dinner/ Japanese/ nyc

Hide Chan Ramen: Up to the Hype?

As some of you may notice I love eating noodles. Luckily ramen is all the rage in this city, and I stay a happy soup noodle eater. Recently there was an article in Serious Eats ranking the “Best Ramen in New York City” where I saw the 1st place ranking did NOT go to Ippudo (which got 2nd place), but instead went to Hide (pronounced HEE-DAY) Chan Ramen. Oh yes that meant I had to try it ASAP.

I gathered some friends (props to those who came!) who were interested in eating good ramen, and ventured to Midtown East. We were a large group and unfortunately, Hide Chan Ramen does not take reservations. However, it is substantially larger than Totto Ramen so you can actually sit on tables that will fit more than four. I knew it would be hard to seat us all, considering the number of other people waiting for a table. After numerous attempts to speak to a very Japanese-speaking host / owner, we managed to seat EIGHT altogether!

My choice was quick and definite – I am going to try the Hakata Tonkatsu Ramen ($9.50) – the traditional pork-based broth ramen. The broth was satisfying, not too fatty but had just enough pork flavor to it. The noodles were nicely cooked (“al dente”), and the scallions gave it a refreshing touch.

Of course we also needed to try out pork buns (another huge trend about a year ago) to see how it stacks up against Momokufu, Baohaus, Ippudo, etc. Unfortunately it was more of a let down. It came AFTER we started eating our ramen and had too much mayonnaise. I find that the pork bun didn’t stand out amongst its competitors so I would vote to skip it next time.

So, how did Hide Chan stack up against its competitors? I would say that this is solid ramen joint but I still find that Ippudo has better pork based ramen (Akaru Modern), and Totto Ramen’s chicken based ramen outdoes Hide Chan’s ramens. Of course all are entitled to their opinions, but on my list this place would under Ippudo and Totto Ramen. It is still a place to check out, so if you’re in the area, hopefully you can grab a seat if it’s not completely packed already.

Hide Chan Ramen
248 E 52nd St (Btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10022
(212) 813-1300

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