366 W 52nd St
(between 9th Ave & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
It’s getting cold again and naturally, I am beginning to crave ramen again. No other ramen in the city satisfies my palate as much as Totto Ramen does. If you follow my blog, you’ll have heard the name mentioned quite a few times. It’s a bit of a hike from downtown but is always incredibly worth the time traveling, and the time waiting in line. We went for a late 2:30pm lunch on a weekday and still needed to wait 30 minutes to be seated. Like seasoned veterans, we sat down and knew exactly what we wanted to order: 2 bowls of Spicy Ramen ($10.25), one Char Siu Mayo Don ($4.50), and one Pork Bun ($3.00).
Slurp slurp slurp. This is my favorite ramen on the menu. Other favorites include the Vegetable Ramen, and the Nikku Ramen, which is an extra large bowl with piles and piles of delicious, tender pork belly. The Spicy Ramen is exceptional when you just want a solid bowl of no-fuss pork broth noodles. The noodles are always perfectly al dente and they come with a mound of fresh spring onions that really help freshen up the porkiness of the broth. The spicy sauce is that delicious kind my Sichuan grandmother has taught me to make: fried chili flakes and powder. It comes with generous slices of pork belly that has been torched to produce a nice smokey finish. Slurp slurp slurp.
The Char Siu Mayo Don is an appetizer we always get because we love their torched pork belly so much. The smokiness and crisp edges are better in this appetizer than the noodles because the broth from the noodles tends to soften up the meat. The rice is so so yummy and chewy. There is definitely some light seasoning in the rice, paired with scallions and mayo that I think has a little bit of lime mixed in. So effing good.
They’re clearly catching on to the bun craze as the pork bun was a new item on the menu. It’s a smart move because their torched pork is already delicious and perfect for the bun. They only need to purchase buns to create a whole new appetizer, one that for some reason has become very popular as seen through Momofuku, Ippudo, and Baohaus. The bun had the same limey-mayo as the Mayo Don and also had a few leaves of greens. The bun, pork belly, and greens all shared a similar soft/tender texture. I think adding some chopped peanuts or something would balance out the textures a bit more. Even adding some of their famed scallions would be nice.
I’ll be back for more, as always. Especially as the winter approaches… not much else beats a hot bowl of noodle soup. An alternative hot bowl of noodle soup that I also love is from Arirang.