Sake Gumi
Minca, Setagaya, Rai Rai Ken - there are suddenly many of Japanese ramen joints hopping up in the city. Ramen's best aspects are:
1. It's easy
2. It's cheap
3. It's quick

I've been to some of the famed ramen restaurants, and to this day, I haven't been impressed by any of them at all. I've read quite a few reviews on the new place Ippudo, and many of my friends were also RAVING about how great it was. They said, "there is NO comparison in the city!", or "you should definitely try it, it's SOOOO worth it!". So we went for lunch today.

Decor of the place looked like an upscale restaurant, not a regular ramen joint. For a ramen joint, it was a very large place and almost too cool to be a ramen restaurant. Because of all the reviews and friends' comments, we were quite excited, despite the fact the ramen was $13, plus a bowl of rice with a topping for additional $3.

There were shiromaru (original) and akamaru (original with spicy miso topping on top). 2 of us got shiromaru, the other 2 got akamaru.

Shiromaru was stinky. Really. It was tonkotsu (pork bone) based soup, and it smelled like a dead pig in the soup. Akamaru, thanks to its spicy miso topping, had a milder flavor and was tolerable. I am known for not liking restaurant food, but this was such a disappointment. Also how DARE can they charge $13 for a bowl of ramen?!! As I said in the beginning, ramen is great because it's cheap. This place is diminishing the principal of ramen. $16 for ramen and rice? Unbelievable...

Below is akamaru (aka - red, maru - circle), hence it's in red bowl?

Mentaiko(fish egg) rice. What a small amount of mentaiko!!!

Dead pig simmered shiromaru.

Verdict: I won't go back there.

65 4th Ave
Between 2nd Ave & 8th Street
New York, NY


  • not surprised AT ALL. Yoko and I are gonna do a chat comparing my first Ippudo experience in NY and hers in Tokyo, so stay tuned!

    kayoko on

  • I have been hearing raves about Ippudo too! I don’t know about the whole ramen craze. I too believe that ramen should be cheap, easy, and quick, and I’m adding satisfying without being pretentious. Since ramen has turned trendy here in NY it has lost this appeal. None of the famed ramen places here really live up to its hype.

    eat me outta here! on

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