Review By: Stefanie Parks –
I had dinner plans with my friend Amanda, and after we decided to go somewhere near her office in Hell’s Kitchen, I consulted my handy dandy list to help me think of places. Tabata Noodle immediately caught my eye, and when I proposed it to Amanda, she said that she loves ramen but her boyfriend hates it so yes, she was in. From everything that I’ve read about Tabata Noodle, the ramen was great and the atmosphere was very low-key and authentic. Sounded perfect to me.
I arrived a few minutes before Amanda (side note: I can’t think of a time where anyone arrived somewhere before me, I’m always way too early) and checked out the menu and the scene. Literally seconds before Amanda met me a group of 15 people walked into the restaurant. Must be good!
We were seated at a table in the back (on the walk through the restaurant I mentally checked off the low-key check box) and went through the menu again. We decided to share edemame, a seaweed salad, and then each get our own bowl of the Sutamina Ramen, which is a spicy miso and soy sauce flavored noodle soup with pork or chicken, leeks, scallions, garlic paste, and egg. I got mine with pork and Amanda had hers with chicken.
The seaweed salad came out first and it was unlike any seaweed salad that I usually get… And not in a good way. I guess when the menu said “assorted seaweed” I should have guessed it might not be what I was expecting, but then again, I just didn’t even think that it could or would be any different than the seaweed salad I typically get at a sushi restaurant. That was a fail. And they never brought out our edemame so double fail for that.
But, the ramen more than made up for it. And to be honest, it was so big we really didn’t even need anything else. The broth had just the right amount of spice and was awesome. The noodles were great too and the bowl was filled to the brim with all sorts of yummy stuff. The ramen was good as any that I’ve had in NY, and probably even better than most. Amanda could hardly get through half of her bowl, but I, of course, slurped down the whole thing.
We had a great time at dinner catching up and I would definitely go back to Tabata Noodle (only for the ramen though, nothing else). I’m not sure if she knows it or not, but I’m now considering Amanda my new ramen partner. Hope she’s up for it!