If you like miso ramen, Misoya is probably the place for you. Misoya, as the name not so subtly suggests, specializes in miso. At this East Village ramen shop, you can choose from three kinds of miso; kome (rice, Hokkaido-style), shiro (white, Kyoto-style), and mame (soybean, Nagoya-style). My miso ramen of choice is…
the mame ramen. It’s less salty than the kome, which verges on being too salty (shiro is the mildest), has a heavier mouthfeel (almost creamy in texture), and is more umami-rich. Combined with bouncy ramen noodles and topped with ground pork, mung bean sprouts, cabbage, scallions, bamboo shoots, and a panko encrusted fried shrimp, it’s an extremely satisfying bowl of ramen. However, why have simply satisfying when you can have more? To take it over the top, order the mame ramen with chashu ($14.50)
The chashu at Misoya differs from those at other restaurants in that the pork belly is sliced really thick. You don’t get the melt-in-your-mouth effect, but you do get a lot of pork flavor in every meaty bite. Unfortunately, the quality of the pork can be inconsistent. The first time I had it, the rounds of pork were fresh and amazingly juicy. The second time, it was a bit dry and possibly from a previous night. However, when it’s good, it’s fantastic. If you’re worried and don’t want to commit to the chashu ramen, you can order the basic and order the pork belly by the piece.
Misoya won’t replace Ippudo as my favorite neighborhood ramen spot, but it does fill a void I didn’t realize existed. A void for rich miso soup and hearty slabs of pork.
129 Second Ave (b/n 7th & St. Marks Pl; map)
New York, NY 10003