Forget the dragon, 2012 just might be the year of ramen. While there were a few shops slinging the succulent noodles last year, this year ramen shop are popping up, sticking around and becoming the talk of much speculation.
Last night, the questionably named Roundeye Noodle Bar held its second pop-up at Matyson on 19th street. To their credit, the event was about as well-managed as a pop up could be, running a bit behind, but with prompt table service once seated. While there was temptation to try their foie gras infused pho, I opted for the Pork Belly Ramen, hoping to get a taste of Hakata. The noodles were definitely of a high quality, but the choice of toppings did not mingle well with the broth, occassionally becoming so vinegary that it was tough to suppress a bitter face. The pork belly was cooked more in the Okinawan style than Hakata – equally delicious – and the soft boiled egg was runny, which I enjoy, but is certainly not for everyone. There is promise to this pop up, but I would hope that they take the time to refine the menu and reconsider their moniker before setting up a permanent locale.
The elusive search for delectible noodles continues with more shops rumored to open shortly. Royal Sushi and Izakaya is still rumored to be in the works in Bella Vista and word is that Nom Nom Ramen – a Hakata style place – is aiming to open in March on 18th street and Ludlow (what was formerly b.b. go). With Ramen Boy already operating, Philadelphia could be host to a handful of shops by year’s end.
In other food news, Groupon is featuring a Fuji Mountain 7 course dinner for two for $49. Deal expires today so act fast. Keep your ears perked, I’ll be sharing more news as it comes out.