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Ramen Yebisu has mixed reviews, but we’re here to tell you that the naysayers are wrong. Ramen Yebisu’s Sapporo-style ramen is some of the best to be found in the city. We recommend the Tonkotsu Shoyu which has a thick, creamy sauce and comes with pork, red pickled ginger, and toasted seaweed. Don’t forget the pickled egg. Annoyingly, they are cash only.
Chef and Hokkaido native Akira Hiratsuka ladles signature bowlfuls of Sapporo-style ramen, characterized by its seafood-infused broth and wavy noodles aged for 48-hours. The results are distinct and delicious. Among the host of options to be tried are shoyu (soy-based), shio (salt-based), or the special house ramen brimming with a bounty of shellfish. A recent unique offering featured a fiery broth infused with a blend of 12 spices and fish sauce and filled with bone-in pork rib, cabbage, and red chilies. Slurp your soup at one of two seating options in the moody, dark-walled space: perched atop tall tables or at a counter looking into the kitchen, where a refrigerator unit is stocked with custom-made noodles.
You don’t have to go to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, for Sapporo-style ramen, which is a relatively rare find in the tonkotsu-ridden landscape of New York City slurp shops. Named after the Japanese god of fishermen, Ramen Yebisu specializes in seafood-laced broth that has a fermented, miso taste. The bowls carry strong aromas and come in a few varieties, and you should either take the seafood theme to the extreme with the eponymous Yebisu bowl (the noodles come swimming with prawns, snow crab, mussels, and scallops) or get your roasted pork fix with the salty Shio ramen.
Our problem with Ramen Yebisu lies mostly with the broth, which always seems to fall flat. And that’s not in comparison to the ramen on steroids that people are used to from places like Ippudo. We’ve had authentic Japanese ramen with mellow flavors, and we like it. But this stuff doesn’t seem to have any flavor at all. On top of that, this restaurant seems to be out of order. The service is always confusing, and we found it to be a little bit messy, like they couldn’t be bothered to pick up the straw wrappers or wipe down the tables. I know we’re in Williamsburg where dirty is supposed to be cool, but guess what, no it isn’t. Let’s get a broom up in here.