When Yuji Ramen released more tickets for June dates, I snatched a couple of reservations up, unintentionally booking them for our anniversary. Yuji and his team had been in Japan for the month of May, eating and getting inspired for their restaurant set to open this year (I hope!).
Some of the courses we had were similar but there were a few changes that I really loved.
The next course was ankimo agnolotti, made with soba (buckwheat flour) instead, which is why it is brown and dotty. Topped with fresh wasabi, nasturtium, and ponzu, this was the crowd favorite. The pureed ankimo was sweet and creamy, which was a really nice contrast to the toothsome and slightly gritty texture of the soba. We only got two pieces each but this I could’ve definitely eaten ALL DAY.
The clam course was very similar to the mussel course of the last tasting we did, except a little less vinegar-y and the cucumber was pureed instead of diced. He used cherrystone clams from Connecticut, which are denser and larger than the Manila clams I’ve been eating lately. Again this came with hot noodles to mix into, turning the solid broth to liquid.
The last dish was the much-Instagrammed mussel course, where he pours the broth into a French press filled with torched mussel shells and bonito. I loved the broth much more this time, as it was made with mainly pork and chicken bones, culled from the Whole Foods meat department. Chicken just adds a little more depth to broth and it’s why the Chicken Paitan Ramen at Totto is my favorite in the city.
If you haven’t done this already, I strongly encourage you to at least try a weekday dinner. The weekend tastings have two more courses and are $65. They are releasing more tickets early next month for their August seatings, and then they will be done with their run at Whole Foods. Stay tuned to Facebook or Kitchit for more information!
And if you can’t wait or don’t want to spend the $40 or can’t get a reservation, they offer dine in and take out options at the Whole Foods Bowery location. Or you can find them at Smorgasburg on the weekends.
After dinner we headed into Williamsburg aka Hell on Earth (no seriously, have you seen Bedford Ave on a Saturday night? It’s like Mardi Gras) to watch Before Midnight. I spied our old Popdust intern Grace at the Sketchbook Project truck, ate cereal milk soft serve, and saw a beautiful sunset at a hidden park by the East River. Great way to end the day.