Hinata Ramen, Midtown East
After the "Life of Cats" exhibit at the Japan Society, we were starting to get pretty hungry and decided to continue the Japanese theme of the evening. Ramen it is!
We stopped by Totto Ramen, but there was huge crowd of people outside... not a good sign. Hide Chan Ramen, which is right next door, had a 15-20 minute wait. We walked over to Hinata Ramen to see if that would be any better, and as it turns out, they had many open tables!
I visited Hinata earlier this year during lunchtime. It was packed at lunchtime, and I was surprised to them so empty during prime dinner hours on a Friday evening. John got the Orion beer ($11), which was a good deal given the large bottle size. I ordered the plum wine ($6).
John ordered the shishito peppers ($4.50) and 10-pieces of vegetable gyoza ($11). I had tried the veggie gyoza on my previous visit, and this time, it looks like they held together much better.
I, of course, had to get ramen! Vegan Yasai Ramen ($14.50) with vegan noodles, grilled corn, nori, kikurage mushrooms, greens, scallions, and agedashi tofu. Just as delicious as I had remembered. Those vegan noodles are seriously spectacular. Bouncy, wavy goodness!
Beautiful bowl, above average ramen
This little midtown east ramen joint puts up a decent bowl.
The broth is paitan chicken based, but for a price premium you can choose the Nikumiso ramen if you need to get your pork fix.
That bowl still has the chicken broth, but it's topped with miso-glazed sliced pork and miso-seasoned ground pork. For me, this was the right choice, because I'm not a huge fan of just chicken flavored broth (unless it's amazing), and the miso on the pork brought back a little bit of the cloudy thickness that I like without going all-in on an entirely miso-based broth.
I chose the straight noodles over the wavy egg noodles. If I went full chicken broth I probably would have went with the wavies though, because they keep that eggy flavor going strong in every bite.
The bowl also had black mushrooms, bamboo shoots, beautifully sliced corn fresh off the cob, properly sliced scallions, and spinach, which was an interesting touch. There was a bit of burnt or black garlic as well. The bowl looked incredible. The flavor was good but not the best I've had. With a soft boiled egg added, the bill came to $18, which is a bit pricey for a bowl of slightly above average ramen.
Hinata Ramen, Midtown East
I recently had to visit the Consulate of Singapore in NYC to pick up my new passport. It was slightly out of the way, but I turned it into a fun solo excursion by stopping for a yummy ramen lunch and visiting the Moma store to ooh and ahh over pretty things.
Hinata Ramen has been on my to try list for a long time. I first learned about this place when I met up with the Tabelog crew for dinner. Hinata serves the same noodles as Ippudo, which seems like a huge draw for ramen lovers who know their stuff. Also, Hinata was one of the first ramen places with a vegan option. I’d say that was a huge deal about a year ago when even just vegetarian ramen options were hard to come by.
Hinata was packed at lunchtime! Lots of people came by for a quick lunch alone or with coworkers. I grabbed the corner seat at the bar, which was great for dining solo and watching the action in the kitchen. By the way, this place is cash only. Take note!
For lunch, Hinata offers add on sides to go with any bowl of ramen. I got the vegetable gyoza ($5.50) to start. Very exciting as I haven’t had gyoza with ramen in a long time! Most places only offer pork gyoza, and I said bye bye to that when I went vegetarian.
I didn’t ask the server, but my guess is the vegetable gyoza is just vegetarian, not vegan. The filling was very tasty and colorful. The wrappers was delicate and tender, but, unfortunately, fell apart as soon as I tried to separate each piece. Based on the taste alone though, I would order the vegetable gyoza again.
All of Hinata’s dishes are 100% MSG free. Hurray, no MSG attack after indulging in a big bowl of noodles! I ordered their vegan Yasai Ramen ($14.50). The base toppings include grilled corn, nori, kikurage mushrooms, greens, and scallions. You can add on a number of other toppings, but I kept it simple with just the addition of agedashi tofu.
Only a few places let you choose your noodles, and I love that Hinata offers an egg-free vegan wavy noodle. Hello, beautiful noodles! You don’t need eggs to make perfectly bouncy, wavy noodles. I doubt most people would be able to tell the difference.
The tofu was nicely done, and I like that the kernels of corn are still attached. You can pick it up for a big bite or break up it up so there’s corn throughout. The broth was refined with a delicate flavor. Very satisfying, and I had no trouble finishing my ramen!
Chicken Broth Ramen at ''Hinata''
Midtown Ramen patrolling *\(^_^)/*
Paitan Ramen – Chicken broth $12.5 ♥♥♥1/2
I read on Twitter that Chef Michael Anthony from Gramercy Tavern visited Hinata Ramen a few months ago. I hadn’t heard of this ramen shop until then. So, I decided to come here for lunch. Hinata Ramen opened last November in Midtown East. I often eat ramen for lunch. There are many choices of ramen shops around my office in Midtown such as Hide-chan, Totto, Ippudo West, and a few more places. Today I found a new edition to add to my ramen lunch options. Chef Anthony mentioned this place’s noodle and that it was somehow related to Ippudo. So I was even more curious about this place!! I was also interested in tasting their broth. Most popular ramen shops often serve pork based broth, but Hinata specializes in chicken broth ramen. Original Hinata
Aburi Niku Miso Ramen – (Limited 10 bowls per day) ♥♥♥1/2
I started my lunch with gyoza and pork bum to share. I didn’t much care for either appetizer, but it was good and decent enough. I sat at the front counter seat so that I could see the action in the kitchen behind the glass window. (It does not have an open kitchen.) I ordered the Original Hinata Paitan Ramen and my friend ordered the Aburi Niku Miso Ramen which is limited to 10 bowls per day. Both ramen were very good.
