Santouka Ramen: TOKOTSU KARA MISO RAMEN

Place: Hakkaido Ramen Santouka (Boston)

Address: 66 Hereford St, Boston, MA 02115

Website: https://www.santouka-usa.com/

Ramen: Tokotsu Kara Miso Ramen: Robust miso paste and silky broth, with a hint of bonito dashi creates the gentle balance flavor. The spiciness gives a nice kick to the flavor. Served with added soft-boiled egg, corn & butter

Price: $15.00

It was a cold, bright day in Boston and with an hour to kill before heading to the airport, I decided to find myself some local ramen. After a quick buzz online and a few social media recommendations, I ended up visiting the extremely popular Santouka Ramen.

There was a 30-minute wait for lunch as the place is small and very packed. I finally got a table and went for their $15 Lunch Special (a bowl of ramen, with an egg, corn & butter). I went for their spiciest bowl, the Tokotsu Kara Miso Ramen, a solid blend of Tonkotsu pork broth, miso paste and bonito dashi with a kick of chili… of course. I was pleasantly surprised by the mix of flavors, I could taste it all while not being overpowered by one individual taste. The noodles were a perfect al dente, the pork decent and the corn crunchy. Personally I wanted a larger chili kick and my egg was cold on the inside but the flavors were all there and they were enjoyable.

I’d visit Santouka again but I also want to explore what else Boston has to offer in its “ramen game”, but I know there’s a solid bowl there so I’m sure I’ll be back!

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SOURCE: rating_3

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Momfuku Las Vegas: BLACK WINTER TRUFFLE RAMEN

Place: Momofuku Las Vegas (Cosmopolitan)

Address: Cosmopolitan Hotel, 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Website: https://vegas.momofuku.com/

Ramen: Black Winter Truffle Ramen – Chickpea broth, Périgord truffles, egg yolk & chives

Price: $58.00

Sometimes you just have to splurge and if you are going to splurge, you might as well do it in Vegas. After a successful round of craps, I decided to take my good friend Dave out for dinner and as he is a budding Ramen enthusiast, I thought we should check out the Vegas charter of David Chang’s Momofuku in the Cosmo. Why? Well, it’s home to a truffle-based ramen that goes for $60! What the what? Yes, you read correctly, there’s a bowl of noodles and broth that goes for $60 in Vegas, well like all idiots out there, I had to give it a try.

I’ve been to Momofuku before in New York and while I am a fan of their steamed buns, I have to admit I was disappointed in their ramen but this Vegas offering had ramen that New York didn’t. They call it the Black Winter Truffle Ramen, a small bowl with chickpea-based broth (again, what the what?), fresh noodles, chives and a brilliantly luscious egg yolk, all topped with a heaping mound of table-side freshly grated black truffle.

This will definitely go down as one of the most unique bowls of ramen I’ve ever had in my short ramen existence. It was rich, complex, deep, fresh and warmed my belly like the thickest of Tonkotsu’s yet it’s totally vegetarian, no meat to be found. Now, a price tag this high is sure to turn away even the most adventurous of noodle-slurpers, but if you have the means and are willing to eat out of normal ramen constraints, then I heartily recommend trying a bowl of Black Winter Truffle Ramen, it was flavorful & fantastic.

I really enjoyed my meal at Momofuku Las Vegas, while pricey, the service was top notch, the sake recommendations were solid, the steamed buns (pork & chicken) were on point and their unique and completely tasty ramen was worth it (for me). It is a lot of money to spend on ramen and really, nobody should have to pay that kind of dough for a tasty bowl of goodness but again, if you win big at the tables and have a bit of adventure in your palate, then Vegas Baby it is! Give it a go!

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SCORE: rating_4

Afuri: YUZURATAN RAMEN

Place: Afuri

Address: 3 Chome-63-1 Sendagaya, 渋谷区 Tokyo 151-0051, Japan

Website: http://afuri.com/

Ramen: Soy sauce based soup with a sophisticated blend of chili spice, garlic & yuzu citrus.

Price: ¥1230

A lovely little joint deep in the heart of Tokyo which always has a line and offers a unique bowl of ramen. What’s makes Afuri a nice change of pace is their liberal use of Yuzu citrus that creates a light, fresh & vibrant bowl of soup. The excellent egg and tasty chashu are still present but the liveliness of the broth cuts through the fat leaving you satisfied yet not overly full. I opted for the Yazuratan Ramen which adds a little chili & garlic heat to the soy-based Citrus broth and that extra level of flavor really brought it to life in my opinion.

I was extremely please with my ramen at Afuri, the zing of the citrus mixed with the fresh ingredients and a hint of spice made for a completely unique bowl to enjoy. I can see this being an absolute winner on those muggy hot Tokyo summer nights!

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SCORE: rating_3