Visiting my family throughout the years in the New York area, I’ve always had the opportunity try different types of cuisines. But one thing that Pittsburgh was lacking that NYC certainly had were ramen bars. We’re not talking about those cheap ramen noodle packets that we grew up eating or ate religiously in college, though they are rather tasty. For the most part, the ramen noodles are freshly made, and the soups are 1000 times more versatile than the packet version. I was excited that a restaurant simply called Ramen Bar just opened up in Squirrel Hill not too long ago. The real question is is it just as good as the ramen bars I’ve been to in NYC? Let’s find out.
My friend and I enter the restaurant, and found the atmosphere to be quite enjoyable even if it was 3:30 pm and there were not many people. The dining room was dark for the most part; so I asked the waiter if my dining partner and I could sit by the window and said that was not a problem. At this point on, I will do my best to sit by the window at restaurants because I want to be able to use natural light to take good pictures. If you guys can, let me know what you think of the pictures I took for this blog. I thought they turned out nice, but any feedback good or bad would be awesome.
We got the gyozas as an appetizer. It was six pieces which is fairly acceptable for an appetizer. Normally, the gyozas you get from other restaurants are frozen. But the gyozas at Ramen Bar are clearly homemade and fresh. The skin was fairly crispy, but the filling which contain ground pork and green onions were soft. The filling could have used more salt, but that is where the soy sauce dip comes in. All in all, it was a decent start.
For the main event my dining partner got the Tom Yam Men soup. It’s a Thai soup which has a sweet and sour broth and contains chicken, vegetables in cilantro. She thought it was pretty decent and had no complaints. I liked how the cilantro adds a hint of coolness and color to the dish. Also the eggplant and baby corn were nice additions to the soup.
I ended up getting Tan Tan Men soup. It’s a spicy noodle soup that contains spinach and seasoned ground beef. This soup was fantastic. I loved how the broth was very spicy, but you clearly tell there was a lot flavor to it. The ground beef gave the soup a meatiness and heartiness aspect to it. The spinach gave the soup a nice extra color it. I was worried that the soup was going to be over salty because of the broth and ground beef, but it clearly wasn’t and I liked how all the ingredients balanced each other out.
I thought the service here was excellent. Our waiter was very attentive, and made sure we had a good dining experience. You do get your food fairly quickly in less then 7 minutes after you order. That was initially a concern of mine because I was worried that the soup might not be fresh. I could be wrong here, but I think that the soups we ordered are fairly popular and is being made continuously throughout the day. All in all, I would recommend Ramen Bar to anyone. It’s just as good as the ramen bars in NYC.
Rating: 5/5 – The soup, the appetizer, and the service were a hit. The only bad thing about the soup was that I finished it. It was just that good.