Totto Ramen: Heartwarming Flavors From Noodles to Broth
Harro! Steph, her parents, and I went to Totto Ramen in March. Because we were in a hurry to go somewhere, our entire visit lasted less than 15 minutes, making us a group of very profitable and efficient customers. Totto Ramen is owned by Bobby Munekata, the same person that owns Hide-Chan, Soba Totto, and Yakitori Totto. Knowing that, I came to Totto Ramen with high expectations. I've heard the wait can be fairly long but we only waited about 15 minutes on a Saturday (at around 12:30PM).
The food came quickly. Steph sprung into action and swiftly took several pictures of each ramen bowl while I devoured my ramen, taking notes after every few bites.
I got the Paitan Ramen (see above), which came with straight homemade noodles, in a whole chicken and soy sauce based soup topped with scallion, onion, and nori. You have the option of getting it with chicken or pork. I got the pork, which had the perfect balance of juicy fat and tender meat. The pork was broiled and lightly charred with a torch. The char gave the pork a divine crisp exterior without drying out all the juicy goodness.
The homemade noodles were my favorite part about this dish for two reasons. First, you can tell that it's not crappy, dried out, depressing noodles no matter how knowledgeable you are about noodles. As long as you've tried instant noodles at some point of your life, you will know Totto feeds you the real deal. Secondly, Totto cooks them al dente, which is, in my opinion, the best way to cook noodles. Specifically for ramen, I love it when the noodles are firm and don't just slip off my chopsticks. It also has a good mouthfeel. I enjoy the way that it feels like I'm eating something substantial. Oftentimes, my noodles are gone in 2-3 minutes. At Totto and many other decent Ramen places, you can buy an extra order of noodles to add to your broth. Then, BOOM. You have another full bowl of ramen.
The chicken-based soup was light (relative to a pork broth) and creamy. I usually get a pork-based miso ramen because it's so rich, buttery, and fatty. Since we were in a rush to go to Medieval Times in New Jersey, I went back to my former-fat-athlete-eating-style and consumed my bowl of ramen in about 3 minutes. Needless to say, Totto was "Totto-ly Awesome" (thanks for the pun, Dana!) and I'll be back for more.
Note: Thank you to Xindi, Dana, and Steph who helped me think of titles for this post :)