A Tale Of Two Ramens, Part 1

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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Truffle Omakase At Morimoto

Morimoto Wall

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.

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Morimoto Adds Cheesesteak

MorimotoMorimoto 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]

National News & Notes

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 Masters a spinoff of the hugely popular Top Chef. This version 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 Johnson of Soul on The Chopping Block, worry not, the un-aired episodes are now on Hulu. [MenuPages]

Everyone Avoids Me Like a Cyclone Ranger

turningjapanese“That’s why I’m turning Japanese.” And this week there’s plenty of help. Tonight, Japan’s Hitachino Nest will be featured at Jose Pistola’s. There will be some rarely seen Hitachino beers on draft as well as brewer, Mikio Kiuchi. [Meal Ticket]

Thursday night, Morimoto is hosting a Beer dinner with a specially designed 5-course dinner with pairings from Rogue Ales, including several from the Morimoto Signature Series. Dinner is $75 per person.

Check out the full menu after the jump and maybe you’ll be turning Japanese too.

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