Slurping Ramen in a Honeycomb at Kyuramen

Kyuramen, a popular ramen chain with locations mainly based in New York, has recently expanded by opening up its newest location in Forest Hills, Queens earlier this month. Located at Queens Boulevard, this location is one of the many added to the growing list of locations in Manhattan, Queens, New Jersey, and more. Listed on their website, it appears that future installations will include a location in Huntington, NY, as well as more locations in the south.

There is great hustle and bustle in both the open kitchen and the restaurant floor as servers move back and forth slinging plates around to tables Besides bright wooden tables and wallpaper decorating the parts of the restaurant, seating here is a unique experience. Tables are arranged in booths that comparable to honeycomb patterns in bees nests, sporting pale, wooden hexagonal booths. Some tables are stacked atop one another, and some are accessible by stairs to get into your own private hexagon booth. Even the wooden seats are angled to compliment the shape of the booth. While the structure is interesting, you will mostly be sitting up right while eating, as leaning into the seat in the booth will lead to you being too far to eat and enjoy anything. However, once you are done, feel free to lay down your back and angle yourself properly inside the wooden booth seat to rest the meal you’ve just devoured.  If you find yourself not wanting to sit at a honeycomb themed table, there is plenty of booth/bar seating facing right in front of the kitchen.

Photo Via Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

Kyuramen’s food is just as visually appealing and delicious as their restaurant. Their menu is simple, serving different ramen variations and other Japanese dishes such as omurice, gyoza, Takoyaki, kara-age, rice and ramen burgers, and more. Ramen styles vary from traditional Tonkatsu, to shoyu and shio, to miso and curry variants.

A big appealing for Kyuramen besides their ramen must be their combination ramen deals, being Combination A and B. Combination A, a meal for one, gets you a Tonkotsu Ramen, a bao bun, and a matcha red bean pudding. Combination B, a meal for two and perfect to take a partner or a friend out for a nice meal, consists of two ramen variations, two desserts, and a popcorn chicken to share. Whatever you get from here, make sure to grab one of their thai iced teas to enjoy with your meal. It’s sweet, refreshing, and makes for a good picture for your Instagram, before you mix it of course.

Thai Iced Tea
Thai Iced Tea

Prior to getting ramen, fried potato shrimp was the first thing offered. Thinly cut potatoes wrapped around shrimp and deep fried makes for a nice, crunchy, appetizer. The potato covering the shrimp was perfectly seasoned, crispy, and golden brown. Likewise, the shrimp inside was also crispy and moist when biting inside of it, leaving hot steam to escape from tearing pieces of the shrimp off. The Potato Shrimp pairs well with both the spicy chili sauce, and the siracha mayo on the side, for two forms of sweet and savory.

Fried Potato Wrapped Shrimp with Chili Sauce & Sriracha Mayo

The Pork Bao bun is a braised piece of pork inside a fluffy bao bun, decorated with both Kyuramen’s special sauce and their signature stamp atop the bun. The pork belly was soft and gelatinous, with the pillowy bun absorbing any extra juice the braised pork and the sauce leaks out.

The Combination A Plate seemed enticing, as the ramen offered, the Tokyo Tonkotsu Shouyu, had the option of adding black or white garlic to the broth. The Kyushu Tonkotsu Shio also had the option for black or white garlic as well. Adding black garlic to the ramen adds for extra pungency and flavor to the broth which really elevates the ramen all together. The fragrant, rich, fatty broth combined with chewy, yet firm noodles make for an extremely satisfying, flavorful, and umami boosted bite/slurp of noodle in one go. Clear, meaty pork broth and what can one assume is the tare (Japanese for sauce), combined offer a well-seasoned salty, delicious broth. Everything inside the bowl just accompanies the broth well, from the al dente noodles, to the soft-boiled egg, to the corn, nori, and scallion.

Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen

Besides the Shoyu Ramen, the Sapporo Miso Ramen is a great contender as well. You can choose your own spice level from regular, mild, spicy, and hot. Everything besides the broth follows the same elements as the Tonkotsu Shoyu ramen before, al dente noodles, soft boiled egg, corn, nori, and bamboo shoots. Again, the broth is the key canvas that paints a picture visually and tells a story inside of your mouth. Visually, the broth dons a rich red, orangish color thanks to the spice inside. It is still a pork-based broth but is extremely rich and savory, with slight kicks of heat thanks to the miso paste and spice inside. The miso offers a unique funkiness to the broth, which elevates the umami of the ramen even more. Out of this and the Shoyu Ramen, the Sapporo Miso ramen is a personal favorite to me.

Sapporo Spicy Miso Ramen

Thanks to the Combination A platter, the Matcha Pudding with Red Bean is offered for dessert, offered with whole milk. It’s a relatively small dessert, but the matcha pudding itself is not too sweet, as you the matcha flavor stands out a lot here. It’s almost custard like with how thick it is, but it’s still easy to grab with a spoon. The red beans atop add an extra sweetness and earthiness which pair with the pudding nicely. Milk was offered on the side to go with the pudding, but it didn’t really add much to the pudding to me, personally.

Besides matcha pudding, crepe cakes are also offered for dessert (not part of the combination a or b dishes). The Matcha Mille Crepe cake is one of the three crepe cakes offered, the other two being mango and purple sweet potato flavored. For the sake of consistency, the matcha mille crepe cake was chosen this time around. The matcha flavor was present and there was a great deal of sweetness to it. However, I do appreciate how soft and easy it was cutting into the crepe cake. Using a fork cut into it as if you were using a hot knife to slice through butter. The crepe was rich and smooth with every bite.

With incredible and quick service and turnaround, a unique seating atmosphere, and delicious food, it’s no wonder how Kyuramen has multiple locations and is still expanding to this day. Whether you are in the Queens, Manhattan, or New Jersey Area, or located in the midwest in Chicago or South in Houston or Atlanta, I highly recommend trying Kyuramen at some point to get the full experience.. In addition, be on the lookout for more local New York locations to open soon, including one in Huntington, Long Island. Based on this, Kyuramen gets a 8.7 out of 10 stars from me.

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