Can’t Kick the Ramen Kick

One interesting fact that you might not know about me is that I have a huge girl crush on smokin’ hot Sports Illustrated model Chrissy Teigen. Not only is she gorgeous (which is what ignited my initial attraction to her), but Teigen is interesting, smart and a hilarious person to follow on Twitter and Instagram.
Fun fact: Chrissy Tiegen retweeted me once and it was probably the biggest social media interaction I’ve ever had with a celebrity (I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a few from the likes of iconic rapper Bun B and my favorite producer Diplo).
Anyway, in addition to her constant (yet entertaining) social media activity, Chrissy Teigen also has a mouthwatering food blog where she chronicles her adventures in culinary school and different recipes she and her fiance John Legend love to cook. I’m not sure how Teigen manages to maintain her bikini-ready physique with some of her dietary choices, but I certainly admire a model who openly says that it’s okay to treat yourself and love food. It’s so refreshing compared to the rail thin runway models who survive on celery or Kate Moss’ ass backwards “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” mentality.
Anyway, Chrissy Teigen is inspiring to me in more ways than one – this year, she and John Legend decided to spend their holidays in Tokyo and essentially ate nothing but Japanese-style ramen noodles for a full week. It can’t be a coincidence that I too am constantly eating ramen and tirelessly trying to unearth new spots in Austin that serve this flavorful noodle dish.
As you can tell from my favorable reviews of Ramen Tatsu-ya and East Side King, I have a soft spot for Japanese noodles. Last week alone, I tried 3 different ramen dishes in the span of 5 days. Something is wrong with me.

Squid ink curry ramen from East Side King

Miso Not Ramen from Ramen Tatsu-ya

A lot of my peers asked if I’d tried Kome ramen yet, saying it was comparable to Ramen Tatsu-ya, some even making bold statements claiming that it was better. Acclaimed for its sushi and only serving ramen during lunch, I was excited to try this place out on one of my Friday lunch breaks.
Turns out the reviews were right – it was just as good, better in some ways. I can’t determine which dish I prefer since they’re both so delicious, but I will point out some advantages that I really appreciated about my dining experience at Kome.
Tonkatsu Ramen from Kome

Tonkatsu Ramen from Kome

Food – Both dishes were comparable in taste, but Kome definitely put more ramen and toppings in the bowl. Ramen Tatsu-ya makes you pay extra for corn, hot sauce, even extra noodles. I simply got more value out of my Kome ramen.
Ambience - I got seated right away at Kome and didn’t feel crowded or stuffy. One of the drawbacks about Ramen Tatsu-ya is their seating model. The little restaurant is always cramped and crowded – I realize they don’t have much room to sit and high demand which is why there’s always a long line of patrons waiting to order and get seated. But the line files through the middle of the restaurant, right between the main tables where the majority of customers sit and dine. People who are already seated and trying to enjoy their meals are eye level with the belt loops of other customers waiting in line, which is a tad uncomfortable. Plus, there is always the risk of a waiter carrying heavy bowls of steaming hot soup tripping or running into you as they weave their way around people waiting in line.

Ladies room in Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Ladies room in Kome

Bathrooms – Both restaurants have awesome bathrooms. Who wouldn’t like this schizophrenic graffiti in Ramen Tatsu-ya? However, Kome took the minimalist design approach. I think the toilet paper wrapped in Japanese newspaper was a subtle, but nice attention to detail.

Best chopsticks I’ve ever used

Chopsticks – Kome’s utensils are the sharpest and most balanced chopsticks I’ve ever eaten with. Unbelievably easy to use.
Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll ever kick my ramen kick. Possibly when the weather warms up a little, but for now I’m eating it on a weekly basis and it’s wonderful.

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