Run by the same folks that brought Totto Ramen to Midtown, Hide-Chan also opened this summer and we're glad to report that it's another solid addition to Midtown eating. But sharing management and serving noodles is where the similarities between the two end. Totto is dedicated to a mastery over the less common chicken based ramen broth, whereas Hide-Chan specializes in "tonkotsu" broth, which means "very excellent pork bone fat water" in Japanese (I'm told). Hide-Chan is also a much more typical Japanese restaurant environment - one you might expect to find in Midtown East. You walk up a flight of stairs into a room that's sterile and a little too serious, but pleasant nonetheless. Not quite like Totto Ramen's open kitchen and East Village vibe. Either way, we like them both, and there are a few unique things about Hide-Chan that earned our favor. We love the garlicky Kuro Ramen and the Mega Ton is just sort of hilarious to order. We also like the fact that you can specify how firm you would like your noodles cooked. You can even tell them how fatty you would like your ramen broth, from rich (lots of fat) to light (please leave). Choose wisely.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen
The house standard ramen, and probably the universal favorite. This is rich, salty, and porky...just like ramen should be.
The tonkotsu ramen, but with spicy sauce. You can tell them how spicy you would like it, but safest bet is to order the spicy oil on the side.Hakata Kuro Ramen
As long as you can handle diving into a bowl that looks like a squid got wringed out into it, then order this. The black inky sauce in the bowl is actually an oil made from roasted garlic, and its awesome. The garlic flavor isn't as abrasive as you might expect after seeing an oil slick made from the stuff - this is a nicely balanced and tasty bowl of noodles.
First of all, probably the best name for a bowl of soup ever. Second of all, it fits. This is a bowl of ramen stuffed full of extra vegetables and thick cut pork, to the point where you might need another bowl and a working knowledge of fluid displacement theory to manage it.
We've never met a pork bun we don't like, and that remains true after eating this. But these are not the best buns you will ever eat. All of the key elements are here, (pork, bun, mayo, lettuce) but these are small and the pork is a little thin for this application.