Ramen Battle: Ramen Boy vs. Yakitori Boy

I checked out the soft opening of Ramen Boy this weekend, and though you can’t eat there today (closed Mondays) I am hoping my thoughts can help you decide whether you want to rush out there tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of Philly Phoodie

The opening of Ramen Boy is kind of a big deal because Philly and ramen are not that well acquainted. The brand new space is small and decorated to look authentically Japanese. Seats are backless but have a little shelf for your belongings underneath. For now, it is BYO.  The menu is small; 4 ramens, gyozas and a handful of other appetizers, 2 rice platters, and dessert.

When the owners of Yakitori Boy announced that they would be opening a ramen restaurant, I thought I would get a preview by trying the ramen already found on Yakitori Boy’s menu.

After the jump; Yakitori Boy’s ramen vs. Ramen Boy’s ramen… is the ramen- focused restaurant’s version superior?

At Yakitori Boy a half- bowl of ramen is $6. The broth had more flavor than I expected, though it was not up to the level of the classic ramen joints in NYC (I can’t compare to Tokyo, since I have never been). The noodles and the addition of bamboo shoots, mung beans, egg, and greens were all successful. The pork was just ok. But this $6  very filling portion is nothing to complain about.

I was expecting something even better at Ramen Boy, being that is it is the focus of the restaurant and that the menu is so much smaller.

The classic pork ramen is $10. The 3 other ramen available are, vegetable (made with soy milk and miso), miso, and spicy. Extra add ins for your ramen are available for a few more dollars. During lunch your ramen comes with a side of gyoza.

The portion is not so huge that you can’t polish it off in one sitting. In fact, it didn’t seem much bigger than the half portion at Yakitori Boy. Similarly to Yakitori Boy’s, the broth and noodles were good, but maybe about 70% of what my ideal NYC ramen is like. The only additions were a hard boiled egg, some scallions, a few bamboo shoots, one fish cake slice, and a piece of fatty pork. No greens. Unfortunately, the pork was piece of boring roast pork, just like at Yakitori Boy. It wasn’t flavorful and the fat was not the kind I like to eat. I was really hoping for a luscious piece of pork belly.

An order of chicken gyoza fared worse, despite the chunk of garlic in the middle, it was flavorless. Even the quad of colorful dipping sauces couldn’t save it.

Get the broth a little richer, change out the pork, and improve the dumplings and I would be more willing to recommend this restaurant for a  ramen-tic lunch. Unless things get better, I might advise to stick to Yakitori Boy; you can get your ramen fix there and instead of flavorless gyoza, choose from the enormous menu of  tasty skewers and other fun sides.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Ramen in Philly
  • Enough choices that a meat eater and vegetarian will  be happy, but not enough to be overwhelming

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Broth not quite up to traditional ramen standards
  • The pork is fatty, and not flavorful
Ramen Boy, 204 9th St., 267-687-91355



  • I am glad to see I wasn’t alone in my experience. Cheesesteak gyoza was probably slightly better, but still lacking.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    the noodles were excellent, but there needs to be more in the bowl! noodle portion = way tooooo small!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Are you sure foodzings??
    This is THE WORST RAMEN ever had. I had man Ramen noodle in Japan and NYC. This is so BAD. Do not call this is Ramen Noodle. I’d rather eat instant noodle from Super market.

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