Details: 13-13 40th Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101. Official site is http://www.ramenshack.com/
I normally don’t like ramen, but this may be the best ramen I’ve ever had, by a small margin.
Ramen Shack is a relatively new ramen restaurant opened by Keizo Shimamoto. Shimamoto is known for creating the ramen burger, a trendy food item that was very popular a few years ago. From what I can tell after a few minutes of internet research, Shimamoto invested himself into ramen shortly after, culminating in the the opening of Ramen Shack in 2016.
When I judge a business or restaurant, the very first thing I look at is the price. The higher the price, the higher the standards. The lower the price, the less critical I am. This place is damn cheap, for ramen at least. The price of ramen ranges from $8 to $13, with a soft boiled egg or extra chashu costing an extra dollar or two. You can also get a ramen burger here which, depending on the type, will cost from $7 to $9.
They have your classic ramen and then they have specialty ramen likely created by Shimamoto. I ordered the BGO or Brooklyn Blend specialty ramen (black garlic oil, tonkotsu broth, soy sauce tare, pork belly, kikurage, scallions, fried onion, b. shoga). I’ve had a lot of ramen in New York City from places like Ippudo or Totto Ramen and I can say that this ramen was perhaps the best bowl I’ve yet to have. Not substantially better, but I can’t recall a better tasting bowl of ramen. The pork belly was blow torched in my view and was spectacular. The broth was good and not too salty. The noodles were okay. There was the right amount of broth versus noodles. Often times you get too much soup when what I really want is noodles. It was a good bowl, perhaps the best I’ve yet to have. It cost $11. I got a soft boiled egg in it for another dollar.
I also ordered the Original “OG” ramen burger (Schwied and Sons CAB patty, homemade ramen buns, arugula, scallions, shoyu sauce) for $8. I’ve had the ramen burger once before from another restaurant. It was terrible and I never wanted to order it again. Since this place was the self proclaimed originator of the ramen burger, I figured I’d give it a try. It was all right, better than the other place. I’m certainly never going to order it again, but it was okay. This is a novelty, for the fair or at food festivals. It’s not good enough to eat more than once.
The people working here were nice. The space is small and only ten seats. Also, this place is only open from 11 PM to 7 PM and they don’t take reservations. I went at around 1:30 PM one a weekday and there weren’t that many people there. Three of the five other patrons were native Japanese speakers, which is interesting. I guess they liked the ramen.
Additionally, this place is in Long Island City and across the street from a project. Take that into consideration however you want.
Overall, I thoroughly recommend this place.