Monday, March 11, 2013

Totto Ramen @ Hells Kitchen NYC

All this talk about Ippudo (one of my favourite ramen (well at least the bowl I had in NYC) opening up in Malaysia and Sydney is making me green with envy. With Melbourne supposedly a food capital in Australia, why on earth is no worthy ramen master opening up here is beyond my understanding. 

The only consolation is going back to my archives and drool at what is one of the most talked about ramen place in NYC; Totto Ramen.

One thing that sets it apart is the use of chicken stock (what chu say??). Sceptical to say the least (I know) but it was a 10 minute walk from our hotel and it was our last meal before we flew off, we took the risk and we were greeted with a rather long queue. Despite coming 10 minutes before it officially opened, we were already 15-20 people behind and when the place can only fit 15-20 people, our supposedly 10 minute wait suddenly became almost 40 minutes long.


It's small and its basement, fitting in Melbourne (I wish). 


I could see a few chicken carcasses floating in the pot but I am pretty sure it can't be that simple.


I was starving and while the noodles were cooking, I had some lightly torched sea urchin on some sushi rice, brilliant start to my lunch.


Portionwise, this place win hands down. Ordering the ramen with "the lot", this was filled with generous portions of cha shu that were torched for some extra flavour, shredded pork and crunchy scallions. While you don't get the complexity of a pork broth, the chicken broth was refreshing although a little oily. Some might not like the overwhelming garlic oil but as a fan of garlic, I was happy to slurp the whole bowl down. Was I converted? Yes!

What is more upsetting was looking at their online menu and realising that I had paid $15 for this bowl, compared to the miserable portion of salty and flat ramen I had just the other day for $13. 


If you want a little something spicy like our friend did, be prepared, just look at the colour.

What can I say? A place fitting for our last meal in NYC.

Address and contact details:

Totto Ramen on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. Happen to be in New York City? Willing to wait for a satisfying bowl of ramen? Totto is a must try.


Baby Sumo said...

Marutama does chicken stock ramen also... but I like it! Not all chicken broth ramen is bad. :P

Sycookies said...

40 minutes wait is..... It better be real good. Or else.....

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

babysumo: well totto was my first chicken broth ramen and it blew me away so hopefully thats kinda true that not all chicken soup are bad!

sycookies: 40 mins is nothing, the queue could easily creep to an hour plus!