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Good food is as satisfying as a good sale. So from time to time (probably more than that because I'm a foodie and I love to eat), I'll be providing some food therapy. Be forewarned, I'm an adventurous eater with a HUGE sweet tooth. If you're in NYC, I hope you try some of these spots. If you do, LMK what you think. Bon appetit!

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6.21.2010

Food Therapy: Totto Ramen

There's something immensely satisfying about a really good bowl of ramen noodle soup.  No other noodle soup quite hits the same sweet spot for me.  I've been a regular of Yakitori Totto (a Japanese restaurant that specializes in grilled chicken skewers) for years, so of course I was very excited to try Totto's new ramen noodle shop: Totto Ramen (366 West 52nd St (b/w 8th & 9th Ave), NY, NY).


I love trying new restaurants but sometimes, I think I shouldn't go to soft openings because the menu looked like this:


All the side dishes were marked as "COMING SOON".  But you know what?  I went for the ramen, and that's what they were serving.  So I'm not complaining.

Totto Ramen is a very tiny noodle shop: counter seating and a couple of small tables.  It kind of reminded me of Momofuku Noodle Bar when it first opened - it was all about the ramen.
  • It was 2 guys behind the counter preparing your ramen order.  Counter Guy #1 cooked the noodles and readied the bowls.
  • Counter Guy #2 attended the ramen broth that you see in the big pot on the left.  Interestingly, the ramen broth was chicken-based rather than pork-based.  (Upon reflection, it's not so surprising because Totto is known for its chicken dishes.)  As a result, the ramen broth tasted like a cross between regular ramen pork broth and chicken soup.  I think the bigger pot on the right is either broth they were cooking for the next day or vegetarian broth for the vegetarian ramen dishes.
  • I couldn't not post this picture of Counter Guy #2 blow torching char siu pork!

I ordered the Totto Miso Ramen:


It was good but definitely not as good as the Akamaru Modern Ramen from Ippudo (for my Ippudo review, see this post:  Food Therapy: Ippudo Ramen Noodle).  I think Foodette's Totto Spicy Ramen was tastier (albeit slightly oilier due to the spicy oil):

  
The wait was about 30 mins, though we were quote 45 - 60 mins.  Am I going back?  Yes...to try the side dishes.  Totto Ramen won't be replacing Ippudo for me but it's a welcome addition to Hell's Kitchen.

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