I discovered ramen Zundo-Ya while going for steak at Prime and Beyond on a Friday night. Walking on 10th street, I noticed a line in front of a restaurant and, sure enough, it was a ramen joint I never heard about, although it opened last December, the location in New York being the first one, there are also 19 restaurants in Japan. I looked at the menu and did not think twice: I needed to try this place before the outside temperature would be too high for this kind of meal. So we went back to that area last Saturday, ready for one of my favorite soups. Considering the line we saw before, we decided to go for their opening time at 11:30am. At that time we were the only one and one of the persons working there authorized me to take photos before they opened.
I like the dining room: spacious, with a modern zen feel. As we sat, one of the staff members came to us and asked if we were ok with the volume of the music, a first I have to say: I wish sometimes that all restaurants would do this, of course with patrons asking for a lower volume...
Menu wise, they have not only ramen, but also donburi, these rice bowl that I discovered at Ubu Sushi in Hoboken may years ago. But we were there for ramen. They have a pretty nice selection and, what I liked was the fact that you can chose the amount of pork fat you would like in the broth, from light to super rich, as well as the type of noodles (thin straight or thick wavy), making the combinations endless. Instead of going for the vegetarian ramen aka salad ramen served cold, Jodi decided to ask for their signature ramen called Ajitama ramen. It is a tonkotsu (pork) broth with slices of roasted pork, a cured egg, dried seaweed (yakinori), scallions (negi) and bean sprouts.
On my side, I went for the Zenbunose ramen, that is a tonkotsu (pork) ramen with all the toppings. In term of fat content for the broth, I chose rich and picked the thick-wavy noodles. When the bowl came, it shows for sure that all the toppings were there, from slices of roasted pork, a cured egg, dried seaweed (yakinori), scallions (negs), sesame seeds and bean sprouts. It was like the one from Jodi, but on steroids. If I had to compare the two, I would definitely choose this one: the broth being fattier was tastier, quite creamy, with a little kick, and the noodles have a nice bite to it. Concerning the toppings, I thought it was a good deal considering the amount of roasted pork that was sublime. I definitely recommend this one.
Both ramen had a full egg that was perfectly cooked, the whites being soft and the yolk not fully cooked. I appreciated this as, often, in ramen restaurants, I ended up with an overcooked egg or half an egg.
There were also condiments that we could have added to the ramen: sesame seeds, red ginger, as well as some greens that were really spicy.
With our ramen, we also ordered some pan-fried pork gyoza that are delicious and had a nice char on one side.
We left full and glad we discovered Ramen Zundo-Ya: this might be for me the best ramen place in New York and I would certainly go back there to try another combination. I highly recommend this place for sure. But, what about you? What is your favorite ramen joint in the city?
Enjoy (I did)!
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