With the weather cooling down, my roommate and I were on the look out for a big hot bowl of ramen. Our usual choice (and apparantly everyone else's usual spot) Ippudo was quoting an hour and a half wait, so we decided to give Rai Rai Ken
The original location was a small space with only 12 seats. It always looked so crowded so I never made it in, but they've recently moved two spots down to a bigger shop with more space! Yes - there are now tables for seating (in addition to counter space). Note that its still cash only.
Looking at the menu, I was really excited to see that there were a lot of different options including non-pork choices! Key for me! And "We use no MSG" is in all caps right on the top of the menu. I like that!!
I couldn't resist the call of the Shio Wonton Ramen - seafood based soup w/shrimp and pork wonton, bamboo shoots, boiled egg, spinach, fish cake, dry seaweed, and scallion. I was so excited to see all my favorite ingredients in a ramen and in a seafood broth to boot! The noodles were then, nothing too crazy spectacular, but the broth was tasty, the toppings fantastic, and overall a solid choice.
My roomie, who frequents Rai Rai Ken on a normal basis, ordered her usual staple the Mapo Ramen. This is the Japanese take of the Chinese Mapo Tofu dish, but in a ramen version! Served with tofu, minced meat, and a healthy serving of scallions, this was definitely a hearty dish!
While I wouldn't put this shop in the same category as Ippudo or Totto Ramen, Rai Rai Ken still offered a solid bowl of ramen and is perfect for those not willing to wait the crazy lines for the other spots. I most especially enjoyed all the different broth options available at Rai Rai Ken and the fact that there is no additional MSG added to their ramens. I know that I'll be back multiple times this winter!
Piggy says Yes!
Rai Rai Ken
218 E 10th St (btwn 1st and 2nd Ave)
Thanks for reading - Piggy KK
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