Nakamura, Lower East Side
Ramen Name: Yuzu Dashi
Includes: Fresh Yuzu, Chashu Pork, Menma, Spinach, Scallion, Nori
Broth Type: Shio (salt based chicken broth)
Noodle Type: Thin
Spice Factor: None.
Special Tip: You can order smaller bowls at lunch time for cheaper.
Price: $16/$12 for small
Places of Interest Nearby: Clinton Street, Williamsburg Bridge, St. Mark's Place, Setsugekka matcha house
Holy shio broth. Visiting Nakamura was simply to sate my post-audition hunger (I did a Google search and decided to head to Nakamura having never heard of it before), but I daresay I've found my favourite bowl in the city. Nakamura is just at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge in Manhattan and if you're not specifically on the lookout for it, you may walk past it a dozen times without noticing it. It's a small interior with a relaxed and friendly vibe. The whole place must only have about 12 seats, so it's lucky I got there after regular lunch hours.
The reason for my choosing Nakamura was because they have a ramen bowl with yuzu, a type of citrus. The best bowl of ramen I've ever had was in Seattle, and it was a shio broth with yuzu. I'd never had yuzu in ramen before and the light citrus flavor was stunning to me. I have not since found a bowl that compares to it UNTIL I VISITED NAKAMURA. The chicken broth is so light yet, has an explosion of the softest citrus flavor. It was like rays of sunshine in my mouth. The noodles were perfectly cooked: not too hard or soft. And, while I initially thought I should have ordered an egg because I went for the smaller sized bowl, in hindsight the egg would have overpowered the delicate texture and clean flavor of the broth and thin noodles. The smoky pork is not fatty, and while I prefer a fattier piece of pork, the lack of fat complimented the delicacy of everything else.
Although I could have happily slurped up a regular sized bowl, I appreciated the smallness of my bowl and the shishito peppers I ordered as an appetizer (the best I've had—they are astoundingly fresh tasting) rounded out the meal in terms of satiating my hunger. I can't wait to go back to Nakamura to try their tonkotsu (pork based broth) ramen.