Ebullient chef, TV personality and karaoke enthusiast Masaharu Morimoto has added ramen-ya to his list of popular eateries, joining the eponymous Japanese restaurant on 10th Avenue to his NYC footprint. On Friday, the chef opened Momosan Ramen & Sake on Lexington Avenue in Murray Hill, where together with Korean-born chef executive chef Jae Lee, the Iron Chef will turn out a tight menu of ramens, rices and appetizers, supplemented with a list of sakes helpfully illustrated by the region of their origin.
Where traditionally diners are presented with a gigantic bowl of steaming broth and noodles, ramens at Momosan come in two sizes, depending on your appetite and ability to digest vast amounts of delicious pork fat. Morimoto employed popular Sun Noodles to develop a variety that won't get soggy if left to sit, though by now we should know that the proper method for devouring ramen is a speedy slurp.
Tare Meshi (courtesy Momosan)
Ramen styles include a Tonkotsu ($10/13) with pork chashu, a Tantan ($10/13) with a full-flavored spicy coconut curry broth with red miso and a Tsukemen ($14) dipping-style ramen with garlic oil and lime. Additional toppings such as a kakuni ($4, six hour-braised pork belly), aji-tama ($2, a soy-marinated egg) and raw crushed garlic can be added to any bowl.
Chef Lee's Korean influence appears in dishes like the Buta Kimchi ($7), a stir fry made with pork jowl and Lee's kimchi recipe and the Chashu Bap ($16), a comforting rice dish topped with pork chashu, braised babmoo shoots, daikon radish, spinach, takana, egg yolk, fiery red yuzu kosho and a sweet chashu sauce.
Check out the sake list below, which includes 21 varieties by the glass, served in traditional masu boxes. Those without an intimate knowledge of sakes can appreciate the terroir of regional sakes or learn more about each in the exhaustive flavor and temperature descriptions available for each.
342 Lexington Avenue, 646-201-5529; momosanramen.com