Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rai Rai Ken

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 a try. 

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. 

Shio Ramen
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!

Mapo Ramen
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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