[NYC - Times Square] Nippori Japanese Ramen and Izakaya

Even though lights are currently off on Broadway, I still wanted to post about some of the pre-theatre options I have tried over the years. Nippori is located at 51st Street and 8th Ave, right by Gershwin Theatre (Wicked), Neil Simon Theatre (The Cher Show), Circle in the Square (Oklahoma), and August Wilson Theatre (Mean Girls), among others.

We started off with the Steamed Pork Buns because we were there for happy hour (see below for the details about the menu and happy hour menu). These pork buns were fine, but they weren't the best I've had, but given the happy hour price, they may have a slightly higher ranking in my mind. Let me just warn you that there's a TON of mayonnaise on these buns. I know I dislike mayo more than the next guy, but this was dripping in mayonnaise. The pork did have a nice flavor, but it was very soft and fluffy (?) in terms of texture, which, personally, isn't my cup of tea.

This was another happy hour choice. These are the takoyaki. Since I have lived in Kobe, which is super close to Osaka, for a while, I know I have a certain level of expectations for takoyaki. These were better than many I've had in NYC, but I probably will not order them again here. They were kind of dense and slightly overcooked the day I went, but this may be a personal preference. I kind of think it's not a true takoyaki experience if I don't burn off some layers of skin from the top of my mouth...that is probably just a me expectation though. But, these were fine and if I hadn't been on a takoyaki kick for a few years and this was my first experience with takoyaki, I would probably have thought these were great! I also like it when the inside part of the ball is still soft and fluffy.

I think this would be a nice gateway introduction to takoyaki because I can totally see that maybe the burning of mouth is a turnoff to some people. The tako pieces are also pretty small, so it will be a nice intro to seafood for some people, too.

This is the Nippori Ramen. I chose this because it was not pork based and it sounded like a pretty unique option at Nippori. It is a soy- and coconut-based ramen option. It is topped with chicken, egg, cilantro, and a little bit of onions. This is a very interesting option. I would say that if you are looking for a unique option, this would be definitely a choice for you. It is a rich, yet light, broth. Since the broth is made with soy powder and coconut milk, it is thicker, and it has a different savory flavor when compared with a meat-based broth.

This is an extremely filling bowl of ramen, too, so keep that in mind when ordering.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Tan Tan Ramen. It is almost the opposite of the Nippori I described above. I was on a mission to try all of the tan tan ramens in NYC for a while and the Tan Tan Ramen at Nippori is holding strong in the middle of my personal rankings. The flavors are bold, but not spicy. It is a little bit oilier than others I have tried, but it is also in the middle in terms of richness and spiciness.

As I said with the takoyaki above, this may be a option to introduce you to a tan tan ramen. You can test out how you like it because it is relatively middle of the road in terms of spice.

You can order delivery on Grubhub (click here for $10 off your first order, personal referral link)!

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