What’s the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks “ramen”? A lot of you would immediately think of your college days where all you would eat was fifty cent ramen noodle cups. Surprisingly to a lot of my friends that’s not how I was introduced to the dish. I was being my food-loving self one day and decided to try something new. I picked a random joint by my college, in the Upper East Side, and I fell in love.
Now my favorite location for the famous soup is HinoMaru. Japanese for “circle of the sun”, the owners named the bar thus to pay homage to the flag of Japan and its bright red circle representing the sun. Inside it’s pretty minimalist, with wooden furniture and a bar which peers into the kitchen, a staple of most ramen bars in NYC.
They prepare many regional varieties of ramen: from the northern Sapporo style, a heavier soup with more than 30 individual ingredients; to the southern Hakata style, with a lighter and creamier broth. There’s a ramen for everyone, each delicious in its own way, and it takes numerous outings to find your favorite style. And for ramen? I’d take a trip anywhere for a bowl.