I few days I talked about Kuboya Ramen (536 East 6th Street between Avenue A & B) that popped up right next door to Minca, the much loved reigning champ on the block. I questioned whether or not we need another Ramen spot on 5th street. Well, I decided to check out Kuboya for myself & here’s my review.
Firstly, I just want to mention that this is a brand new restaurant that is obviously finding it’s legs, so I’m sure with time, the food & service will be better.
The space is nice enough, the owners really didn’t do much to the old Le Gamin at all except install a small platform by the service area to make things a bit easier for the waitstaff. The menu (which I believe said ‘Pre-Opening Menu’) is a bit of a mess, riddled with penned in corrections, price changes & spelling mistakes. They serve 3 types of ramen, Shio, Shoyu & Miso (no vegetarian options) & staples such as gyoza. Our waitress was nice enough, but there was a bit of a language barrier here & ordering was a chore.
I ordered the Shoyu Ramen ($9) which is soy based. I’ve had Shoyu elsewhere & the broth can really vary in color & consistency, this one was on the thicker side but packed in a lot of flavor. Honestly, I would buy a gallon of that stuff & drink it like a porky shake! The slow roasted pork was good, really fatty, but I do wish that there was more in there.
My Mom got the Miso Ramen ($9) & I tried the broth. It was spicy, but also had a slight sweetness to it. I thought I tasted roasted garlic, but after much conversation & slurping, we were unable to pinpoint the exact source. We did, however both agree that my broth was far superior. They don’t have a liquor license yet, do drinks are limited to sodas, water & green tea. We had the tea which took ages to arrive & had most likely been steeped/brewed for too long as it was mind-numbingly bitter.
I enjoyed my ramen at Kuboya, but the jury is still out on whether it’s better than Minca next door. I do wish them the best though & will go back in a few weeks to see if anything has changed.