Zutto’s $10 Ramen Special Is Perfect For A Case Of The Mondays

Most of our ramen options downtown fall into two categories: More than $10, or from a deli. It’s a pretty sad situation, really, especially compared with most other parts of Manhattan. Long ago I saw an ad on another site advertising $10 ramen on Mondays at the Japanese spot Zutto on Hudson St. (btw. Jay & Harrison). That’s about the only time I’ve seen restaurant ramen offered at that price within the Downtown Lunch boundaries, so I had to check it out. 

The $10 ramen is limited to the tonkotsu variety (which is normally $15) but the deal is available all day on Monday. The tonkotsu contains a couple of pieces of chashu (pork belly), pickled ginger, kikurage (jelly ear mushroom), fish cake, shiitake mushroom, menma (fermented bamboo shoots),scallions and sesame seeds. The rich broth is milky and porky, and for me was the best part of the soup. The noodles were also a highlight – toothsome and balanced enough with the broth to fill me up until early evening.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about with the soup was the pickled ginger which imparted bitterness in the broth. It looks like nearly all of the ramen options on the menu contain this ingredient, though, so if you’re not a fan maybe ask if they can leave it out.

The special is dine-in only, but I was served quickly and could have been in and out in 30 minutes if I wanted. Otherwise, they weren’t so busy that you can’t linger for a bit over a cup of their green tea that’s five steps above what you get at most Chinese or Japanese places.

Zutto, 77 Hudson St. (btw. Jay & Harrison), (212) 233-3287, on the Web


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