Last year, I discovered ramen. So I was very excited to go to Totto Ramen, after the feasts I had at Momofuku Noodle Bar and Ippudo. Each time we passed in front of this joint, there was a big line, so we definitely wanted to try it! If there is a line, there must be a reason!
We arrived at 11:30am, knowing that they opened at 12pm; there were already few people waiting. What you have to do is put your name on a list and they will call you to sit you. The place is very tiny, so you have to be patient and pray that people will eat quickly and leave, and that you will not have in front of you a group of people who did not see each other for 10 years and are trying to catch up!!!
So we sat at the bar. I like that because we had a direct view on the kitchen and were able to see the cooks making noodles, bouncing them up and down to remove the excess of water, as you can see on the video below.
We started off with the Char Siu Bun.
It is a bun stuffed with braised pork belly (char Siu) and tartare sauce. This was so so: like eating a blob of fat with just a little bit of meat.
Jodi ordered the vegetable ramen.
The presentation was phenomenal with all the colors. The dish was composed of a Konbu seaweed and shiitake mushroom based soup, with seasoned avocado, seasonal vegetables, Yuzu paste, sesame oil, salted kelp and lime. First of all, the avocado had a weird taste and the overall dish did not have a balanced taste, more like a potpourri in a soup (for a nice breath all afternoon?).
I ordered the Totto Chicken Paitan Ramen.
The dish is a chicken based broth with chicken, scallion, onion, char siu pork, and a nori. Jodi and I added a soft boiled egg to our ramen. I was very disappointed by my dish: the chicken was tough and bland and the soup tasted just like a chicken soup without any additional flavor that would make it different from a...matzoh ball soup!!! I guess the only thing I liked was the egg that was perfectly cooked, a bit soft with a runny yolk.
So, this was disappointing: I was expecting a festival of flavors, similar to our experience at Momofuku or Ippudo. So I will pass next time as it is not worth the wait for me!
Enjoy (the post)!
And remember: I just want to Eat!