Since I moved here 11 years ago, the options for ramen restaurants seems to only be getting bigger and bigger. Not only do we have a lot of our old standbys that are the ramen OGs, like Miso-Ya in the East Village, but we’ve got a number of ramen spots that have come straight from Japan. Ippudo was the biggest and most well known one, but today, we discovered E.A.K. Ramen right in Hell’s Kitchen. They are famous for Yokohama-style ramen and straight noodles, and they offer two main types of broth: shoyu (soy sauce based) and shio (salt based). The menu was also very vegetarian and vegan friendly, as there were several options to satisfy both types of diners. We came here tonight and really enjoyed the ramen, everything from the broths to the chashu to even the texture of the seasoned egg.
The other spot we were debating on going to was Ichiran, which is also from Japan. They are famous for having single-diner booth settings where you are fully focused and immersed on your ramen slurping experience. But I was surprised when I looked at their online menu and noticed that all their ramens start at $18.90, even the vegetarian option… and pretty much every topping other than the meat and noodles was considered extra. $3 for a seasoned egg on top of a bowl that is already $18.90? While I really do still want to try it, the idea of eating this at this price did not sit well with me. I already thought that Ippudo at around $16 per bowl was expensive, but this really tops it all.