2.09.2014

NYC! Bassanova Ramen


12.27.13
I’d say now’s about a good time to start blogging about some of our food adventures on our latest NYC food trip! For the first time, we didn’t just eat. Thanks to a friend who had never been to the city before, we did some touristy things…meaning some sightseeing and shopping. Let me clarify, we did NOT jump onto the cronut craze. That wouldn’t been two hours of our life gone, just waiting in line. We did however, eat ramen, kouign amann, seafood, pizza and contemplate those 20 nuggets for 5 bucks from McDonalds.


Chinatown
New York, NY

Reservations: no reservations (+1 212-334-2100)
Transit: 5 min walk from Canal St station (J/N/Q/R/Z/6)
Hours: Mon – Thu, Sun 12pm-10pm,  Fri – Sat 12pm-12am
**Cash only!  +  “Bassanova bucks” available


We flew Porter to NYC—oh man, I felt so spoiled!! In less time that it takes me to bus to campus every morning, I could fly to New York. How is that even fair?! Though I thoroughly enjoy road trips, it definitely trumps driving 9 hours, not to mention that long line when you pass the border and everyone in the car is stiff and tries to look as innocent as possible even though we’ve done nothing wrong. This was the first morning! Woke up to this view outside the friend’s apartment where we were “apartment-sitting”. Sure, not the prettiest but we’re in NEW YORK CITY!!!!! (and food’s everywhere).


For lunch, Bassanova Ramen (facebook/@bassaNYC). The New York outpost of the popular ramen-ya from Tokyo was opened by Chef Keizo Shimamoto (who mysteriously left shortly after its opening) just last year in Chinatown and offers some original spins on the much beloved noodle/soup dish. Their Tondaku pork soup takes 12 hours to make and with many rave reviews, including this one from Serious Eats naming them in their “Best Ramen Shops in NYC” list, it’s definitely a must-try on a NYC ramen mission.


Bassanova is an uncluttered, very white-cream-on-cream with an open kitchen space, so the focus remains your bowl of ramen.
 

Their most famous, brought over from the Setagaya location (two of our friends on the trip had been to the original location in Tokyo, met Chef Keizo and guided us here), being the Tondaku Wadashi Green Curry Ramen. For $15, it may be pricier than the ramen we enjoy here in Toronto but if this spin is so popular in Japan I think it’s a safe bet that it’ll be killer good. (And it was.) The dish was born when a Thai chef overhauled the menu a few years back when he was with the Tokyo shop.


Toppings: grilled porkloin chashu, mixed green, shrimp, okra, red pepper.


Tondaku Ramen (13) – Berkshire Pork Tonkotsu soup, purloin chashu, kikurage mushroom, fried ginger onion, crushed sesame, and nori.
This is their “original” version of ramen. Thinner, more “al dente” noodles than I’m used to. What is the “IDEAL” ramen noodle like?! I feel it’s a matter of personal preference, right? The chashu had a really nice fat to meat ratio (when you see fat as flavour rather than inches to your waistline, you’ll get my enthusiasm ;D)


Lemon & Black Pepper Tondaku Ramen (14) – Berkshire pork Tonkotsu soup w/ lemon & black pepper, porkloin chashu, kikurage mushroom, fried ginger onion, crushed seame, nori, and scallion
Another variation of their original ramen.Jess, who ordered this is probably the one person I know who does NOT enjoy ramen. This was the bowl of ramen that finally converted her!


I only thought these huge pepper mills were just for decorative purposes…or fancy, but stuffy restaurants. I guess I was wrong.



All showstopping bowls of ramen with their own distinct flavour profiles. I think that was the highlight for me...besides the amazing green curry ramen living up to the hype.
Verdict: Though I found my noodles a little thin for my liking, I think for the green curry ramen and the other “specialty” ones you can choose either a thicker or thinner noodle. I’d suggest thicker for a better chew. :D The ceramic bowls that they served the green curry ramen in was definitely an added bonus, what with its organic shape that lends itself well to you holding it up to your mouth to drink from the little spout. Noodles are from Sun Noodle—who’ve been in the business of making “fresh tailor-made ramen noodles” for 30 years now.



4 out of 5 NOMs
nomnomnomnom
Bassanova Ramen on Urbanspoon


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