Mr. Taka Ramen  House

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            The noodle craze is spreading across the New York City food scene. 
              By: CHRISTAL YOUNG

                  POSTED:FEB 10 2016 09:31PM EST /  UPDATED:FEB 11 2016 02:02PM EST

            NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) 

             The ramen craze is on. The Japanese comfort food is now super popular on this side of the Atlantic thanks in part to this guy: Ivan Orkin.
             Orkin owns Ivan Ramen on the Lower East Side and is affectionately called "The Jewish Ramen King."

             So what makes ramen so special? For starters the noodle has an alkaline quality and is cooked for just 40 seconds.
             Then you need 
a little fat.

             Ivan created the perfect bowl complete with a six-minute egg and you'll be happy to know there are no ramen rules but Ivan had lots of tips.
             I wanted to slurp like a pro but I wasn't quite there yet. It's not uncommon to wait hours for a good bowl of ramen. There's always a line
             outside Totto Ramen on West 51 Street.


             I found another ramen expert to show me the ropes. 
Jordy Tractenberg loves ramen so much he started Ramentology, an Instagram and
             Facebook page dedicated to the brotherhood of the broth.

             No matter how you eat it, you should do it quick. After 10 minutes the noodles get mushy.

             From Mr.Taka we headed to the West Village. This time Jordy ordered a unique ramen for me made with duck broth.
             Finally my slurp had improved.

 

                                  The signature yuzu shoyu ramen with seaweed, bamboo shoots, sliced pork belly (or chicken), and scallion.  Photo: Melissa Hom                           

                                                                                                                                         

         Mr. Taka Is a Tokyo Ramen Master’s Introduction to NYC
           By Chris Crowley  Follow @chrisecrowley
             Posted: December 2, 2015   11:45 a.m.

                         Just in time for the cold, rainy December weather, a Tokyo-based ramen expert has quietly opened his first New York restaurant:
           Along with partner Takayuki Watanabe, chef Takatoshi Nagara debuted Mr. Taka Ramen on Allen Street last month. Of course, the city is flush        

           with excellent ramen these days, but Nagara has a pedigree that makes him an immediate contender: He comes to New York from Tokyo's Bigiya,
           which last year earned a spot in the inaugural washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) section of Michelin's Bib Gourmand list for the city, and his
           restaurant has some compelling soups on the menu that bring something different to the city's scene.

                         The focus here is on shoyu (soy) ramen, with four different varieties available: There's a straightforward option, and one seasoned with
           white shoyu, a thinner soy sauce made with more wheat than the regular kind; another variety is flavored with ginger, a style Nakara developed for 

           this restaurant; and a fourth gets seasoned with white soy sauce and yuzu, a Bigiya signature, which perfumes the light broth with a refreshingly
           citrusy fragrance. There's also the requisite tonkotsu, a spicy miso broth, and a vegetarian variety given body and depth by soy milk. The noodles,
           meanwhile, are of course custom-made by Sun Noodle.

                         There are a handful of appetizers to snack on before you get your noodles, including spicy pickled cucumbers, sweet-potato tempura,
           and Japanese-style chicken wings. Those not in a slurping mood can opt for one of a few rice bowls, variously topped with broiled pork, chicken,
           spicy cod roe, and grilled eel. The small space is all blond wood and muted colors, with an open kitchen surrounded by a bar, a few low-hanging
           tables, and counter seating by the wide windows. Booze is limited to four reasonably priced glasses of sake, along with one beer (Okinawa's Orion),
           a highball called chu-hi, and a plum wine.

                                                            Tebasaki karaage: Japanese fried chicken wings with sesame, soy sauce, and white pepper.  Photo: Melissa Hom 


Sweet-potato tempura with a trio of dipping sauces.  Photo: Melissa Hom


Spicy tonkotsu ramen with pork belly, ground pork, soft-boiled egg, fried garlic, and kikurage mushrooms.  Photo: Melissa Hom


Spicy vegetarian ramen with soy milk, avocado, zucchini, tofu, mushrooms, tomato, and scallion.   Photo: Melissa Hom


Ginger shoyu ramen with pork belly (or chicken), scallion, seaweed, and bamboo shoots.  Photo: Melissa Hom


Where you'll be slurping.  Photo: Melissa Hom


Noodle time!  Photo: Melissa Hom

 

           Slurp Top-Tier Ramen At The Brand New Mr. Taka
                      BY SCOTT LYNCH IN FOOD  /  ON NOV 17, 2015 2:15 PM

                    Our latest Quick Bites brings us to the LES for some BYOB and a hot bowl of ramen.

