IT LATELY MAY SEEM THAT I've had RAMEN on the mind about more than usual. I recently posted about my "RAM-LETTE"—a ramen omelet I made about a month ago—and as I was trying to select what HARLEM restaurant I was going to last weekend (I smartly chose the wonderful HARLEM SHAKE), I added new MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS area JIN RAMEN to my "to-do" list.
And I was running errands in Carnegie Hill yesterday early afternoon, I happened to pass by local Naruto Ramen, A small boite of a ramen house, purported to serve really good and authentic JAPANESE ramen. This in a neighborhood that is exponentially overrun with Asian fusion joints that offer different Asian cuisines but do none of them exceptionally well.
Enjoying the first 70° day of 2014, I was in no rush to get back home, so I jumped at the opportunity to finally try the place out.
I have likewise heard of their great lunch special: one of their normal-sized bowls of ramen—house Naruto, curry, tantan (spicy sesame), miso, sura (soy sauce with vinegar)—with your choice of gyoza (pork dumpling), fried rice, or curry chicken with rice appetizer.
As a first time Naruto customer, I of course had to order their house ramen, which is a copious amount of properly toothsome ramen noodles, served in a huge bowl with a rich soy sauce-based broth, deliciously tender and fatty slow-roasted pork, a Japanese-style fish cake, and rounded out nicely by dried seaweed, floral scallions, sour and plump boiled egg, and crispy cool bean sprouts.
The thin, crispy, pan-fried-then-steamed dough wrapper of the gyoza dumplings held a tight, juicy, flavorful ball of seasoned ground pork with chives, and made for an ideal starter to what would be the best meal of my day.
Sometimes I'm tempted to give my YORKVILLE too much credit. Sometimes I don't give it enough. The really solid places to eat in Yorkville are so rare it's easy to see why I call the "gems". And many don't stick around so long with the ever greater gentrification of an already pretty homogenous neighborhood.
Naruta Ramen is a welcome reminder to enjoy these gems before they're "all gone"! :)
Bun Apple Tea!
NARUTO RAMEN | 1596 3rd Ave. (bet. 89th & 90th Sts.) | 212.289.7803 | No Website | | | |