My favorite is Shoyu Tonkostuu (soy based and pork based mixed.) Compared to pork based this was much lighter and cleaner. Definitely refreshing.
Kurobuta Gyoza ♥♥♥
It was also great to meet the owner, Chef Madoka Tamura. I was a little shocked to see a young Japanese lady. I guess I always imagine a ramen shop owner to be a man. Like I said, Hinata’s ramen is very clean and elegant. This made perfect sense once I met her. She was lovely. I asked her about her background. She said this is her first restaurant and she taught herself how to make ramen. I’m the owner of Cutie Room, but having a boutique and running a restaurant are two different things. I was very impressed. I love seeing Japanese women doing their thing in NYC!
Owner/ chef Madoka Tamura
I eat at most ramen shops more than twice before giving a rating. So, at this time I can’t give a proper rating yet. I am definitely going back for lunch again soon. Stay tuned for an update~
Hinata Pork Bun ♥♥♥
"HINATA" RAMEN WITH MILD TASTE AND FLAVOR
Occasion: Good for lunch with friends
I researched ramen shops in New York on the web. I found a newly opened ramen shop, Hinata, located relatively close to my office in Bryant Park. I invited my co-worker to try the ramen place for lunch on a weekday.
When we arrived at 12pm, the place was not crowded, but a few groups sat at the tables. We asked the waitstaff to seat us at the bar counter next to the kitchen, and he kindly guided us to the bar seats.
From the bar, we could see the entire kitchen where the chefs create ramen. We thought the bar was the best spot to have bowls of ramen at Hinata.
View from the bar – Kitchen
View from the bar – Dining
After looking through the menu carefully, I ordered the following:
- Aburi Niku Miso Aburi Ramen (limited to 10 bowls per day)
- Hinata Pork Bun (Lunch set)
- Kurobuta Gyoza
The pork bun was served to our table shortly. I was a little disappointed that they used just a slice of chashu (roasted pork). I thought the taste was OKI liked the taste of the sweet sauce on the chashu. However , because of the tiny slice of chashu, the sauce erased the flavor of the pork. I would not order it again.
Hinata Pork Bun
Then the waitstaff brought the kurobuta gyoza to the table. I did not like the gyoza very much. The skin was not crunchy, and the meat inside was not moist and juicy. I had expected good gyoza because the menu stated that the gyoza is handmade. I was disappointed with the result.
After having a little disappointment from the appetizers, they served the ramen. I tasted the soup first. I felt the soup was very mild in terms of taste and flavor. I’ve never experienced such a mildness in other ramen shops in NYC. It gave me a little comfort. Then I tried the noodles and thought they were very nice they used wavy noodles for the ramen and they matched the soup very well. The noodles are created together with Ippudo, which has noodle making machines at its Ippudo West location.
I never really like eating ramen with pork broth because the taste is a little strong for me. However, the Hinata ramen uses chicken broth, so I enjoyed the ramen from beginning to end. Note: Totto Ramen uses chicken broth too, but I felt it had a very strong taste and I couldn’t finish the entire bowl. It may be due to the method of creating the broth.
Aburi Niku Miso Aburi Ramen
Overall, I liked the ramen but not the appetizers I had during this visit. The ramen had a very mild taste and flavor, and I liked it. However, at the same time, the ramen was bland and didn’t give any vivid impression. It is a good spot for lunch with friends.
Last, I was introduced to the chef and owner of Hinata, Madoka Tamura. She recently learned how to create ramen in preparation for opening the ramen shop. I was very impressed that she learned how to make ramen by herself. It means that she has never been trained in or worked for other ramen places.
I would recommend Hinata for someone who would like to see their improvements over time. Given the chef’s passion for making ramen, I believe that they’re going to be very good. I am excited to see their growth.
Vegetable gyoza at hinataramen. Yummy filling and delicate wrappers. Unfortunately, fell apart easily. letsnomnom diningsolo lunch midtowneast ramen japanese vegetarian appetizer tabelogus
Yasai vegetable ramen at hinataramen with egg-free wavy noodles. 100% vegan! 100% delicious! letsnomnom diningsolo lunch midtowneast vegetarian japanese noodlebowls tabelogus
Hinata is a new cash only Japanese food establishment located in the city of New York. Their reviews suggest the establishment is average to above average with most ratings landing between 3 stars and 4 stars with a few 1 star and 5 star outliers.
The consensus popular item here is the ramen, the prices vary depending on the type of ramen but the general view is that these are fairly expensive bowls of ramen, especially since the portion size does not seem to warrant the price.
The atmosphere is considered to be very subdued and not flashy. It is a small place and so it is easy to overlook. However, others state the coziness is a plus and allows some to warm up on a cold New York day.
There are conflicting views on the service as well. Some state that the service was very fast for lunch in the city, while others claim it was too slow. Regardless, most tend to agree the servers are all very nice.