NYC
Updated November 27, 2022, Posted June 12, 2022

The Kyuramen restaurant chain has been slowly making its way throughout the greater NYC area. They just opened a location out in Long Island City which is not too far from where we live. This restaurant had construction signs early in the pandemic and just never opened until now. We thought we would be able to get seated right away on an early Sunday afternoon, but they checked us into Yelp and we had to wait around for about 15 minutes for a table of 2.

Ambiance

The interior is kind of interesting in that there are these 2 person tables in holes along the wall. There is a set of narrow metal stairs that lead you to each of these holes. We were seated in the one to the far corner. In these seats, there are also a “service” button, so that you didn’t have to flag down any of the staff. If you are not seated in these tables, you can sit in either the counter or ground tables. What is a little awkward, in my opinion, is that the wait staff has to climb up and down these stairs to serve you food. Even though these are 2 person tables, it feels there’s just increase risk of things dropping.

The service itself was pretty quick. When the bill comes, you pay through a tablet.

Food

We both added a combo ($6.99) to our ramen order which came with a Thai Iced Tea and a Pork Bun

The Thai Iced Tea was pretty good albeit there was a lot of sugar added that tasted different than normal Thai Iced Teas. My partner felt it was overly sweet and artificial, but I thought it was OK.

The Steamed Pork Bao Bun came with braised pork between a bao bun and served with fresh veggies and Kyuramen special sauce. The special sauce tasted like 1000 island. The pork was very tender and fatty, and it was quite delicious.

The Chicken Ramen ($16.99) came with grilled chicken, bamboo shoots, wakame, half marinated egg, nori, corn, and scallion in a chicken broth. My partner likes chicken, but I thought this was overly bland. I definitely would advise to go for pork broths over chicken if possible. They do have condiments on the table that you can add to add some spice to it.

The Sapporo Miso Ramen ($16.99) came spicy with pork chashu, wakame, half marinated egg, nori, corn, and scallion in a pork broth. The wavy ramen noodles were similar to typical store bought “Top Ramen”-ish noodles, so they had this bounce to it. The egg was perfect for me, and the chashu was ultra tender. The broth itself was just right for me in terms of spicy levels. It tasted pretty good, but the flavors are slightly different than Japanese and more akin to Chinese/Taiwanese flavors. Regardless, I thought it was pretty decent and tasty in its own regard.

Added July 3, 2022.

I went again and got the Korean Kimchi Ramen ($15.99) which came with kimchi, pork chashu, bamboo shoots, wakame, half marinated egg, nori, corn, scallion, and pork broth. The kimchi was surprisingly pungent and sour in a good way. It reminds me of some specialized kimchi places I went to when I visited South Korea. The broth itself tasted pretty decent, and the noodles were cooked perfectly al dente. In the end, this really is just the regular pork broth with some pieces of kimchi in it. If you like fermented kimchi, definitely get this if you don’t plan to order it separate.

Added October 19, 2022.

The Tokyo Tonkotsu Shouyu Ramen came with pork chashu, wakame, half marinated egg, nori, corn, and scallion. The pork broth was good as expected. The ramen looked like packaged ramen, and it was cooked perfectly al dente. I don’t think this was the best tonkotsu broth I’ve had, but it satisfied my ramen hunger.

Added November 27, 2022.

The Spicy Kyushu Tonkotsu Ramen ($16.99) came with pork chashu, wakame, half marinated egg, nori, corn, scallion, and a spicy pork broth. I ordered this with the “spicy” temperament. They offer mild, spicy, and extra spicy. Overall, this tasted similar to the regular tonkotsu ramen just with additional heat. I think the Spicy Miso variant was better than this.

Final Verdict

The ramen at Kyuramen is pretty good. I wouldn’t make a special trek to eat this, but for a neighborhood ramen place, I’ll probably come back here again.

Yelp Jabs

Waited over 1.5hr for a table for 4 on a Sunday night. The decor inside is cute (honeycomb set up) but in addition I didn’t know there was more seating in back of the restaurant.

The entrance area is pretty small, and I also didn’t know about the back area until I saw the wait staff lead people behind the honey comb seating. Regardless, I still recommend to eat during non-core hours especially if you have more than 2 people.

If you have any food allergies/intolerances, beware. The veggies in the ramen were all overcooked and the spices on the table were practically empty, so there was little hope for saving my unseasoned broth.

Unfortunately, I don’t expect ramen to be friendly to people with specific food allergies or intolerances. The broth flavors are most potent when you use pork. If you use chicken or vegetables, it always just comes out more bland unless you load it with all sorts of seasoning. It seems like this Elitist went for the vegetable ramen which is not surprising.

Revisions

  1. Nov 27, 2022 - Added Spicy Kyushu Tonkotsu ramen.
  2. Oct 19, 2022 - Added Tonkotsu Shouyu ramen.
  3. Jul 3, 2022 - Added Korean Kimchi ramen.
  4. Jun 12, 2022 - Initial revision.