Morimoto Gets into the Ramen Game with Momosan
We certainly are not lacking for ramen options here in Midtown, but it was only a matter of time before Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto jumped into the ramen game. And it’s pretty cool that he decided to choose Midtown for Momosan Ramen & Sake Bar
But what does it mean for us? I checked it out last week and managed to snag a seat at the bar rather quickly. The dining room was packed and the hostess was quoting parties of two about a 20 minute wait. Unless you’re eating solo or you come early, I imagine this will be tough to make a quick lunch.
The food also took a while to come out once I ordered. I started with a kakuni bun (one was $4), which looked a little lonely. It was a small piece of pork belly, lettuce, and a smear of mustardy mayo.
I actually found the pork a little tough and chewy. It didn’t have the plump fattiness I expect from pork belly for. The bun itself was more sweet than I was used to but it was tender and sopped up the bit of grease nicely.
The ramen soups come in two sizes – the smaller of the two is right at the ML limit of $10. I thought it might be worth pushing it if the ramen was extra good. There is also a lunch set of $16 for you big spenders out there that includes a small ramen, a small don, and a side of pickled cabbage.
When the tonkotsu arrived, I was bit turned off that the seaweed was stamped with the logo of the restaurant. I felt like it was a cheap shot to make sure everyone tags their Instagram photos. I asked the bartender what it was and she wasn’t sure exactly but she assured me it was safe to eat.
I chose the traiditonal tonkotsu and I was pleased with the portion size. The broth had good flavor – super garlicky and salty. The pork chashu was sliced very thin (almost like bacon) and had an earthy peppery flavor. The noodles were expertly cooked – as springy as you’d expect.
It was a decent ramen. Not the best I’ve had in Midtown, but perfectly acceptable. I am a bit curious about the more exotic Tantan soup featuirng a spicy coconut curry broth. Wonder how it compares to Tabata.
It was a filling and mostly satisfying meal. And I’m sure it will draw huge crowds for quite a while. What else is new in the world of Midtown ramen spots?
Momosan Ramen & Sake, 342 Lexington Avenue (btw 39th and 40th St), (646) 201-5529