Well it's been snowing up a serious storm in NYC this week so we were happy to hear the latest chapter in the Brooklyn gentrification odyssey is an authentic ramen restaurant in Bed Stuy.
Nana Ramen lovingly blends authentic fresh noodles and tonkotsu broth with Brooklyn filament bulbs and hipster beards with great results and I'm pretty sure we'll be regulars from here on out.
Chicken Karaage $7USD
This is an excellent rendition of a ramen house staple. The chicken is juicy and the batter is light and lacks any trace of oil. The pieces are well sized to really maximise on the delicious sesame karaage batter as well. Served simply with a spicy mayo sauce and lemon slice. The serving size is actually a little larger than pictured, we couldn't help ourselves on arrival and ate two pieces before we remembered to take photos.
Agedashi Tofu $7USD
I really liked the presentation of 4 squares each with traditional agedashi toppings on them (ginger and daikon, scallions, seaweed and katsuoboshi), you could easily combine on a single piece if that was more to your style. The coating was light and the frying didn't make the dish too heavy, the real star though is the broth which is a fantastic sweet soy broth. My only wish is that this had been silken tofu rather than cotton tofu but well ... you can't have everything for $7 in the back streets of Brooklyn!
Spicy Miso Ramen $13USD
Built on a tonkotsu base with thinner style noodles this dish comes with egg, scallion corn and chashu pork. The spicy mix is interesting and deviates slightly from a traditional Japanese mix but is nonetheless delicious particularly with the creamy tonkotsu. The chashu is particularly excellent tightly rolled and well seasoned.
Black Tonkotsu $13USD
Black garlic oil tonkotsu is an unusual ramen to appear on menus particularly in the US so I was very intrigued and boy did they deliver. Thick fresh chewy noodles are in a super creamy tonkotsu broth topped with a healthy splash of roasted garlic oil. I ordered mine with extra egg and fresh bamboo shoots. This was the perfect dose of warm soup belly in the NY winter weather. My only complaint is that the bowl could have used more soup, but since this is an option for ordering then I will just get a larger serving in the future.
I'm super excited by the arrival of this business in walking distance of my house and will be definitely eating my way through the menu. They have a tan-tan-men which is my all time favourite and a curry ramen as well as a Tokyo style shoyu with tsukune that has me intrigued. For appetizers there are home made gyoza and takoyaki amongst others to explore.
Like any new food business in Brooklyn Nana Ramen is currently being loved to death by the local hipsters so expect to wait for a while or go at unusual times. Our plan of going for a walk in the snow when most people were hiding inside paid off and we immediately got a table. Service is friendly but basic, cash only so stock up on the way.
Brooklyn, New York 11211
Authentic ramen in Brooklyn, simple but definitely worth a stop