Good Taste: Ramen in Chinatown

Posted: October 26, 2012

Ramen Boy lasted, oh, about as long as one slurp. Or so it seemed for this sleek Chinatown entry from the owners of Yakitori Boy into the city's suddenly piping hot ramen scene.

After a steady thrum of (justified) bad buzz on the "Yokohama-style" bowls, it closed after just five months while the owners regrouped.

What a remarkable turnaround they've made in forming a new partnership with the Terakawa ramen restaurants from New York, which brought new recipes and a new chef.

The cozy wood counter decor is the same, but the soups, focusing on richer tonkotsu, the cloudy broth steeped from Berkshire pork bones in the Kyushu style, are entirely more satisfying, and definitely worth another visit. There are a number of worthy variations, but first-timers should begin with Terakawa's signature bowl. Aside from the deeply steeped broth, this hearty meal-in-a-bowl features tender slices of roast charshu pork, crunchy shreds of kikurage cloud ear mushrooms, red ginger, and some especially excellent noodles: snappy threads cooked only for one al dente minute (that's "katame," in ramen-speak).

There are two other kinds of noodles used for soups, like the "curvy" noodles used for the clear chicken-broth shoyu, as well as the spicy ground pork Tan Tan. But don't miss the house-roasted garlic chips and chile oil for extra zing, and a mini-side of curried katsu chicken over rice for just $2 extra.

Terakawa ramen, $9, 204 N. Ninth St., 267-687-1355.

- Craig LaBan

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