Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Emperor's New Noodles

Last night we hungered for ramen, TLOML and I. We'd been hankering after ramen for a couple of days (and we blame our night out with our favourite New Yorker for that). But by Monday, we not only hankered, we hungered (and for this, we blame too many excellent Fedora cocktails with our in-town-for-the-weekend party girl).

We yearned for steaming noodles! We needed that ramen! So we set off for the long, appetite boosting walk to the East Village. We were bound for Ippudo.

The Ippudo near Union Square is the NY outpost of a hip Japanese ramen chain. I've eaten at the Tokyo one (at the risk of sounding like a dick) and it was good. The New York one is not bad either.

They don't take reservations and why would they? It's just ramen. As in, a cheap, quick, slurpy meal for workers or the hungover. This aint Del Posto, people. This is spontaneous, 'I fancy some noodles right now' eating. So you show up, put your name down, and wait for a spot to come up. On a busy Friday night you might expect to wait a few minutes. But on a cold and drizzly Monday...?

'Sure', said the hostess, 'We'll put your name on the list. There's about an hour and forty-five minute wait right now.'

Stunned, we reeled out of there. Past a clump of waiting chumps who were perfectly happy to wait almost two hours. For ramen.

New York is crazy. But we are not. We removed our names from the bloated waiting list and took a five minute walk to Ramen Setagaya. Not remotely hip, but jolly good and best of all, no wait time. We were on our way home by the time those fools outside Ippudo were just getting seated, I'll bet.

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