I don’t know how many times I have to reiterate myself, but I love ramen! It’s definitely one of my most favorite foods ever. Honestly, picture yourself gazing out upon a freezing New York night while enjoying your delicious warm bowl of ramen. Surreal no?After reading an interesting blog post regarding Hide Chan and their unique offering of ramen, a couple of friends and I decided to grab a quick bite there.
The Pork Buns although delicious are nowhere on the same level of the ones served at Ippudo. The pork is grilled and seared which brings out a ton of flavor. However, they’re not as tender as you would’ve expected, I occasionally had a tough bite. Disappointing. The sauce is a perfect medium, where it’s tasty enough to give it an extra dimension, however mellow enough where it doesn’t dominate the flavor of the pork. Also, what’s up with the iceberg lettuce? Kind of ugly no? The chicken wings have a nostalgic texture and flavor that reminded me of something my grandma used to whip up back in the day. So, brownie points for unknowingly striking up memories from my past and serving it up on a dish.Let me introduce you to the Mega Ton, and boy does it live up to its name. I know I should’ve took the picture along with another dish, but just trust me when I say this bowl was HUGE. Those pieces of delicious pork were all the size of a baby’s knuckle. A common downfall with such generous sized dishes is the drop off in flavor and overall quality of the dish, however not so with the Mega Ton.Next up is the Hakata Spicy Miso Ramen. The hot rayu oil poured across the bowl resonates through out the entire dish when it’s stirred in. Although done well, the dish lacks a certain facet of uniqueness and just feels like something that I’ve had in the past.Ahh. The Hakata Kuro Ramen aka the Black Ramen, the sole reason why I actually chose to eat at Hide Chan Ramen in the first place. Although you probably can’t notice much in this black mess, the bowl is packed with individual flavors that marry and become a dish. The first thing that you probably notice flavor-wise is the garlic, which I absolutely love. Another great addition are the black mushrooms (which I don’t know exactly which kind), almost have the texture of seaweed, but taste great!Finally, we have the Hiyashi Tskuke-Men with a dipping soba broth laced with spicy sesame oil. I was impressed by how well all the ramen noodles were cooked, but especially with the cold ramen. Usually, the noodles become too starchy and tend to stick together (you’ve seen it when making spaghetti, and letting the noodles set). However, the ramen still held a brilliant texture and when dipped into the broth, you get hit right in the mouth with a straight haymaker of spicy heat. Unfortunately, this dish was not perfect. The portion when compared to Mega Ton, was absolutely pathetic and felt like a side order. Also, I guess this is general for all ramen, why skimp on the meat? I mean really.. 2 pieces? I love to see my ramen come with a whole blanket of meat, but until that day, I can only sit here and rant.
Hide Chan Scores:
Food: 7.5/10 – The food was well prepared, but maybe I have a ramen bias and always think ramen is prepared well.
Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – I love being able to sit in the tiny tatami and enjoying great time with friends.
Service: 9/10 – Unfortunately, my friend waited by herself for half an hour, and I waited with her for another half an hour, the servers never threw a fit.
Value: 6/10 – Around $10 for the regular bowls of ramen, and $15 for the Mega Ton, seems a little more than average.