RamenQuest

11 comments

Ramen isn’t the first thing one thinks about coming to BA, but for those of us living here, it’s a nice change from the usual fare. And, why not figure out where the best spots are? The list is alphabetical within each category, not a ranking order. As with all my lists, these are my personal preferences, not a guide to who makes the most traditional or any other criteria. Some of these places are Japanese, some are Chinese, some are Korean, some are none of those. That’s life.

For a really great guide to the styles of ramen and what it’s all about, there’s a brilliant write-up by J. Kenji López-Alt over on the Serious Eats website, who despite his unbalanced belief that the Star Wars franchise has more to offer the world of entertainment than the Star Trek canon, knows something about ramen.

Five Chopsticks – worth making a trip just to try their ramen

Fukuro Noodle Bar, Costa Rica 5514, Palermo (miso pork & vegetarian)
Irifune, Paraguay 412, Microcentro (miso pork, miso seafood, & champon)
Sintesis, José León Pagano 2689, Recoleta (kotteri tonkatsu)

Four Chopsticks – great choice, no complaints, not one

FuraiBo, Alsina 429, Monserrat (miso pork)
Ichisou, Venezuela 2145, Once (tokyo & champon)
Niji, Iberá 2424, Nuñez (shio clam, pork)
Nobiru Izakaya, Mendoza 1627, Belgrano (tonkatsu)
Nueva Casa Japonesa, Humberto I 2357, San Cristobal – (tonkatsu, miso, shoyu, spicy, vegetarian)
Restaurant Jardín Japonés, Palermo (shio pork – udon and soba only)

Three Chopsticks – good, solid, honest ramen, just nothing to write home about

430, San Martín 430, Retiro (pork, chicken, vegetarian)
Kitayama, Virrey del Pino 2448, Belgrano (shio pork)
Miyako, Av. Nazca 388, Flores (shio pork)
Murasaki, Florida 971, Microcentro (miso, shio, shoyu, & spicy, all pork based)
San Telmo Shokudo, Defensa 910, San Telmo (gomoku)
Shogun, J.E. Uriburu 280, Once (assari pork)

Two Chopsticks – no, seriously, stay home and make the instant

Comedor Nikkai, Independencia 732, San Telmo (miso, gomoku – both dashi based)
Mr. Ho Food & Drinks, Morón 3492, Floresta (champon)
Nippon Gourmet, China Town Tigre food court, General Bartolomé Mitre 2, Tigre (instant with additions)
Okiren, Av. San Juan 2651, 1er Piso, San Cristobal (shio – udon and soba only)
Táo-Táo, Av. Cabildo 1418, Belgrano (Chinese style)

One Chopstick – with only one chopstick you can’t eat it, and that’s a good thing

Mizuki, Juana Manso 1519, Puerto Madero Este (tonkatsu and spicy)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Alena June 11, 2017 at 22:35

Should really update the list or revisit some spots, since Nueva Casa Japonesa is really closest to REAL ramen than Fukuro. The big Fukuro problem is that all their ramens, besides not being traditional are a little spicy while other venues like 430 (wich has improved much since their noodles became handmade) leave it to the guest to spice it up according to its taste. Plus the opening hours are really a drawback in places like Fukuro or even Nueva Casa Japonesa.

dan June 12, 2017 at 09:33

I’ve been back to Nueva Casa Japonesa a couple of times, and to Fukuro many times, and standby what I said about them (just because I don’t write another review doesn’t mean I never went back to a place – unless my opinion changes, there’s no reason to write it up again). The first, while quite good, and yes, may be more traditional than Fukuro, is far from the “closest to real” ramen in the city – I mean it’s real, they all are, there are so many different styles of ramen that claiming one or another as the most real is pretty silly. My problem with it is still that I find the noodles to have a slightly metallic taste, which is, as I noted in the review, probably that they use more bicarb to alkalinize the noodles than I like, it’s a matter of personal taste. Fukuro’s not intended to be “traditional”, it’s in essence, the BA version of the Momofuku style, a la David Chang in New York – which means basically Korean style ramen, so yes, spicier. So what? My list is about which ones I like, not about whether they used someone’s great grandmother’s recipe. The problem with 430 wasn’t a case of whether the noodles were housemade, they were, it’s just that they were overcooked and all stuck together in a lump in the bowl, and for the price, it was a very small portion. As I said in the review, other people loved them, but I have to go on what they served me when I went. Might it be worth a revisit, yes, to see if they’ve improved.

As to opening hours, I’m not sure what you mean. Fukuro is open in the evenings, 8pm-1am except Sunday and Monday, NCJ is open in the days, actually 9am-7:30pm except Sundays (not surprising since it’s inside a market that’s only open the same hours).

dan June 12, 2017 at 18:56

Just to continue, it happened that I had to run downtown for something around lunchtime today, so I figured, why not jump back in right away. I’ve written a followup comment on 430 on the original post.

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