                     
                  THE VIBE
                                      Great news for Lower East Side noodle lovers: last Thursday night, amid zero hype and almost no advance publicity,
                     Mr. Taka Ramen opened its doors in the former Tiengarden space on Allen Street. There are not many outward signs that Mr. Taka is
                     worth  getting excited about, beyond the basic fact of "hot noodles sold inside." The decor and ambiance here is all pretty generic, albeit in
                     a reassuringly familiar, ramen-ya sort of way: bright lights, open kitchen with enormous steaming pots, light wood everywhere, amusingly                                   enthusiastic shouts of greeting from all hands when you walk in the door. The music is hip-hop classics, plus a few rock anthems thrown in
                     for kicks.

                                    There's a row of tables below a long mirror along one wall, and a wide wrap-around counter on the other side, at which you can
                     pull up a stool and watch the kitchen crew hustle. And man do these guys have some sweet moves! Led by Chef Takatoshi Nagara, whose
                     previous job was at a place called Bigya in Tokyo, which Michelin placed in their Top 20 Ramen list for that city, Mr. Taka really opened
                     big here on the LES, already serving exceptional food all up and down its impressively extensive menu.

(Scott Lynch / Gothamist)

                   THE BITES
                     On three consecutive nights over the weekend I was able to eat a good portion of what Team Taka has to offer,  and  pretty much
                     everything was terrific.   Really: this is top-tier ramen, even in a part of town with no shortage of excellent noodles.
                     
                     Like most ambitious ramen-ya these days, Mr. Taka procures its noodles from Sun, and they do not screw them up. My bowl of Spicy
                     Tonkatsu Ramen, for example, was dense with thin, pale noodles cooked firm and chewy, holding their own within the deep flavors of
                     the pork-bone broth. The long, thick slice of pork belly, charred by blowtorch immediately prior to serving, was soft and  full of sweet,
                     fatty flavor, and everything else—the crunchy kikuarage mushrooms, the slippery egg—all played their parts to perfection.     
                                 
                     Feel like something a bit lighter, even refreshing? The Yuzu Shoyu is exactly what you're seeking, the bright chicken broth 

                     infused with white soy sauce and a citrus hit from the eponymous fruit, swimming with noodles, crisp bamboo shoots and radish sprouts,
                     and the most tender piece of chicken breast I've ever had in a bowl of soup. And for no-joke heat, the Spicy Miso will wake you right up,
                     its chicken broth base thickened by jacked-up soybean paste, a mound of ground pork, a tangle of wavy noodles and enough tiny chili
                     peppers to really get your nose running.

The Spicy Miso ramen. (Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

                Each of the three ramen varieties I tried were big winners. Order with confidence to suit your mood.

                                               
                And the appetizers here aren't just bill-padding belly-fillers either. The Sweet Potato Tempura is a fun, addictive dish, the plum-purple
                strips of the Japanese tuber served with a trio of dipping sauces. The Jikasei (or, "homemade") Gyoza hits all the correct plump, porky
                dumpling notes, and the Tebasaku Kerrage (fried chicken wings) are insanely juicy, with a nice soy-sesame-glazed skin. Think they could
                use a little oomph? Just sprinkle on a bit of the chili from the shaker in front of you.

                Finally, if for some crazy reason you'd rather eat rice than ramen, there are three bowls on offer. I tried the Unagi version, and it was a
                decent substitute (or complement?), the eel incredibly soft and rich, the whole thing sticky with sweet sauce. But get the ramen.

               THE VERDICT
               Mr. Taka is serving destination-worthy ramen for noodle fiends, and makes for an excellent neighborhood choice for  everyone else. Go
               soon, though, while there's still no wait for a seat.  Mr. Taka Ramen is located at 170 Allen Street, just south of Stanton,  and is open
               daily at 12:00 noon until 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 12:00 midnight Friday and Saturday. and CASH ONLY. (
212-254-1508;                                mrtakaramen.com)