536 East 5th Street
New York, NY 10009
When the weather turns cold, it's God's way of saying, "Hey, buddy. It's soup time. Chop chop." So, divine orders in hand, I called up Mr. Dogz, who had finally returned from his self-imposed exile in Ann Arbor. We braved the subzero windchill of the East Village to check out Kuboya, a ramen joint where we could sit, relax, shoot the breeze, and warm up.
This particularly cold evening, the place was all but empty. There were maybe ten people in the two rooms. I walked in, was told to sit wherever my heart desired, and waited for Dogz. As I sat there, I looked out the window to see the line coming from next door. Kuboya shares a wall with Minca, another ramen place. While Kuboya was warm and had plenty of places to sit, Minca was full to the brim. People stood in the street waiting for a table while I sat in a heated roof already at one. "I wonder" I wondered, "if I'm going to be royally disappointed."
When Dogz did show up, the first thing we got was a round of hot sakes. We also chose to split an appetizer, the Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings. These were crazy good. Far from hot, these were sweet and covered in sesame seeds. I could have eaten them all day. Plus, they were big. We hardly felt like they weren't worth the price.
The ramen I chose was the Kubochan Shoyu Ramen and Dogz went with the Kubochan Shio Ramen. Both are in a pork/chicken broth and come with a slice of pork, a soft boiled egg, and seaweed. The difference between the two is primarily that the shoyu broth includes soy sauce, which added complexity. There wasn't much in the way of veggies, which was a shame, but we survived. Indeed, we more than survived. The ramen was hearty and delicious. I'd definitely recommend the shoyu over the shio though. And Kuboya has other varieties as well. Miso and vegetable and seafood to name just a few. Honestly, we went last week and I'm still at a loss as to how the guys next door could be so much better that people would bother waiting in the cold for it. I guess I'll have to try them to see for myself. But if there's a line when I show up, I'll probably just sate my ramen bug here at Kuboya.
Ramen ranges from $11 to $14 per bowl. Our meal in total came to a little over $40 with tip.
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