Location: Astoria, Queens (delivers to Long Island City)
This is more like 2.5 stars. Very disappointing. Because we ordered delivery, this review is purely based on the food and not on ambiance.
Everyone at work was really excited that Tamashii opened (and delivers!), because there isn’t much Asian food here in Long Island City, and we all love Japanese food. The menu looked good – it had stuff that authentic ramen places normally have…especially Hiyashi Chuuka! There was both good in bad in the order, but personally I think it leans more on the bad.
– hiyashi chuuka
– chasyu ramen
– potato croquettes
– ika kara age
The potato croquettes were the best of the bunch; it was creamy with a good color and not greasy. Ika kara age was pretty good, but a little over-fried and a little soggy. This is possibly due to travel, but my croquettes were fine, so there’s that.
The chasyu ramen is the same thing as the Tamashii ramen, except with double the pork (4 slices), and that’s definitely AMPLE meat, as far as ramen goes. For less than $10, that’s not bad at all. Except…..the pork did not have as much flavor as your typical marinated pork for ramen, and this “tastelessness” was the theme for the chasyu ramen overall. The broth was lackluster and basically like water (a huge minus for ramen, it’s all about the broth), there were no extras that ramen normally comes with (no soft boiled egg, no seaweed, no enoki, no bamboo…I don’t expect all of that, but some would be nice). There was simply noodles, a little bit of bok choi, the pork, chopped scallions, and little bit of…grated raddish, perhaps? I lost those bits once I mixed everything together. Another thing…the noodles!!! Tamashii is using Chinese noodles, which are thinner….not the type of noodles that Japanese ramen should have. Technically they are both “pulled noodles” (la mien/拉麵 or ramen), but it is just not the type of noodles Japanese ramen is supposed to have.
I should note, however, that the Hiyashi Chuuka did come with everything ramen should come with, mentioned above, but was still exceedingly mediocre. There are way better ramen places elsewhere! If it were still the 1990’s in New York, then this place would be pretty cool. But back then, our “best” ramen here was mediocre-to-bad.
Overall, we were extremely disappointed, and I’m torn about ordering from here again. Since the croquettes were good, I’d probably give other non-ramen items a shot. However…it’s a ramen shop! The ramen should be their best item! :(