wasn't there on a date or else I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten asked out again.

Superwoman and I were in Manhattan...
...a couple weeks ago on vacation, to visit family (my twin baby cousins were born last year when I was still living in Spain) and conveniently because the company I work for takes a week-long break every summer.

I actually have two aunts in Jersey and one aunt in the Westchester area, and I was hoping to spend as much time as I could in Manhattan...which was two days.

Regardless, I had our Manhattan days all organized and everything was planned around food, naturally.  #1 to top my list was Hide-Chan Ramen in midtown, crowned Best Ramen in New York by Serious Eats New York.  It did not disappoint! The quality was, in my opinion, comparable to the ramens I had in Vancouver, which were excellent and very authentic.

Their repertoire was totally up my alley because although I love all kinds of ramen, the tonkotsu (pork bone soup) variety is by far my favourite - it's super rich and flavourful.  The chef from Hide-Chan is from the Hakata region of Fukuoka, and he makes a mean tonkotsu ramen.

I ordered the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.50), the most basic ramen, and it was divine.  Divine!  You can choose the richness of the broth and the doneness of the noodles and I chose rich broth with medium noodles.  The medium noodles are supposed to be al dente and I would've preferred the thicker, wavy noodles, actually, but I was pretty happy with what I had.  I'll be ordering the firm noodles next time, though.

But the broth!  The broth rocked my world.  As soon as they set the bowl down before me, the delicious smell of the broth had my mind awhirl and that first taste was...wow.  My eyes are rolling back in my head just remembering it.  It was very rich, very porky, with just the right amount of fat in it (rich, but not oily).  The accompanying seasonings, which I can't really identify except for maybe a bit of garlic, was perfection.

Despite the fact that the standard ramens only come with two slices of chashu (rolled pork belly) and I'm generally a huge meat eater, I didn't feel deprived.  Because the chashu was AMAZING.  It melted in my mouth.  It was cut a little thicker than tradition dictates in Japan, but it was fantastic.  Also rich and fatty without being greasy, it was obviously marinated for a long time so the seasonings permeated the entire peace of meat, and the way it just melted away between my tongue and the roof of my mouth...le sigh.

I was very happy with my choice.

Hakata Kuro Ramen from Hide-Chan Ramen

 So was Superwoman.  She chose the Hakata Kuro Ramen ($9.75), which is the standard ramen amped up with charred garlic and ground black sesame.  This one was also good.  The flavour was much more intense, with a fragrant, smoky twist to it.  I liked this one too, but I preferred the one I ordered because there was a slight bitterness to the charred garlic sauce that I could've done without.

Next time, however, I'm going to order the "meat lover's ramen" ($15.00) - I can't remember the exact name of it but I remember reading the description that promises more meat and thicker, wavy noodles.  This has quickly become a favourite of ours and we just might have to visit Hide-Chan every time we come to New York!

Hide-Chan Ramen
East 52nd Street, 2nd Floor (52nd & 2nd)
New York NY 10022

No comments: