Hakata Kuro Ramen, wooden spoon + sake cup, Annin Tofu
I am a big ramen fan, and am always up for trying new ramen places. Last week, a good friend introduced me to Hide-Chan Ramen (248 E 52nd St), and it did not disappoint. Hide-Chan specializes in tonkotsu (pork) broth ramen, and the Hakata style (very rich & oily) broth I ordered was absolutely delicious. You can also have the broth “NY style” (read: less fatty), but there was no way I was passing up the Hakata broth. In addition to selecting your broth style, you choose from different flavors (original tonkotsu, kuro – my choice, spicy – what I want to get next time, miso, or vegetable). Add a variety of noodle styles (extra firm, firm, medium, or soft) and a myriad of potential add-on ingredients (extra pork, nori, mushrooms, bean sprouts, garlic paste, spicy paste, hard-boiled egg, etc. etc.) and I don’t think you can go wrong in creating a perfect bowl of ramen.
I decided to go with the Kuro broth, described as “ma-yu” (black garlic oil) style, because it was touted as being especially garlicky, and chose firm noodles. For my add-ons I selected nori, bean sprouts, scallions, and garlic paste (that’s the garlic lover in me). The Hakata Kuro ramen paired with an ice cold Sapporo made for an excellent meal.
For dessert we ordered “annin” (almond) tofu, which was just the right amount of sweetness and a perfectly smooth way to finish off the night.
Hide-Chan is definitely on my “go back to” list. I’m looking forward to dreaming up some new ramen combinations!