53 Morgan St. (Grattan)
Brooklyn, NY 11206
I’ve been waiting for this place to open for the last couple of months. I first found out about it when they put up their “Shinobi Ramen” sign up while I was getting out of Pinebox, which is across the street. I LOVE ramen, but I’m a little picky. Being from Kyushuu, I prefer Tonkotsu style ramen (and yes, adore Ippudo and Hide-Chan) to Soy, Miso, or Shio. I’m also not a fan of Momofuku Noodles, Rai Rai Ken, or Minka. All of their broths suffer from being too salty, since the flavor of their broth isn’t strong enough. Meh. I do like Setagaya (the old) and Menkuitei.
I will say this, with this new addition to the neighborhood, this area probably now has almost everything you would want. I am ecstatic about this shop and I REALLY wanted to like this place. I was a little skeptical, once I saw their menu with Soy and Miso ramen (although I do enjoy those flavors, as well).
First thing first, I ordered the Mabo Ramen (instead of their Shinobi Ramen staple), which uses their ramen broth and combines it with a spicy Mabo Tofu. It was pretty amazing. The broth is REALLY satisfying, the toppings are good, and consistency of their noodles has everything I need. The broth is a combination of chicken and pork, while their Shinobi Ramen has the addition of Soy Sauce, and the toppings range from Chasiu (pork belly) to ground pork for the Mabo Ramen. The portions are good, the prices range (depending on topping) from $9-12.50. They also have a Miso Ramen, and a Soy-based Vegetarian ramen. The broth and toppings get high marks from me. Their noodles get the job done, although I’m not sure whether they make them in-house. The firmness is perfect, though.
On Friday night, we wandered in there right before 10 o’clock, and finished around 10:30. Although they can stay open until 11pm, they are open until they run out of their soup, which has happened many times in the last week alone. It happened when we got there, and we heard Shinya (the owner) tell someone that he made more that day in order to keep going later. Needless to say, they just opened, and I think they are trying to see what the demand is. This is to say that they are still experimenting with their quantities, so I would not go in at 10pm, expecting them to still have soup. Later on, I’m sure they will hit that magic number (as they can only seat so many people – roughly 25). I also wouldn’t be surprised if a line developed outside.