There seems to be a big split among ramen eaters in this city. Those who love Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village, and those who crave a more “authentic” experience. In many of the anti-Momofuku posts there are lists of authentic Japanese ramen bars in the city… and lucky for us one of them is right here in Midtown.
Now let me just say in advance, I am big fan of Momofuku, but I’m also up for trying new and more authentic places… and Sapporo is definetely worthy of a trip. The first tip off is the crowd. They are always crowded during peak lunch hours, and it’s a sit down place- so be prepared to wait. There was a line of about 8 people ahead of us, and we only waited about 5 minutes- so don’t worry too much if you only have an hour for lunch. The food comes out pretty quick. If you are a party of one, you should be able to get seated right away at the bar.
What we ate, and the +/- after the jump…
Went with the Miso Ramen (first one one the list). Big soup with pork, ground pork, and fish cakes. Good flavor, and salty. The pork was not the greatest quality ever, but good enough. The noodles were great… definetely the star. The two guys next to us had the Syoyu Ramen (soy sauce flavored soup) which also looked good.
Followed that up with some Gyoza Rice ($6.05), which was excellent but a pricing mystery to me since it was only a plate of Gyoza served with white rice… only $5.85 if you ordered the two things ala carte. Despite being jipped our 20 cents we really enjoyed the gyoza which were awesome and definetely recommended.
They also have various fried cutlet plates, which looked great and come with rice and soup… plus some chef’s specials that we will have to go back and try (Pork curry over rice, Japanese Fried Rice, and Yakisoba).
- An authentic Japanese Ramen bar in midtown.
- Great noodles
- Quick for a sit down place
- If you are with a friend, each get a soup and split an order of Gyoza. Definetely the way to go.
- Single diners get in quicker by eating at the bar
- You may have to wait, and it is very cramped despite being a fairly big place
- This is not a berkshire pork, East Village psudo ramen bar… this is the closest thing to the real deal (in Midtown)- so don’t go if you’re into a more Americanized experience
Saporo Restaurant, 152 W. 49th St., btw. 6th & 7th 212-869-8972