Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Midnight Ramen at Takashi in NYC New York

Takashi is a popular yakiniku (Japanese grill) restaurant in the West Village district of Manhattan, New York City.

That's what Takashi is most of the time. One of NYC's best Japanese grill places famous for the best Kobe beef cuts and exotic innards for those who dare.

Twice a week, Takashi transforms into something else.


After midnight on Friday and Saturday, we get to see another side of Takashi.


Every Friday and Saturday 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am, Takashi becomes a ramen house packed with ramen lovers.

Don't bet on it. 

Actually, it should be 12:00 midnight to 1:00 am as by then, the broth would usually be all gone.

Customers with emailed reservations ( start milling around by 11:30 pm for the weekly ramen celebration. At the stroke of midnight, we were all herded into this small, dimly lit, hip, everybody happy space.


Everyone was here for this Takashi signature ramen.

Only two choices. Spicy or non spicy ramen.

In fact, there is only one option. The waitress will suggest that we order the normal non spicy version and have the spicy chili paste served separately on a small dish on the side.

Great idea - the best of both worlds.


Coming from Southeast Asia where people from age 2 onwards eat everything with dollops of chili paste, this is one of the darned best chili paste that I have ever tasted in my over five decades.

Made with over 20 spices using Chef Takashi's grandma's recipe, it had many layers of spiciness, perky flavours and aromas, and it was not overly tongue stinging spicy. There was also a subtle dried shrimp savoury flavour.




The wheat noodles were tenderly al dente. The slender strands were soft outside while inside there was a core that resisted the bite slightly before surrendering and snapping apart softly.

Nice, interesting bite.

Takashi lets customers have unlimited refills of ramen.


These two slices of braised Kobe beef belly were oh so ai yo yo tender that the fat felt like it bursted and released a gush of savoury warm broth perfume all around my tongue and mouth. Just two slices lightly charred (grilled or torched?) at the edges that left me pining longing for more.


Half an egg that adds eggy flavour and soft texture to the dish. (They are known as ajitsuke tamago or “flavoured eggs”.)


There were these crackly fried bits of beef intestines that added another layer of savouriness and texture to the bowl of tender noodles and beef.


The beef broth was medium bodied. Mildly savoury with natural beefy sweetness and not overly greasy. The broth held the ramen dish together very well (though I have tasted broth with more depth and dissolved collagen).

Just as suddenly as it started, the frenzy quickly subsided as quiet customers slurped their ramen noisily, heads bowed. The custom is to leave as soon one is done and the space soon cleared as the pot of broth emptied (rarely beyond 1:00am).

Suddenly, we were out again in the cold of a December night in the Big Apple with stomachs warm with soupy ramen, and hearts joyfully content.


This is one helluva late night New York City experience not to be missed.


Restaurant name: Takashi
Address456 Hudson Street, NYC, New York
Hours: Ramen only at 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday. Broth (and so the ramen) usually sold out by 1:00am.

Date visited: 21 Dec 2014

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  1. Yes, my mouth is super watering -.-

  2. Mmmm that sounds so yummy! You have talked me into emailing them to set up a reservation :D


I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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