Although we all know what my favourite ramen restaurant is, I thought I should broaden my horizons and finally try the newest location of Setagaya. It was better than I expected. My main qualm with this place is that they are Koreans trying to trick the public by attempting to speak Japanese. It's really annoying. I can hear them speaking Korean to each other in the kitchen since I was sitting front row at the bar window watching them make it. I wasn't completely sure because the thick glass makes it hard to be sure and they are throwing in Japanese-ish words to the waitresses and the consistent "irashaimase" as people walk in. But I investigated more online to find that others had also stated that both the cooks and management are in fact Korean. Nice try, can't fool me!
Anyway back to the food, both time that I've been to Setagaya I've always liked the seaweed taste that the soup has but it is definitely too salty overall. I was actually happy with my order which had the noodles served cold separately. I really preferred these curly noodles over the stand ones in the hot soup. They were less cooked (more al dente) so I was way more into the texture of them. I HATE HATE soft noodles with no chew to them. The soup that comes along with them is quite tasty and heavier than the shoyu-based hot ramen. I heard the chef call it "jigae" as it went out so guess it's a bit inspired by that. They do have a nicely priced set which includes a bowl of hot ramen and your choice of buta-don (pork over rice), curry rice or gyoza, both which were generously sized. So if one person gets the set with gyoza and the other gets just a bowl then you have a lovely appetizer!
34 St. Marks Pl.
New York, NY