Glenwood Residents Get Trendy New Upper West Side Restaurant
Glenwood residents near the #1 train (that's you, in the Regent, Emerald Green, and Grand Tier): congratulate yourself on your foresight for moving just a quick subway ride away from a bowl of the best ramen in town, at the brand-new, extraordinarily accomplished noodle joint, Jin Ramen. In fact, everyone all over should be excited about Jin Ramen, which seemingly came out of nowhere (or, more accurately, came out of Queens, home base to Chef Mark Viloria) and, if the terrific meal we devoured on Saturday night is any indication, is about to become one of the Upper West Side's trendiest restaurants. Heck, we traveled all the way from Brooklyn, and would do it again in a heartbeat … but then, we're pretty hardcore noodleheads.
The Jin Ramen menu is tightly focused and totally appealing: a half-dozen starters, five ramen choices, that's it. But when everything's this good, that all you need. For instance, the Kara Age (translation: fried chicken), available either with or without bone. Seems like it could be a throwaway, a dish like this at a ramen place; turns out to be the best plate of chicken we've had in recent memory, all crispy and juicy with a bold seasoning that puts those too-garlicky one-note fried birds to shame. Get at least a couple of these for the table. We also made quick work of our just-right bowl of Kelp Salad… nothing revolutionary here, but the briny, chewy, vinegar-ness of seaweed made for a nice counterpart to everything else.
Of course, you'll come to Jin Ramen for the ramen, and you will be very pleased that you did. We tried two of the four basic broths, a bowl of the thick, almost buttery Tonkotsu (made by boiling pork bones over high heat for hours, apparently), and one of the super clean and lively Shio, or "salt", which is made from pork, chicken, and yuzu peppers. Both were exceptional, as was everything that went into them: the generous tangle of thin, white, firm and chewy noodles; the fatty, tender hunks of pork; the soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, and seaweed squares. The ramen at Jin Ramen is equal or better than the bowls at Ippudo, and for about five bucks less. The design of the place is contemporary-comfy; the crowd Columbia-esque, the staff friendly and fast. We'll be back, soon and often.
Jin Ramen: Open Late in Upper West Side Manhattan
Jin Ramen is located on Broadway between 125th Street and Tiemann Place, right at the foot of the escalator from the elevated 125th Street #1 train station. Jin Ramen is currently open for dinner on Monday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m, on Friday and Saturday until 12:00 midnight, and on Sunday until 10:00. You can get lunch, too, for now only on the Saturday and Sunday, but they plan on expanding those hours to the rest of the week soon. For lots more information about the food, the philosophy, and a look at the Jin Ramen menu, please see the restaurant's website, here.