Totto Ramen is definitely one of the most sought after ramen joints in New York City right now. We found out that the restaurant opens at 5:00pm on Sundays for dinner, so we arrived at around 5:10pm to try and beat the much heard about rush. Not only was the entire place full, but the line was already out the door and down the sidewalk. That’s usually a sign that a place is going to be really, really good.
The restaurant has no more then 20 seats, but the line moves fairly quickly, and we managed to get seated at the bar within 45 minutes. Sitting at the bar actually turned out to be a plus, because the chefs are really friendly and exude quite a bit of showmanship and flair while preparing bowls of steaming hot ramen and other Japanese small plates.
To start with we got the Char Siu Mayo Don, which consists of the house special broiled pork with yuzu mayonnaise on a bed of rice. Who would have thought a bowl of mayo, pork and rice would be so delicious? I’d like to think it’s something so simple that I can make it at home, but it’s probably not. We also got the Avo Tuna dish, which consisted of tuna sashimi with avocado marinated in their special yuzu garlic sauce. The tuna was delicious and fresh, with perfectly clean flavors. So far, a great start to them meal!
As for the ramen, we were able to share a bowl between the two of us since we got appetizers beforehand. A coworker recently sent me this list of the spiciest dishes in the city according to Time Out New York. The phaal curry, which I ate here, was of course on there, and so was the Totto Extreme Spicy Ramen. We added a seasoned boiled egg for an extra $1, and I truly believe that extra addition really helped round out the dish! The chilli oil concoction came on the side in a little bowl, thus you could add as much or little as you wanted. I put it all in! While it was spicy, it was comfortably spicy and definitely no comparison to the phaal at Brick Lane Curry House. What was clearly the most special part about this bowl of ramen, was the broth. It had an immense amount of depth to it - intensely meaty and flavorful. It was so good that we spooned in the rest of the rice from the Char Siu Mayo Don to soak up and enjoy the remaining broth at the end of the meal.
366 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019