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East Village/ LES >
Rai Rai Ken
Posted by Anonymus on 05/20/2009
I have been going to rai rai ken for a few years now. The last few times ive gone it seems like the noodles are diffrent. I even saw a box of pre-bagged noodles there. The quality of the ramen has degraded over time - time for me to find a new joint.
Posted by Anonymous on 04/03/2009
small, bar seating creates a great atmosphere always playing good music service is always friendly and fast
Posted by Anonymous on 03/10/2009
I don't understand all of these recent bad reviews. I have been ordering ramen at Rai Rai Ken for years. It's a fantastic bowl of ramen at a fantastic price. The new ramen they have with the ground pork is perfectly spicey and as I sit home with a head cold, the perfect compliment to my sickness.
Posted by Kansai Boy on 01/14/2009
I grew up in Japan. I'm not Japanese, but I know ramen. I'm just gonna say this in all relativity. First, whoever was talking poorly about Ippudo, you may not realize it, but it's a popular chain restaurant located in Japan (think primarily Tokyo/Kanto area). If you can't tell, its chefs clearly do their bit of improvisation that may be a bit different than your traditional ramenya in Japan. Personally, I don't view it as purely traditional ramen, but for their tonkotsu (bone based broth), I'll pay for that any day. On to Rai Rai Ken. I don't think it's necessarily progressed or declined over the last few years. With respect to service, it's a ramen ya, they're not going to coddle you. If they don't come to you immediately, go to them it's only one of the smallest restaurants around. If they mess up on billing etc, thats another story. While the ramen quality is not exceptional, I still rate it as relatively a better option than ramenya like setagaya or momofuku. More often than not, regardless of price point, when I crave ramen, I go to rai rai ken or men kui tei. If you want more variety, go to menkuitei, but otherwise, I go to rai rai ken the taste is not necessarily as far off from the 'average' bowl of ramen in Japan. People also forget that ramen tastes very different based on the style (by region) it is made in.
Posted by Ninja on 01/08/2009
In a city like New York, you'd expect a few authentic ramen places. Rairaiken, Momofuko, Ippudo, etc.. none of them would even compare to the most average bowl of Ramen in Fukuoka or Tokyo. Firstly, nobody knows how to make a real ramen broth here. secondly, what's with all these overcooked yolks? I know lot of folks talk bout the ramen noodles to rate their bowl of ramen, BUT.. real japanese ramen is judged on the broth. It should be rich with lots of real pork and fat and not this water downed version u see here. May as well just heat up water and make instant noodles. The one at the asian supermarket is as good as most of these.
Posted by evfoodie on 12/13/2008
this place had potential by looking the window. it reminded me of small shops that i visited in japan. that's where similarities ended. the ramen tasted like it came straight from a dorm room closet. the attempt to spruce it up with mediocre additions greatly failed as well. this place would close on its first day if it were to open in tokyo.
Posted by Buzz on 12/08/2008
While I don't mind the wait this place ha indeed gone downhill. Our appetizer never showed up and it's next to impossible to get our waiter, no cook, or whoever he was attention. The food was ok but for 8.50 they could put another piece of pork in with the other tiny fatty one. They were happy to correct the check from their mistake. I agree the ramen was ok at best. I'm a native ny'er who is not Japanese and I can tell the difference in quality. I think this is just a sad trend in most restaurants in the village esp Asian fare. Do they think loading meals with soy sauce or sugar or both depending on the cuisine, is doing a service to their customers? More likely, it's cheap n easy food for non discerning goramonders.