Ah the famous ramen place that didn’t really have a location and people had to go find it… has finally settled near the E/M/7 lines in Queens, not far (in traveling time) from Midtown Manhattan.
It’s a cute little space with cute little bowls, and cute little babies. Yes babies. This little restaurant had about 20 seats, 14 guests including 3 babies. I mean young ‘uns that cannot yet chew their food, or hold their heads upright, and should probably be breast feeding… babies. Perhaps the rich pork fat and bone broth translates to some serious second hand nutrition.
The wood tables were arranged slightly offset from each other with artistic rock and cacti gardens in the middle. The feel was sleek and modernist. The staff were dressed in shapeless muumuus. Between the decor and the harsh grey exterior and elevated roads that merged onto a highway, I felt a bit like I had entered a dark utopia or one of Murakami’s books.
We arrived so early that the uni wasn’t available yet, or so I was told. But for some reason the people across from us got the uni 45 minutes later. But the uni looked somewhat dry, so I decided that this is one uni dish I am willing to miss. -1
Edamame 7/10: They were really salty and tasted like Mexican corn.
Wings stuffed with foie gras and quince paste 9.5/10: Each order has 2 wings, which are served scorch-your-mouth hot and also squirts when you bite into it – hence the 0.5 points taken off. But once you let it cool little, the crispy skin wrapped around the juicy deboned wing was quite heavenly. The fatty foie gras and the butter soaked brioche added an earthy flavor and additional moisture to the meat. the quince paste was shoved in the joint of the wing and was a sweet surprise. I saw on an Eater video that the batter is made of meringue rolled in flour, and the stuffing is prepared days ahead. It was certainly worth it! If only I can get these delivered to me…
Mu ramen with corn and egg 8/10: The ramen was good. Broth delicious. Portion… tiny.
Tonkatsu ramen with extra egg and pork 8/10: Once again great flavor profile, but tiny.
The broths were slightly more complex than Ippudo’s, and the meat was cut thicker, and I love the addition of the corn! But the naruto were cold, the eggs were slightly overcooked, and the portion and fording the river just wasn’t worth it.
Even though it’s only one stop into queens and fairly accessible unless you’re trying to get here on the 7 when it’s not running… they did not use the freshest ingredients, and I must report that the food gave my date a stomach ache. That’s a -3. Between that and missing uni, it takes the overall score for the restaurant from an 8 down to a 4.
The service also left something to be desired. I understand waiting 15 minutes for a seat if a restaurant’s busy, but when we arrived, 70% of the seats were empty. No one offered us a drink or a menu. I am not sure what we were waiting for. One of the cooks was doing nothing and another was having a Pepsi… two muumuus were wandering around… one was getting extra padding for a new born, and it was 30 minutes after opening. I understand that this is a long and difficult job, but I am under the impression that there is also a standard?
Sorry guys, we will not be making this trek again. 3.5/10. Go at your own risk.