When I was in college, I used to make ramen in my dorm room. I would plug in one of those electric kettles, heat up some water, toss in a block of dehydrated noodles and a pack of seasoning that was probably 90% bath salts and 10% artificial beef dust, and that would be dinner. Sometimes I'd even add a few dashes of hot sauce if I was feeling spicy. It's been a while since I've felt nostalgic for that stuff, but I found myself reminiscing after our recent visit to Ramen Yebisu. Why? Because I realized that I would rather be eating factory packaged sort-of-food than paying $12 for the ramen this place served us.
Ramen Yebisu sits on the corner of N. 6th and Berry in Williamsburg, right in the middle of a highly-concentrated area of Williamsburg shops, restaurants, and cheap looking condos, and just down the street from Music Hall of Williamsburg. It's the perfect place for a trendy new ramen restaurant, partly because of the foot traffic, and also because there's nothing like that anywhere this neighborhood. Unfortunately, Ramen Yebisu has failed miserably so far in filling the void. We have yet to meet anyone that actually likes this place, and on both of our visits it was pretty much empty on a busy Brooklyn weeknight. Word seems to be out that these noodles aren't worth your time or money, and we're here to confirm that just in case you had any doubt.
Our problem with Ramen Yebisu lies mostly with the broth, which always seems to fall flat. And that's not in comparison to the ramen on steroids that people are used to from places like Ippudo. We've had authentic Japanese ramen with mellow flavors, and we like it. But this stuff doesn't seem to have any flavor at all. On top of that, this restaurant seems to be out of order. The service is always confusing, and we found it to be a little bit messy, like they couldn't be bothered to pick up the straw wrappers or wipe down the tables. I know we're in Williamsburg where dirty is supposed to be cool, but guess what, no it isn't. Let's get a broom up in here.
Your standard miso ramen, just without all the flavor. We can't figure out why either, as this thing has both ground pork and crispy onions in the mix.
Another classic Japanese ramen, except without the taste.
This dish is sort of a house specialty at Yebisu, with a special lobster oil dribbled over the noodles instead of a broth. It's an interesting presentation, and yet it's also still pretty boring. Pass.
The best thing on the menu at Yebisu according to us, because fried.