Monthly Archives: May 2013

Terakawa Ramen’s namesake dish is a decent lower midtown ramen option

Terakawa Ramen's Terakawa Ramen

Terakawa Ramen’s namesake dish is pretty good for not being from Ippudo, Totto or Hide-Chan.

I didn’t realize until a few days ago that there was a viable ramen option for lunch near my new place of work. Terakawa Ramen, located at 18 Lexington Avenue right on the border between Kips Bay to the north and the Gramercy Park neighborhood to the south — only a couple blocks east of Madison Square Park and its perpetually long Shake Shack line — might not be pretty, but its cooks serve up a pretty decent bowl of noodles ‘n’ broth.

This was actually my second visit to Terakawa — my friend and I dropped in on a particularly rainy March evening during my job search, but it slipped my mind that this had been right after I interviewed with the company I ended up working for. I recall my first impression being pretty much the same: decent food with a middling decor.

To be fair, though, I don’t care much how a restaurant looks except when I’m on a romantic night out with my wife or visiting somewhere like Las Vegas or Walt Disney World where the level of immersion into a theme is a core part of the overall experience. If I’m going to a ramen restaurant, I’m there for only one reason — a tasty bowl of noodles — and Terakawa delivers on that aspect. Their namesake dish offers up the noodles topped with sliced pork, bamboo shoots, red ginger, kikurage mushrooms, scallions, and a soft boiled egg in a traditional tonkotsu pork bone based broth that’s a tad on the salty side.

Terakawa’s food isn’t on par with the culinary creations from the “big three” — Ippudo, Totto and Hide-Chan — but it’s right up there in the “silver tier” of the ramen places in Manhattan that I’ve personally tried… and I don’t have to wait an hour or more on line just to get in.

Add some heat to that breakfast bagel

When you work at a company with lots of employees you’re bound to pick up some interesting new perspectives on a lot of things especially food. Not even 15 minutes ago I observed a coworker of mine squirting a zigzag of sriracha across the cream cheese spread atop his bagel. I made some sort of expression of surprise that caught his attention, and he told me that he too was intrigued when he saw one of his teammates performing this breakfast preparation ritual only a few minutes prior so he decided to give it a shot.

I suppose curiosity is contagious because I immediately grabbed one of our bottles of sriracha and decorated the bagel I had just smeared with Philadelphia with some of the hot stuff. The result is pretty darned tasty: the sriracha adds a bit of a kick, but the bulk of the heat is offset by the cream cheese so you end up with a nice little zing without much of the burn (for those who are Scoville adverse).