Yesterday, we had Part 1 of Trey Popp’s ramen adventure. Today, we present the conclusion, in which he and his faithful companion actually go and eat some ramen in an attempt to determine what the big deal is all about. ~JS
First, we went upscale.
To my palate—unschooled and therefore unspoiled by expectations—the pork belly ramen at Morimoto (above) was remarkable mostly for how thoroughly porky its broth was. As Asian soups go, my touchstones are the intensely aromatic soups of Thailand, and the heavily spiced and condiment-doused foe of Laos (the identical twin of Vietnamese pho, only spelled in accordance with a different transliteration system). The tonkotsu at Morimoto struck me as the product of a different priority: It was less about showing off its ancillary aromatics than emphasizing pork flavor to the nth degree. This it did splendidly, with a full-throated flavor but without the off-putting coagulation of fat that marred a subsequent bowl at Nom Nom Ramen. The noodles were cooked the way I like most noodles: Tender but retaining the spring promised by their kinks. On top were a couple quarter-inch thick slices of pork belly and a hard-cooked egg split down the middle (a minute or two past the soft-cooked egg the menu advertised). Still, it was pretty delicious. I’d slurp it up happily in the winter, though $15 is a stretch for any soup.
My friend the globetrotting ramen expert, though, dismissed the pork belly as inauthentically thick “window dressing.” But it was exquisitely tender, and the soup overall was good enough to win the Iron Chef’s “schtick” a pass in his book.
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A couple weeks ago, I tasked Philly mag’s food critic, Trey Popp, with what I thought was a fairly simple task: Go check out the ramen that has been on the menu at Morimoto forever and see how it stands up to all the newcomers in town. Unsurprisingly (in retrospect), he approached the assignment with a bit more…rigor than I expected. This is Part 1 of his ramen report. Check out Part 2 tomorrow. ~JS
I am a ramen virgin.
There, I said it. Can there be a more embarrassing ignorance for a Philly food writer to own up to in the spring of 2012? Ramen, as you’ve no doubt heard, is the next Next Big Thing. It’s this year’s Korean shortrib taco, the new hand-stretched fior di latte, the next Izakaya pop-up. And here I am, 12 years on from a 12-hour stint on Japanese soil—ten of them in a long-haul-layover coma and the rest waiting for a flight to five-dollar-a-day-land—trying to explain to my wife that there’s apparently more to ramen than peeling the top off a plastic cup and plugging the electric kettle into your dorm room wall.
Exactly how much more, though, is the question.
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Steve Jobs’ latest miracle device will be available tomorrow. Here are some things a Philadelphia foodie should consider instead of the Apple iPad.
Dine Out Japan, an event that is part of theÂ Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival runs through April 1st. Fill out a short survey and you qualify for the 20% off coupon at participating Japanese restaurants.
Restaurants include, Morimoto, the recently praised Zama and a host of others.
Check out the entire list after the jump.
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Phoodie’s Collin Flatt is on a mission to find all of Philadelphia’s ramen spots. He starts with the high-end, a bowl of Shoyu Ramen at Morimoto.
Ramen Rummaging With A Noodle Nerd, Vol. 1: Morimotoâ€™s Shoyu Ramen [Phoodie]
Morimoto has rolled out a new lunch menu including Duck Curry Udon, Pork Belly Ramen, Kobe Beef sandwich and more.
Check it out after the jump.
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Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto has launched a seven course winter Truffle Omakase dinner.
The menu blends sushi, meats and dessert with truffles for $150 per person. A beverage pairing is available for an additional $75 per person.
Check out the full menu after the jump.
Morimoto has added an upscale cheesesteak to its menu in honor of the Phillies being in the World Series. It’s made with wagyu beef and topped with sweet soy sauteed onions, enoki mushrooms and grilled scallions on an Amoroso roll. The sandwich is served with house made made tonkatsu sauce (Japanese ketchup), pommes frites and a seasonal salad for $35.
Also added to the menu is Cracker Jack ice cream for a chilly $10.
Morimoto [Official Site]
Dance! Dance! Paesano’s Adds Late Night Hours
The much buzzed-about Paesano’s sandwich shop is going to be open late night. Read More on Foobooz
Sunday Burger Night at Bistro 7
Grass-fed beef, Amish cheddar, duck fat fries? Yes, please! Read More on Foobooz
Honest Tom’s in Center City
Honest Tom’s Taco truck is parking downtown this week. Read More on Foobooz
Stephen Starr places two restaurants on Restaurants & Institutions 2009 top 100 grossing independent restaurants list. New York’s Buddakan is number 7 and Morimoto NY ranks 53rd. The Jersey shore places The Lobster House and Carmine’s on the list as well. No Philadelphia restaurant cracked the list. [R&I]
Alma de Cuba’s Douglas Rodriguez will compete on the Food Network’s Top Chef MastersÂ a spinoff of the hugely popular Top Chef. This versionÂ will have actual chefs compete and prize money will be donated to charity.
Wegman’s has been named top supermarket in the US according to Consumer Reports. [Philadelphia Business Journal]
Morimoto was ranked in Playboy’s recent list of America’s 10 Best Sushi Spots. [Playboy] via MenuPages
If you were hanging on the edge of your seat wondering what would happen to Angiebrown and Samantha JohnsonÂ of Soul on The Chopping Block, worry not, the un-aired episodes are now on Hulu. [MenuPages]