Taste Test: Three Bowls By Neighborhood Ramen
After conducting our interview with 2019 City Guide pick Neighborhood Ramen, we were not going to leave without getting a private sampling of their menu. We tried three bowls from their list of six. Find our thoughts below.
Neighborhood Ramen’s menu is focused yet diverse, with six rotating styles that focus on the flavorful characteristics of their slaved-over broth. With our interview (finally) out of the way, we settled in for a sampling of three bowls: the Shoyu, the Tantan, and the Mazesoba.
Lindsay and Jesse admitted to us that the Shoyu Ramen is probably their favorite on the menu, and we can see why. Their shoyu tare features chicken, dashi, and five separate shoyus that combine to make a slightly-sweet, ever-so-viscous, and unctuous backdrop for straight noodles with just the right amount of bite. The chashu is well cooked and fills out the bowl to make it extremely satisfying.
Just looking at this Japanese/Chinese hybrid, you can tell it is bound to be bursting with flavor. A layer of housemade togarashi (a blend of dried japones peppers, ichimi, sancho, and cayenne) makes it impossible to see what lies beneath, and lends a certain rouge mystique. We dove in and found ground soboro and their wavy (vegan!) noodles.
The single brothless option on the menu, the “Taiwanese” (though not at all Taiwanese) Mazesoba is served beautifully arranged in their signature bowl with a golden “Jidori egg” yolk at center stage. After taking the prerequisite photos, we mixed it all up and marvled at how the yolk coated each noodle.
Many thanks to Neighborhood Ramen for feeding us. Visit them and the 22 other Philadelphia landmarks in our 2019 City Guide!
WORDS BY SAM GEAN