As the weather heats up, soup’s on at Ramen Lab.
Ichicoro‘s tenure at the tiny Lower East Side ramen shop is up, but Japan’s highly acclaimed Lamen Nikkou has moved in to 70 Kenmare St. for the next three weeks!
Top-rated by Japanese Yelp, this traditional ramen shop with some unique twists by Chef Koji Nishikawa, has popped up as part of Ramen Lab’s new incubator program.
Chef Koji, who does not speak English, has created a menu for New York featuring four of his best noodle soups.
Chicken-based Tori Paitan Ramen ($14), also available with black garlic oil (Mayu, $14), offers a heartiness in a thick soup that sticks to each noodle and is so enjoyably slurpable with the daikon sprouts on top.
Wafu Ramen $14), made from a pork, chicken and vegetable stock offers a similar robustness, with excellent umami flavor clinging to each curly noodle.
But for the hot weather, the Yuzu Tsukemen ($15) is what you’re waiting outside in the sweltering heat for. Whole wheat-spiked noodles are twisted in a bowl with lemon, nori and a tangy yuzu, citrus flavor. Dip the chilled noodles into a chicken, seafood and yuzu pepper dipping sauce, quickly, and the cooling, citric flavor refreshes like lemonade on a hot June day.
The four-dish menu is served ala carte, but can be enjoyed power-hour style.
With no reservations, guests will wait to take one of the 12 — air conditioned! — counter spots, slurp up as many assembled-to-order bowls of ramen as desired and forgive their standing spot within the 60 minutes to the next customer.
It’s very Japanese, so we’re told.
Ramen Lab’s Lamen Nikkou pop-up will be open for dinner from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday and lunch from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m on Saturdays through July 3.