One of the things I love about New York is all the good food from around the world. Whether you are into Swedish meatballs, Russian borscht or Mexican quesadillas, it’s often available only a few blocks away. I really wanted to try the much-hyped noodles at Momofuku Noodle Bar in East Village, but for some reason I never managed to both be hungry and within walking distance of the restaurant. However, I found lots of other really nice Japanese restaurant in Midtown East. One of them was Hide-Chan Ramen, which, as the name suggests, specialized in selling delicious versions of the Japanese noodle soup.
In Denmark, most people have tasted the inexpensive, just-add-water-and-the-seasoning kind of dried ramen in small plastic packages, which is available in most supermarkets and which many students survive on at the end of the month. Real Japanese ramen, such as the ramen at Hide-Chan, is in a completely different league, and if you’ve first tried it, I don’t think you’ll ever be able to go back to the cup noodle ramen again. I guess it’s the same with sushi: If you’ve first tried decent authentic Japanese sushi, there’s no way that you would consider buying 7Eleven’s maki rolls.
Hide-Chan is located one stair up in a building, which doesn’t stand out from most other buildings in the area, but once you’re inside, you realize that you’ve found a true gem. When I was there, almost all the other guests were Japanese (which is usually a good sign, when you’re visiting a Japanese restaurant), and I was also greeted in Japanese and handed a laminated menu.
There were different lunch specials, which include included extra side dishes but I was there for the noodles, so I quickly decided on a Deluxe Ramen with cod roe and lots of other nice stuff. The tonkotsu broth was served piping hot and tasted fantastic. It was strong but not too oily and it had the finest golden dark color, which along with all the delicious things that hid in the soup bowl made it a serious treat for the eye as well as the palate.
On the way back home from the restaurant I passed a small Japanese supermarket. I love Asian supermarkets, so of course I went inside to see what they had. There was a small cold counter with Japanese bento boxes (lunch boxes) and other small take-away dishes and to my great delight, I found a package with delicate pink Daifuku Mochi (Japanese dessert). As some of you probably remember, I fell in love with this Japanese delicacy while I was visiting Beijing this summer, so even though I was more than full after my ramen feast, the Daifuku Mochi went down in my shopping basket along with different kinds of dipping sauces and a pack of umeboshi (pickled plums).
Hide-Chan, 248 E 52nd Street 2F (between 3rd Ave & 2nd Ave, Midtown East, New York