Tag Archives: Robataya

Rai Rai Ken, the ramen battle continues.


Rai Rai Ken
214 E 10th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

 

GAHHH!  I just found out that my favorite East Village Japanese restaurants are all owned by one… person.  How is this possible?!  Soba-Ya, Robataya, Cha-An, Curry-Ya, Shabu-Tatsu are among my favorites that one person calls his own.  Mr. Bon Yagi came to the U.S. as a dishwasher and somehow worked his way up to owning 11 Asian restaurantsand at one point, owning a diner that often saw folks like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Madonna.  To say the least, I am impressed.  Most of his restaurants are rated 4-4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp and each of them is someone’s “favorite” Japanese restaurant.  Rai Rai Ken is Mr. Yagi’s ramen venture.

 

After my sister-ramen-restaurant battle post, many readers suggested I try Rai Rai Ken, another one of those renown ramen places in the city.  Everyone has their favorite (Totto Ramen) and though I am known to be a very loyal customer (Totto4Life), I am always willing to try other favorites – mainly because I like to try new places but also because I like to re-confirm that my favorite still rocks.

 

Pictured above is the Shoyu Ramen ($9.50), which is ramen in a soy sauce based noodle soup topped with bamboo shoot, boiled egg, roast pork, spinach, fish cake, dried seaweed, and scallion.  I have to admit, this was a solid bowl of ramen.  Rai Rai Ken also gets extra points for making the egg perfectly gooey in the center, like how Ippudo does it.  But the roast pork was just okay… slightly tough and bland.  Noodles were not particularly memorable, meaning they were good.  Not overcooked and slightly springy.  They didn’t fall apart when slurped (unlike Ippudo’s!!) but also weren’t as tasty nor chewy as Totto’s and Kambi’s.  Broth was… good.  Also not particularly memorable, but was definitely good.   Continue reading

Robataya: Gindara Saikyo Yaki (fillet of cod fish steeped in saikyo miso)

Robataya
231 E 9th St
(between Stuyvesant St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

This is the best Japanese Miso Cod I have ever had. It is extremely tasty, soft, tender, and flaky. The skin is slightly crisp, complimenting the natural buttery taste of the cod. Cod is also a plump fish that absorbs flavor very well. The miso that they use is a golden yellow paste that is traditionally made in Kyoto. It is naturally sweet from the fermentation process and contains less salt than most misos. The flavor of misos is affected by the ratio of soy beans to rice malt. This particular kind of miso has a higher proportion of rice malt, hence the sweetness.

At $13 per fillet (two fillets pictured), this fish is quite an expensive treat. Like all the other delicacies that Robataya serves up, this fish is well worth the occasional splurge.