Will Terakawa Ramen Leave Us Longing for Teriyaki Boy?
Terakawa Ramen opened a few weeks ago on Ninth Avenue, replacing a former favorite lunch spot, Teriyaki Boy. If this new Japanese noodle joint serves similar cheap, quick lunches, then it might be worth a trip west. But unfortunately, my first visit cost me over $10 (with tip) and left my poor feet a little too sore from walking all those avenues.
The small bar was empty when I arrived around 12:30, but quickly filled up by the time I finished my meal. For lunch, they offer one of five ramen soups for $9 or $10, which could include a side order (choice of Pork Dumplings, Pork Fried Rice, or Chicken Curry) if you want to fork over an extra 2 bucks. It looks like a deal but when the bill comes, you realize how quickly it all adds up. Forget it if you were hoping for a soda!
I chose to sample only the ramen to keep the bill as low as possible. I went with the namesake Terakawa, which the lady (who screamed some generic Japanese greeting to everybody that peeked their head into the shop) told me was a tonkotsu pork-bone broth. It arrived moments later, making up for the time it takes to walk this far west, in a surprisingly large bowl all ready to be slurped up.
The broth itself had a rich milky, nutty flavor but I found it to be a little too greasy. I like discovering some floating pieces of pork fat globules in my soup, but these were rather overwhelming and unctuous. The addition of pungent red ginger and scallions added punch, while the crunchy bamboo shoots and kikurage mushrooms brought in the texture. However, the most disappointing part was the sliced roast pork which was somehow fatty and dry at the same time. The noodles were closer to the dense, chewy versions of dorm room fame than the tender, springy ramen you’d find at the quality East Village noodle joints.
It was an alright bowl of ramen, but not worth the trip to Ninth Avenue. While the ramen craze is slowly making its way to Midtown, Terakawa doesn’t quite measure up to the best of them. I passed Totto Ramen on my way back east and kicked myself for not coming here and paying the same price for their intensely flavored bowl of Japanese goodness.
Terakawa Ramen, 885C Ninth Avenue (btw 57th and 58th Street)