First Bite: Nom Nom Ramen

With Philadelphia magazine offices just a half-block from Nom Nom Ramen there was no excuse to not be at 18th and Ludlow when the doors opened at Center City’s first dedicated ramen joint. When I arrived shortly before 5 p.m. there wasn’t so much a line as more than a dozen people hovering outside the front door.

Shortly after 5 a pleasant women in a Japanese bandana let us all in. At Nom Nom Ramen you place your order at the counter and wait for your order to be called. A whiteboard with three soup choices was the menu on this first day, only 50 orders would be filled.

I went with the regular sized Shoyu. After about 15 minutes, I was probably the 20th order placed, my name was called and I happily carried my steaming bowl back to the table. The bowl had a nice fragrance, not as bold as some others I’ve enjoyed, but it certainly enticed. After the requisite photos it was time to taste the broth. It was cloudy liquid with a noticeable soy flavor, plus a hint of ginger and scallion. Mixing the mushrooms and seaweed into the broth gave the soup a deeper flavor. The noodles were springy and slurp-worthy.

The two slices of chasu (pork) were flavorful and tender, a $1.85 up-charge can get you extra meat. As the flavors in the bowl blended, the experience improved and by the time it was just broth, there was no hesitation in lifting the bowl to my lips for one final slurp.

The regular made for a good-sized meal and the large plus extra pork would make a serious meal in a bowl for $12 or under.

Nom Nom Ramen will open again today at 5 p.n. with another 50 orders.

Nom Nom Ramen Opening Menu

Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Our savory shoyu (soy sauce) tonkotsu broth is served with chashu, bamboo, kikurage mushrooms, naruto and seawood
Reg. $7.41 – Large $9.26

Miso Creamy miso tonkotsu broth with chasu, bamboo, kikurage mushrooms, naruto, scallions with Nom Nom sauce drizzled on top
Reg $8.33 – Large $10.19

Karai (Spicy Miso) Spicy smooth miso tonkotsu broth with chasu, kikurage mushrooms, bamboo, naruto and scallions with Nom Nom sauce drizzled on top
Reg $8.33 – Large $10.19

Extra chashu for $1.85

Poached egg $0.93 extra

Nom Nom Ramen [Coming Soon]