Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nom Nom Ramen Review

Philly seems a bit late to the ramen and pork belly bun craze that inundated NY several years ago. However, with Nom Nom Ramen, Philly has redeemed itself a bit. A staple of Japan, when one thinks of ramen, those dollar packages from college shouldn't come to mind. Rather, thoughts of a rich umami broth with fresh, toothsome noodles should be evoked.

Pork Belly Buns
Chashu pork, daikon, carrots, lettuce, and scallions with our original spicy bun sauce.

An order comes with a duo of thick, succulent pork belly, topped with fresh veggies which offer a nice textural contrast to the gluttonous meat. This was all encapsulated by fresh pillowy buns. The sauce offered a spicy kick to the dish. 

Seasoned with salt and white soy sauce, tonkotsu broth, chashu, kikurage mushrooms, naruto, bamboo, scallions, and pickled ginger.

The broth had a depth, without the inherent saltiness that plagues most soups. The medley of mushrooms and veggies offered distinct bites and the noodles were worthy of a proper ramen. But the star? For me, it's always the pork belly. A generous helping of pork was heaped on the ramen - much appreciated! 

Karai Miso
Spicy, smooth miso tonkotsu broth with chashu, bamboo, kikurage mushroom, naruto, and scallions with Nom Nom Black Garlic Sauce drizzled on top.

Blasphemy I know, but the GF isn't the biggest fan of pork belly (something about the texture I suppose). In any case, all the ramens at Nom Nom Ramen come with pork belly (chasu), but being the great BF that I am - I asked for this ramen without the pork belly. I could have easily picked them off for her, but somehow I knew that this would leave a bad taste in her mouth. Still, this broth packed some punch despite the lack of pork. The garlic sauce helped to bring out additional flavors to the dish, though the broth wasn't as spicy as I would have expected.

It's nice to see that Philly does have a beacon of ramen hope in Nom Nom Ramen. And even though Ben Puchowitz of Matyson fame recently opened up Cheu Noodle Bar, it's not incorrect to say that they aren't a purely ramen noodle bar. So if you're looking for that pure ramen experience, stop on down to Nom Nom Ramen. While Nom Nom Ramen isn't the best ramen I've tried - they offer a great iteration of this oft-enjoyed dish. Be warned though - annoying as it is, they are closed between 3 to 5PM as they prepare for dinner service. And if you stop by during the lunchtime rush, be prepared to joust for a likely unavailable table. 

Nom Nom Ramen on Urbanspoon

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